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captains-of-innovation_new-logo_squareCaptains of Innovation is a cross-sector, exclusive annual membership program which helps corporations accelerate the rate of innovation and introduces them to emerging talent and ideas.  We assist with the full spectrum of innovation on a highly-customized basis, to help conceive, develop and commercialize ideas, products and services as well as connect corporations to startups, entrepreneurs, and innovation thought leaders. Corporate partners join in order to find new technologies and business models as well as understand emerging technology and market trends that may disrupt their industries.

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The world is changing. Disruption and innovation is lowering the average lifespan of companies and calls for a change in strategies, organizational models and courageous leadership. Corporations excel at maintaining, defending and refining existing business models but the most forward thinking corporations know that the best ideas do not always come from within – they need to identify new disruption opportunities. Startups are a great source of disruption, but finding quality collaborations can be tricky to find. Let us help you disrupt your norms. 


Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 1.53.40 PMCaptains leverages the way that actual partnerships today are usually made through personal introductions. The program helps you to discover, articulate, and understand emerging technologies and market trends that may prove disruptive or transformative for a market or industry, across a range of fields and geographies. We do this by assembling a team of experienced connectors, or “Captains” who are recognized leaders in an industry in a particular geography. This network of captains evaluates requests of participating corporate members for connections to startups and new technology, and guides the corporation to possible matches. Captains is tailored to each corporate member to suite your needs and scope of work. 

ENGAGEMENT Opportunities

We work with each corporate partner to hep you achieve your innovation goals. Partners can select from our list of engagement offerings, or we can work together to create new ones, to develop through a detailed annual implementation plan. Opportunities include:

  • Innovation Sprint – identify a portfolio of disruptive products and services, and drive them all the way from discovery to development and commercialization
  • Targeted Startup Matching – connect to relevant startups that align with strategic goals in three identified areas of innovation
  • Innovation Ecosystem/Trend Mapping – create a roadmap of target city innovation ecosystems and emerging trends in particular sectors
  • Industry Pulse (Early Adopters/Users) – seek out cohort of users who can provide insight into the future of specific industries and markets
  • Industry Pulse (Thought Leaders) – host an ideation session with thought-leaders and other experts within the startup, academic, corporate, and investment communities
  • Conference/Panel Organization – facilitate a half or full day event in a target city ecosystem to engage the broader innovation community
  • Presentation and Conversation – host presentation to visiting executives for up to 40 executives on a target city’s innovation ecosystem and arrange four meetings with relevant startups
  • Innovation Community Launch – frame and host an event to introduce a company to the innovation community
  • Ecosystem Tours – arrange tours and connections to industry leaders in a target city’s innovation ecosystem with a presentation to executives and a reception
  • Visiting Senior Executives – four 1:1 meeting with startups and key innovation ecosystem players


Captains of Innovation is a program of the Venture Cafe Global Institute and works in partnership with the Cambridge Innovation Center.

43f4b4_c5715b77f7ad433ba27252f0364d7e23-mv2Captains of Innovation partners with Next Wave Innovation (NWI), a hybrid, next generation innovation consultancy, to provide unprecedented innovation experience and access to a world class start-up eco-system. NWI helps large organizations innovate and build inclusive innovation cultures, products, and services. NWI leverages cutting edge tools such as scenario planning, design thinking, simulations,  system engineering, and other analytics based approaches to deliver divergent perspectives and strategic guidance to clients.

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