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The POC Playbook




| POC 101 - what is a POC and why do so many fail?

A proof-of-concept (POC) is how a startup company demonstrates its core capabilities and viability as a potential corporate partner. POCs are designed to validate an initial concept and can be useful for crafting organizational solutions to improve operational efficiency and business performance, or for collaborative development of new products, markets, or ventures.

POCs can vary dramatically in every imaginable parameter, but they all tend to reflect certain general characteristics, such as a relatively short lifespan and modest budget allocation. Despite the vast majority (approximately 80%) of POCs in the corporate funnel being successful in terms of validating the concept, only 10-25% of them result in full-scale commercial implementation.

So why do POCs have such paradoxical, inverse success rates?

| Digging deep to get to the root of the issue

This playbook was conceived in an effort to analyze and ultimately answer this very question, and it is intended to supply potential corporate partners with the tools necessary to successfully plan and execute POCs with Israeli startups.

The research for this guide was conducted as a collaboration between Start-Up Nation Central and OurCrowd with the goal of empowering multinational corporations to improve the overall efficiency of their innovation activities in Israel. We leveraged numerous resources for the creation of this in-depth playbook, including Start-Up Nation Central’s sector analyses and insights from OurCrowd’s portfolio of more than 250 companies and network of over 1,000 MNCs.

While our main focus is to provide a practical and useful resource for those MNCs interested in learning more about POCs in the Israeli startup ecosystem, the guide also contains information intended to assist their potential partners – the very startups seeking to apply their technological solutions, address real-world needs, and prove their value.


Only 10-25% of POCs result in full-scale commercial implementation


Companies in SNCs and OurCrowd's portfolio


MNCs in the network

| Keys to success

In order to successfully collaborate with startups in the Israeli ecosystem, it is absolutely essential to have a clear understanding and definition of your organization’s unmet needs. If your company is not clear about what its specific goals and pain points are, then it will be difficult to know what you are looking for in a potential partner, and nearly impossible to communicate your needs to them effectively.

The next critical step is to properly prepare for the initial meetings between the teams. The obvious cultural differences between Israel and North America or Europe can seem almost insurmountable to the unprepared; however, with a little background knowledge of modern Israeli society, navigating the unique lateral hierarchy of Israeli corporate structure can actually be quite comfortable and efficient.

Selecting the right corporate champion for the POC is another key action item; this person will serve as a crucial link between the open innovation teams and the corporate suite, facilitating communication and helping all the parties to align their mutual expectations. The champion must truly invest themself in the POC and commit themself to supporting and empowering the open innovation team.

The next step is formulating a feasible collaboration model, defining targets, timelines, and KPIs, establishing governance guidelines, compiling data, and all the other technical aspects of running a POC. After launching the project, the champion and the innovation teams will want to closely monitor its progress and analyze all available metrics, KPIs, and benchmarks.

“A POC has a better chance of success when the corporation views the solution as a complete strategy and not just a technological remedy for one specific problem.”

Dor Haim, Vice President, Global Customer Operations, Nintex Kryon


| Overcoming obstacles

As with any well-laid plans, of course, POCs are subject to unforeseen obstacles that can vary dramatically in their nature and potential for adverse impact on the project. Therefore, the guidebook includes a section dedicated to exploring a variety of possible scenarios that may arise in specific industry sectors; for each sector, we have compiled a brief list of key guidelines to help your team navigate these potential hazards and pitfalls.

Lastly, though certainly not least of all, the final chapter deals with formulating a comprehensive legal strategy for your POC in order to minimize your risks and legal exposure while securing the upside through a solid understanding of how Intellectual Property works and how your company can best position itself.

Even within the same business culture on the same continent, the differences between large corporations and startup companies are numerous and significant. Collaboration between two such organizations requires effective communication and mutual understanding; even more so when the parties represent two entirely different cultures from opposite points on the globe.

It is for this reason that we have developed this comprehensive guidebook, based on realworld
experience – to continue cultivating a global ecosystem of innovation and progress through successful collaborations.

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