ThoughtWorks, a global technology consultancy, has today introduced ThoughtWorks Ventures to enable accelerated innovation for organisations by helping them tap into three interconnected megatrends: the increase in trade between UK and China, the significant growth in technology start-ups entering a crowded market, and the digital transformation of cities and communities.
With a mandate to advance social and economic growth on a global scale, ThoughtWorks Ventures offers the Access China, Investing in Innovation and Digital Cities programmes to help organisations navigate the global megatrends from theory through to strategic implementation, using technology. Group Director of Ventures, Mark Collin, and Strategy Director of Ventures, Marina Nicholas, lead ThoughtWorks Ventures across Europe.
"We are at an amazing juncture for ThoughtWorks globally. The launch of ThoughtWorks Ventures is yet another example of ThoughtWorks’ unparalleled leadership in driving technology innovation into the centre of business and social ecosystems globally," said Chris Murphy, Group Managing Director of ThoughtWorks across Europe, the Middle-East and South Asia.
ThoughtWorks Ventures’ three key initiatives will help individual companies to successfully accelerate innovation and gain connectivity to a much wider ecosystem:
Access China Programme
Access China is dedicated to strengthening the ever-increasing trade cycle between the UK and China, with a focus on helping Western brands engage Chinese consumers – the most digitally advanced consumers in the world – both overseas and in the UK. The programme also helps businesses learn from China’s advanced innovation ecosystem, which has fostered some of the most powerful brands in China. ThoughtWorks has partnered with the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and Manchester China Forum, and recently helped Myer, a leading Australian department store, attract Chinese tourists with a 10-week ‘Discover China’ pilot.
Investing in Innovation Programme
ThoughtWorks is experienced in helping both start-ups and enterprises accelerate innovation and bring new products to market, working with Labrador on its IoT powered home energy saver, and John Lewis Ventures. ThoughtWorks expands this offering through Investing in Innovation – set to be the UK’s first bespoke full-service software driven accelerator. The programme offers everything from business and product strategy expertise, custom software delivery, networking opportunities, office space and funding options. Being strategically positioned between start-ups and enterprises, ThoughtWorks Ventures focuses on increasing connectivity between these ecosystems; ensuring that start-ups have a stronger chance to survive and enterprises can tap into much greater innovation.
Additionally, ThoughtWorks Ventures has partnered with Wayra UK, a world leading start-up accelerator, and is calling for start-ups in the transportation sector to apply for the first wave of its Intelligent Mobility Challenge.
Digital Cities Programme
Digital Cities is designed to assist organisations in addressing the gap between digital cities strategies and implementation. ThoughtWorks’ City as a Platform (CaaP) model helps organisations come together to create a secure, open data platform that amplifies innovation, and ThoughtWorks is collaborating with enterprises, government, not-for-profits and start-ups to bring this vision to life.
ThoughtWorks has a wealth of experience in helping cities digitally transform and is already a key digital player in Manchester, underscored by its recent partnership with Northern Powerhouse, which seeks to encapsulate the spirit of collaborative working and transform the North for the better.
ThoughtWorks has also invested in the new state of the art Technology Innovation Hub in Federation House, joining The Co-operative Group in the burgeoning technology movement in the heart of the City. This is a fundamental part of ThoughtWorks’ Catalyst Strategy to bring together talent and investment to support Manchester’s digital city growth following the recent successes with Digitising the Citizen Experience for Stockport MBC.
Beginning in Manchester, ThoughtWorks Ventures has plans to expand the Digital Cities Programme to Barcelona and other key cities in the future.
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