The SMEs involved found the process very useful…all found the exercises beneficial and will adopt the lessons learned.

-Marianna Digka
Innovation Senior Project Leader
TWI Global

A think project

TWI Global | Life’s A Pitch

Sector: Engineering & Design

Our brief: TWI Global delivered SME capability building as part of an ERDF funded programme called the Teesside Innovation Accelerator (TIA). 100%Open’s role focused on facilitating the growth of SMEs in the Tees Valley region through innovation, specifically delivering masterclass modules on the development of the fundamental human skills of critical thinking, lateral thinking and problem solving.


What we did: 100%Open collaborated with TWI Global to design and deliver a seamless user experience that spanned technical subjects such as managing intellectual property and prototyping and broader innovation leadership subjects. 100%Open focused on helping  businesses to create a strategic rationale and development plan for growth and to create a distinctive and collaborative business model around their innovation. We used the tried-and-tested 100%Open Innovation Toolkit brought to life in a process of ‘learning by doing’. In the Business Strategy module we featured the 100%Open Innovation Manifesto, the Unmet Need and Creativity Techniques, using collaboration to solve  each SME’s live business problems. In the Business Modelling module we helped SMEs co-create create distinctive and collaborative business models around their innovation using the Give|Get and Collaborative Business Canvas tools. The programme included 121 coaching as well as set piece workshops, enabling SMEs to develop their thinking, socialise it with colleagues and investors and iterate it. 

What happened: The Tyne Tees businesses varied from edutech, fintech and agri-food analytics to immigrant mentoring, chemicals and construction. Their products spanned apps, services and engineering. This diversity helped as people were more open than in single-sector workshops.  Also diversity breeds creativity and what 100%Open calls ‘business empathy’. Each of the dozen start-ups produced a clear innovation plan and business model that enabled them to pitch to investors in a coherent and compelling way.