Innovation stories

Successes and failures

Where innovation is concerned, success and failure go hand in hand. The same principle applies to VNTR | Innovation & Venturing by PostFinance. That’s why we shine a light on both our successes and failures: the projects that got off to a flying start and those that never even get off the ground. You can learn all about it on this page and in the failbook and the successbook.

Success

Success stories in the field of innovation usually don’t happen overnight, nor do they always go as planned either. As such, in this context, “success” is all about how you define it (for the record, innovation, in a business context, is defined as follows: “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay”.) Can you say you’ve been successful once your business idea has been brought to market, or can you only talk of success when you’ve accomplished your business plan? What is certain is that innovation successes should contribute towards increasing customer benefit, meeting the customer’s needs and so to resolving current or future problems. This, in turn, safeguards the future of our company, and paves the way for future income. We have decided to include innovation success stories from all sorts of different backgrounds, and which are at different stages. We then plan on updating and redefining these on a regular basis. Our focus is on horizon 3 of the innovation projects.

The following innovation projects have successfully completed the innovation process in VNTR:

Ormera

First comes the employee idea, then open innovation with other corporates (Energie Wasser Bern, ABB), culminating in a viable business model on the energy market as a company builder. Linking new legal frameworks in the Energy Act to solutions provided by technologies, such as IoT and blockchain technology. Ormera is currently in the accelerator phase.

Tilbago 2.0

“Smart online payment collection solution (robo payment collection)”
From the needs of the debt collection market and new legal possibilities to an independent start-up with an automated, state-of-the-art debt collection platform. Winner of an award for the most exemplary partnership between an innovation department of a corporate and a startup (2019).

Blockchain infrastructure

Development of a joint blockchain infrastructure and a range of products and services from Swiss Post and Swisscom. There are established applications running on this infrastructure, but it is also available for proof of concept.

PostFinance car insurance

A “yellow” motor vehicle insurance product was developed in collaboration with the start-up TONI Digital Insurance Solutions AG.

TWINT

The original start-up set up by PostFinance is today the best-known cashless payment system for smartphones in Switzerland.

Valuu

All sorts of ideas for the real estate sector (Proptech) were tested during the innovation process before the mortgage brokering platform Valuu came into being. This platform helps people find the best financing solution for their home, regardless of time or place, and compares mortgages from various different reputable providers.

VNTR

VNTR itself is an innovation story in its own right. It was set up to support the launch of internal business ideas. Among other things, VNTR today stands for open innovation at PostFinance – a philosophy that recognizes future topics, makes them tangible and drives them forward.

Failures

When it comes to innovation, failure is not a negative side effect that must be avoided at all costs. Instead, it’s about failing – not for the sake of it – but rather to learn from the process. The lessons we learn can then prompt us to make changes or to stop doing certain things entirely, but in a short space of time and with limited resources. Regular, rapid learning provides the basis for successful innovation in future. To help us learn from the innovation projects that never saw the light of day, we have reflected on all our failures over recent financial years and summarized them – as well as our successes – in a book (see the information box), so that others can benefit from this knowledge too.

Successbook and failbook: for anyone with a vision

VNTR has brought everything together in two books: the promising successes that are now paving the way for the future and the exciting business ideas that were cast aside at an early stage and considered failures. Published by vatter&vatter, both the successbook and the failbook offer inspiring reading for anyone with a vision – and for anyone who deals with the concept of innovation in any way. In addition to case studies relating to innovation, the books include specialist contributions from experts in Switzerland and around the world as well as fascinating insights into innovation work.

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