The lab of tomorrow is a business development programme to solve specific challenges in emerging markets. It inspires European and local businesses to jointly create new products and services that generate long-term impact on the ground. Lab of tomorrow programmes can be implemented to solve challenges in various sectors. Past programmes have dealt with topics such as health care, energy provision or biodiversity protection. So far we implemented lot programmes in African, Asian, South-East European and Latin American countries and we are open to address all emerging markets.
With the help of our colleagues and partners in emerging markets, we constantly work to identify business opportunities with development impact. After defining the unmet user needs, the preliminary challenge is published on our website and we start looking for the best possible teams to solve these challenges.
Anyone from the private sector, the public sector and civil society organisations can participate in our lot programmes. Ideal participants are committed to invest time and resources, have an entrepreneurial mindset and a hands-on attitude and are open to co-creation methods. After application we carefully select participants and form teams with members whose experiences complement each other.
As a business representative, the lab of tomorrow is your opportunity to expand your product portfolio and access emerging markets together with new business partners! The results are viable new ventures owned and driven by you. We support you with business case sourcing and match you with ideal local and international companies in versatile teams. You also benefit from accessing our partner networks.
If you are from the public sector or the civil society, you can strengthen cooperation with local and European companies, attract foreign investment and drive innovation. You can use insights and outcomes from the programme to tackle specific SDG challenges.
Once the business potential of each challenge is sufficiently clear, we open the application process. To participate in the Ideation Sprint you need to fill out the application form on the respective challenge page. With your application on the website, you simply express your interest in participating in a specific lot programme. If your application is approved, we will then ask you to confirm your participation. Only the most suitable and promising candidates will be contacted.
If you need to cancel your participation at short notice, we kindly ask you to nominate a substitute from within your company who will be able to participate.
The design of our Ideation Sprint requires that all participants are present throughout the whole Sprint. An absence for even a couple of hours could impair the outcome. However, if you are participating as an investor, topic expert or public sector representative, your presence might only be mandatory at selected time slots. The lot team will provide you with further information.
Once you confirmed your participation, you are only committed to participating in the Ideation Sprint. After the Sprint, each participant can decide whether he or she wants to continue working on the idea with the team. However, if a team applies for the incubation phase, it must be committed to advancing its business solution.
In general, it is not possible to join a running innovation programme as the teams are already established and roles and responsibilities have already been assigned for the project. However, if you have a strong interest in one of our ongoing programmes, please contact us and we will figure out if it is still possible to integrate you into the work of one of the teams.
For each lot programme it is decided individually whether a participation fee is due for the participants. The decisive factor here is, among others, whether the Ideation Sprint is conducted virtually or on site in the partner country. Travel and accommodation costs must always be covered by participating companies, regardless of whether there is a participation fee or not.
When defining the challenge for an lot programme we undertake user-centred research, including field interviews, to ensure that we fully understand the users’ needs and underlying causes. This information is then consolidated into a so-called ‘Insights Report’ shared on our website and with all confirmed participants before the Ideation Sprint. We invite you to throughly read the Insights Report and to already reach out to us if you have questions.
All our participants are carefully selected based on their previous experience. We form complementary teams that will each work on a common business opportunity. A team comprises approximately four to six participants from Europe and the emerging market. The team members usually have diverse backgrounds and expertise in order to stimulate synergies and co-creation. Each team will be guided by a professional coach through the Ideation Sprint.
Neither the lab of tomorrow, GIZ nor BMZ own the ideas that are being developed. Until a product or service is market-ready, and a company is registered, each team compiles its own memorandum of understanding to clarify the rights and obligations of the team members.
The teams should be willing to invest the resources necessary to take their business model forward in the partner country. Together with our network of investors, mentors, accelerators and partners, we will help you test your business model in the field.
If you are interested in a partnership with the lot, please contact us via email@example.com. We are always on the lookout for companies and organizations that want to help us address development challenges.
In order to check if a challenge you have in mind in suitable for a lot programme, please take our our challenge quiz. If the lot is a suitable tool for tackeling your challenge you can share the information with us directly.
As an initiator, You provide the initial spark. you identify the unmet needs with business potential and select the development challenge. During the programme you act as project manager: you steer the programme and bring in all the people necessary for success. Among others this entails to activate the private sector to develop impact-driven businesses to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In lot programmes, the private sector creates new products or services that tackle opportunities for sustainable business that are scaled independently from donor support. The impact created by these ventures goes beyond development cooperation project lifespans. Put differently, the lot is a mean for you to access private sector capital, innovation, implementation capacity and skills for self-sustaining development results. . At the same time you are strengthening the global partnership for development (SDG 17).
The cost for a lot programme varies significantly, depending on the scope of the challenge, the number of teams to be working on their business idea and the level of support that should be given to the teams. In general about 50% of a full-time staff member for approx. 6 months should be available at the initiating organisation.
To take a look at the ventures that resulted from previous lot programmes, please visit the venture section of our website: Ventures (lab-of-tomorrow.com). If you would like to know more about them as well as currently ongoing programmes, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.