Corporate innovation
The Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship Center

Innovation and entrepreneurship pose demanding challenges to large corporates. The Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship Center (ICE), jointly founded by B4i and SDA Bocconi, is a catalyst for research, training and business support. It aims to boost the entrepreneurial energy of corporates, while also supporting them managing the firm and the sources of uncertainty in the market to reduce the barriers to innovation.

We help Corporations

A set of customizable services are available for both individuals and corporate teams to support and boost the identification and development of innovation opportunities.

Following ad hoc preliminary meetings, ICE typically offers a tailored pathway to understand and tackle the major innovation challenges the corporate client is facing. The current offering aims to provide corporates with information about best practices, business and technology trends, while also putting them in contact with early-stage business ideas and startups to investigate business development opportunities.

The Innovation Journey

While every company requires a certain level of customization of the Innovation Journey, it may follow some common steps.




StageUnderstanding of Innovation challenges
Issues How does technology change the competitive landscape?How should we respond to that?
TouchpointsCase study
B4i Experts Club
B4i Innovation Concierge
Bocconi Innovation Forum
StageDefinition of Innovation sandbox
Issues What type of innovation do we need?How do we organize for innovation?
TouchpointsInnovation workshop
Innovation contest
Stage Idea collection
Issues What are the most promising ideas inside and outside the firm?How do they generate value?
Touchpoints Startup Radar
Investment Decision
Stage Invention
Issues How does the prototype of the new service/product look like?Should we create a startup?
TouchpointsDesign Doing
Innovation Governance
Stage Commercialization
Issues How do we introduce the product in the market?
TouchpointsB4i Acceleration

Case study

Case studies are particularly useful to understand a company and they become flexible instruments for future strategy developments and training programs. The Faculty at SDA Bocconi has a track record of business cases that later supported the development of fruitful projects, such as corporate Academy programs.


Innovation workshop

Based on a firm’s strategy (and ideally its case study), the Innovation workshop points to develop an innovation strategy, i.e. a plan to grow revenues and/or profits by creating new products, services and business lines.


Innovation contest

Innovation contests are calls for ideas addressed to the client’s employees on specific topics selected by the top management together with ICE. The objective of an innovation contest is to unleash the company’s and the employees’ innovation potential, boosting engagement internally and scouting high-potential innovation opportunities.

Typically the outputs of an Innovation contest include:

  • A pool of ideas based on deep industry knowledge
  • Increased engagement
  • Internal talent scouting

Startup Radar

Identifying and investigating startups can anticipate the major challenges a company will soon face. ICE developed a 2 steps methodology for a focused startup radar:

  1. the ecosystem analysis, aimed at identifying the disruptors (companies that thanks to innovative technology and/or business model have the potential of influencing the dynamic of the industry);
  2. the competitor intelligence, aimed at deeply understanding the disruptor model and how it could modify the ecosystem.

Pre-Acceleration program

Corporates with very early stage promising ideas can consider the corporate Pre-Acceleration, a crafted educational program aimed at creating complete product teams and taking them from a concept idea to a minimum viable product.
In a 10 modules program, ICE aims to transfer the main empirical skills needed to build successful innovation.


B4i Experts Club

Corporate clients are highly engaged in the Experts Club, an initiative launched with B4i institutional and research partners, including Politecnico di Milano, Università Statale di Milano, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Plug&Play and Henkel X.
The B4i Experts Club meets up regularly for virtual or face-to-face breakfast and happy hours, to informally discuss themes emerging across all B4i programs.


Bocconi Innovation Forum

BIF is the two-day annual conference organized by B4i and SDA Bocconi on grand challenges, technology and business innovation. BIF’s scope is to facilitate debate and idea generation among academics, researchers, corporations, startups and investors.
All corporates enrolled in ICE’s programs are invited to attend the Conference but also to contribute to its design and especially to the selection of the main underlying theme of each edition.

Contact us and we will be happy to give you more details about our services and their potential.