Yesterday Nike announced the Nike+ Accelerator Program.
According to Nike ...
The program aims to leverage the success of the Nike+ platform to support digital innovation by connecting with companies that share Nike’s commitment to help people live more active lives.
Two years ago, PepsiCo started a similar model with their PepsiCo10
program. This program is an incubator program for global
startups. Once the startups have developed a product, they are paired with a PepsiCo brand to implement the product.
Nike is perhaps slightly different in that their program is very focused on the Nike+ platform.
With examples like PepsiCo and Nike, could we be witnessing the start of an entirely new model of innovation?
Picture this ... what if Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and Coke started their own accelerator programs (they certainly have the money to do it) and simply ended up hiring the team that creates their favourite idea? The other teams may go on to receive more funding or would have just been paid to go through a rigorous 3 month period of breaking things, learning fast and getting phenomenal guidance along the way.
There is no doubt that the model of an accelerator program is a brilliant one; however, Nike is now testing the model of an extremely focused accelerator program.
The results are yet to be known, but I'm sure Nike has struck some serious gold.