Innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter. As a result, we must be agile and flexible in how we manage and budget our innovation projects. We orient ourselves toward the best-practice approaches used by innovative start-ups and successful companies, and to the latest findings from research and academia.
Portfolio and Innovation Board
The Portfolio & Innovation Board (PIB) plays a central role in managing our innovations. This Group-wide body ensures that we set the right priorities by identifying and selecting the innovation projects for our Group and deciding on the method of implementation. Our efforts are guided primarily by the Group strategy and we create full transparency across the Group regarding our investments in innovation.
Corporate Innovation Fund
Our Corporate Innovation Fund (CIF) is managed centrally by the PIB. Similar to a venture capital approach, the CIF offers all business and product ideas generated within the Group a flexible and results-oriented form of funding for a specific project phase. The provision of an innovation budget allows us, for example, to fund new innovation projects at short notice and with little red tape. Such financing is granted independently of annual planning periods, and therefore intensifies our focus on market and customer requirements. The only condition is that the new business and product ideas solve pertinent customer problems and support our strategy.
T&I Investment Committee
We established the Investment Committee to speed up investment decisions on our multi-year innovation priorities. Its objective is to act like an (internal) venture capitalist. The Investment Committee allocates funding according to success, similar to the approach used for start-ups and among venture capital investors, whereby raising new funding from capital investors is dependent on the venture’s performance. This gives us the flexibility we need when developing innovation topics and focuses efforts on success. Funding is made available for the next project phase only when specific outcomes that are relevant to our customers are achieved.
Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners
The investment management group Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners invests on behalf of Deutsche Telekom and other investors. DTCP invests in venture and growth capital and acquires companies in Europe, the United States, and Israel. Its investments are both financially and strategically motivated. DTCP also plays an active role in establishing business relations between the innovative portfolio companies, Deutsche Telekom, and other partner corporations, in order to create added value for all sides.
Advised by the T-Capital business area at Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, Deutsche Telekom – through the strategic investment fund Telekom Innovation Pool (TIP) – invests in and promotes business start-ups that have a strategic focus and support the Group’s long-term targets through collaboration with the respective business areas. The goal is to actively pursue long-term innovations for the Group, particularly in the areas of wireless infrastructure, cloud native computing, decentralized services, Internet of Things connectivity, and digital transformation. In 2022, TIP made four new corporate investments: Helium/Nova Labs (alternative network infrastructure for 5G and LoRa WAN), Prosimo (multi-cloud networking, automated application connectivity), Kinexon (IoT, precise object positioning, tracking, asset connectivity), and Ponto (regulated payment networking infrastructure).