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Establishing an Innovation Partnership Ecosystem


Bolton Clarke is a not-for-profit provider of independent living services through at-home care, retirement living and residential aged care. They have been on an innovation journey over the past few years, successfully rolling out products such as InTouch and the Buddy App, and the implementation of an Innovation Hub, ‘Sprout’, to further allow Bolton Clarke to harness and improve its internal digital and innovation capabilities. The opportunity now for Bolton Clarke is to demonstrate its commitment to innovation by establishing a robust framework for partnering with (and potentially investing in) start-ups to ensure that significant value is delivered to Bolton Clarke.


Provide strategic and financial support to start-ups and early-stage companies that are aligned with Bolton Clarke’s purpose of helping people live a life of fulfilment.

The Strategy Group provided assistance in identifying and evaluating potential start-ups to partner with, conducting adequate screening and vetting to make recommendations to Bolton Clarke. The framework consists of the following four key stages:

  1. Sourcing: Build an ecosystem of start-ups to reach out and assess that meet Bolton Clarke’s needs through online market scans, going to events/conferences and through networks.
  2. Vetting: Assess potential start-ups for partnership based on the following criteria – strategic fit with Bolton Clarke, market attractiveness, business potential, team pedigree and financials & ROI.
  3. Engagement: Conduct thorough due diligence with vetted start-ups and negotiate terms of engagement.
  4. Monitoring: Once partnership is finalised, track and analyse the engagement with the start-up, ensuring KPIs are achieved and benefits are derived for Bolton Clarke.

The outcomes of the project included the following:
•A clear process to follow to source, vet, engage and monitor start-ups
•A pipeline of potential engagement opportunities that has been sourced for their potential for partnership and investment
•A deeper understanding of the aged care and technology market
•Engagements made that align to the ecosystem’s purpose and objectives
•Potential for financial and strategic returns

 A clear framework was established that allows Bolton Clarke to effectively assess and partner with start-ups to deliver real value to their customers.

Design solutions that shatter assumptions, delight customers, and define growth possibilities sustainably

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