July 17, 2023
July 17, 2023

Innovation Jargon you need to know

If you're looking to enter the innovation world as a corporate, here are the words you need to know

Want to get your team talking digital transformation? We've got you covered.

Understanding innovation lingo can be confusing, don’t worry we've got you covered

Innovation Process

If you're wanting to understand some of the processes involved in innovation methods this is a good place to start.

Innovation roadmap

An innovation roadmap is a long term strategic plan for corporate innovation strategy, built to help organizations track their goals, progress and outcomes.

Start-up scouting

Start-up scouting is doing market research on what start-ups are out there that could potentially solve your problem. This is usually broken into two sides: inbound and outbound scouting. Outbound scouting consists of doing desk research and reaching out to companies directly, speaking to the venture capital ecosystem and getting referrals. Inbound is running 'open calls' which are marketing campaigns signposting your problem to the ecosystem and getting people to apply to you.

Proof of concept or POC

POC is a small scale trial of the technology before considering a more long-term commercial contract. Corporates will often run a POC with a start-up to test the solutions effectiveness. 

Good POCs are established with clear goals in mind.

Go to market or GTM

Wayra helps b2c start-ups go to market once they have completed a POC. This is a plan of how a company will deliver its value proposition to customers and take their product or service to the market. This will include actions, sales plans, timeline and audience. 


Scaling often refers to either a start-up growing, a technology being implemented in more locations or markets.

Innovation method

This is our method of working with corporates and start-ups for mutual benefit. You can read more about our method here.

Innovation types

There are a couple of different types of innovation, these are the main ones you need to know:

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is often the generally desired outcome of 'innovation; (although not the only one). It’s the use of new technology to improve how we do things, often changing how companies operate and improving the quality of services they provide.

Read more about  driving digital transformation in healthcare.

Innovation theatre

Innovation theatre is the term we use for innovation initiatives that go nowhere, meaning they produce no tangible impact, no long term business relationship and ultimately have very little output. This is often used for programmes focused on marketing purposes more than they are actual innovation and results (Our least favourite type of innovation).

Closed innovation

Closed innovation is when an organization develops new products or technologies internally without collaborating with external parties. The organization controls the entire end-to-end innovation process, from idea generation to product development to commercialization. A closed innovation approach allows an organization to maintain intellectual property protection and competitive advantage. However, it can limit the organization’s innovation process if there is a lack of diverse perspectives and resources which can be gained from open innovation.

Open innovation

Open innovation is a collaborative approach to innovation where different organizations work together for mutual benefit. Widening the scope of innovation, open innovation is about looking outwardly to transform internally.

“Open innovation argues that the future belongs to those who do the best job of integrating the best of their internal ideas and capabilities with the best external ideas and capabilities.”

-Henry Chesbrough

Corporate innovation

Corporate innovation is where corporations use methods of innovation to solve problems within their business and build innovation into their business strategy.

Innovation culture 

Innovation culture is about having an innovation-minded way of working, agile mentality, and an understanding of innovation practices (like by reading this article). It's about embracing change and external technologies. Innovation culture is something that has to be intentionally fostered within businesses and is an important ingredient to make your innovation successful from the outset. Having good technology is never enough, you need a matching internal culture to embrace the innovative tools.

Innovation ecosystem

Innovation ecosystem

The innovation ecosystem is the network of collaborators who benefit from and engage  innovation. The main groups involved are: founders/start-ups, corporates, governments and councils, mentors, universities, VCs and CVCs. 


A start up in Wayra's definition is not just an early stage company but a company that can have been around for 2-5 years at least and has a proven product market fit. At Wayra UK we often refer to companies that are actually scale-ups as start-ups because it is easier to avoid confusing people by throwing scale-ups into the mix. 


Scale-ups are companies that have matured from start-up stage. They have often secured a few rounds of funding, have a proven product-market fit and are growing fast. As guidelines scale up companies will have earned at least 500k in revenue and are ready to scale their operations.

Corporate or corporation

Corporates are large established companies or organizations that operate in multiple industries and sectors, and are often multinational. Typically they are established companies that have access to resources and capital but may face challenges in adapting to rapidly changing market dynamics and innovation.

Chief innovation officer or CIO

This is the person within a corporation that is responsible for creating the innovation strategy and nurturing innovation culture in the business.

Business units

A business unit is a self-contained division or segment within the corporation that operates independently and has specific products, services, or market segments. Business units typically have their own goals, strategies, and resources, and are responsible for generating revenue and managing their own operations. In a Telco for instance you might have: Consumer Wireless, Business Connectivity, Home Broadband, Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions, Wholesale and Carrier Services.


We use “Telco” to refer to companies in the telecommunications space/industry such as VMO2 and Telefónica.

Venture capital or VC

Venture capital organizations invest funds into early-stage or high-growth companies with the aim of generating substantial returns on investment, typically in exchange for equity or ownership in the company. VC plays a crucial role in funding and supporting innovative startups and entrepreneurial ventures.

Corporate venture capital or CVC

CVC functions similarly to VC only CVC’s are owned by an established corporation and invest corporate funds. CVC’s enable corporations to invest in early-stage or start-up companies in order to gain strategic and financial benefits. It enables corporations to access innovative ideas, technologies, and market opportunities outside their core business. CVC also gives corporations the opportunity to access new technologies and stay ahead of the game.



Start-ups are often referred to as being agile for their ability to move quickly and adapt. The internal process and inertia of corporations holds them back from being agile.


This often refers to how long a start-up company has left before they run out of funding.

Minimum viable product or MVP

An MVP is the early version of a product with just enough features to work effectively. The purpose of MVP is to avoid unnecessary work before you have fully tested and proven that the business idea has product-market-fit. The idea is to learn from early adopters of the technology so that you know what direction to build instead of rebuilding.

Minimum desirable product or MDP

This is a product that meets the minimum requirements but with a built out UI for satisfying customer experience.

Minimum Lovable Product or MLP

This is the minimum level of product that customers will need to love a product from the start

Technology readiness level or TRL

This is a framework for start-ups to estimate the maturity level of their solutions and services. The maturity of companies that Wayra scouts for are often level 9 companies that are ready to implement their solution with corporates or have scale potential.

Product market fit

Product-market fit is the alignment between a product or service and the target market's needs and preferences, effectively addressing the customers' pain points or requirements.

Amazon/Apple has a good product market fit with its target audience, as evidenced by high demand, positive customer feedback, and strong sales growth. 

FIT - if a company has FIT it means that it has a service or product that has fit with a particular corporation in mind. For example Quidini has FIT with Telefónica.

Business case 

A business case is a document that outlines the rationale for the business venture’ including research, analysis, risks and expected results of the business venture. Business cases have to be comprehensive and justify or evaluate the undertaking of a project. These are often built by start-ups to aid their pitch to corporate companies.

Value added services or VAS 

Is extra perks that a consumer can get with a product or service. The idea of value added services is to make the product or service more appealing to consumers with extra features or support, therefore making the product offer more competitive. Sometimes start-up innovations can give value added services to corporate products.

Business development or BD

Business development refers to the strategies and processes put in place by the company to improve the performance of the business and to achieve growth. Innovation is a part of business development.


Open Application Programming Interface or Open API

Open API is when part of a company's application can be accessed publicly and used by other organizations.

A basic example of Open API is the Google Maps API. The Google Maps API allows developers to integrate various map-related functionalities into their own applications, websites, or services. It provides access to features such as interactive maps, geocoding (converting addresses to geographic coordinates), routing (finding directions between locations), and displaying points of interest.

Open APIs play a significant role in driving innovation, encouraging Collaboration and Integration, giving small organizations access to resources and enabling the rapid prototyping of ideas.

Open data platform

With the same ideology as open innovation an open data platform is about sharing data for collaboration.


Data is something corporations have a lot of and start-ups lack but need.

Technology adoption lifecycle

The technology adoption lifecycle is a series of stages that represent how new technology struggles to be widely adopted in the mainstream market. The stages are: Innovators, Early adopters, pragmatists, conservatives, skeptics. There tends to be a large gap between the early adopters and the mainstream market.

If your want to learn more about innovation and test out your innovation jargon get in contact with us here.

Related Articles

Telefónica uses first and third-party cookies for analytical, personalization purposes and for advertising based on a profile of your browsing habits (for example, pages visited). You can accept all cookies by clicking "Accept all and continue". You can configure or reject their use by clicking "Configure / Reject cookies". For more detailed information, see our Cookies Policy