Part Two: Don’t Innovate Alone
After the first participating company joined the Daily News Innovation Lab, I focused a lot of energy on supporting them. I wanted to make sure they were successful and getting access to the resources they needed. I wanted them to take advantage of the resources we had assembled for them.
I also started thinking about the next project. What would the next steps be?
But I made a mistake.
I was thinking about the Lab mentors and advisors, the amazing team of entrepreneurs, angels and VCs that we’d assembled, as resources for the startup company we had working in the Lab.
Which is correct, but not complete.
They were also there to support the Daily News Innovation Lab itself.
This became obvious when, after a few weeks, I saw one of the mentors and started talking things out.
And guess what?
I got amazing advice and support (again!). Suggestions on other companies to consider for the Lab. Ideas for programming and collaboration to make the experience better for the company we already had in-house. Ways to reconnect with the mentors and advisors themselves, and give them opportunities to connect with each other.This is what I learned: once you establish a team to support your project, use them! They are on board to help, so let them help. Get their ideas about where the program should go next. Use them as sounding boards.
I was so focused on looking forward that I forgot to look around.
That will not happen again.