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Hitachi in the U.S.A.Hitachi in the U.S.A.

Disrupting Inside-Out: Incubation with Mach49

(Published 25 August, 2021)

Contributing to social innovation is the mission for Hitachi R&D. R&D tackles the society’s challenges with innovative solutions to accelerate digital transformation. Early this year, in a collaboration with innovation incubator - Mach49, Hitachi America R&D experimented the venture creation through a 12-week incubation journey to build concepts driving disruptive growth.

George Saikalis, Ph.D. Head of Global Planning Management Center of R&D, Hitachi Ltd. and Vice President of R&D, Hitachi America, Ltd., introduced the collaboration at the webinar “Digital Innovation from Silicon Valley for Japanese Companies” hosted by Mach49 Singapore on July 14th, 2021.

Many businesses are facing challenges such as how to validate the needs of customers, what the actual customer voices are, how to enter the market and how to create the values for customers. Entering the market rapidly is critical, and a transformative shift in disruptive emerging area is the key to success. On the other hand, for the solution providers, how to do it fast, how to ensure that customers want the digital solutions or services, and how to create the solutions or services scalable to deliver the best value are the challenges.

Mach49 has strong experience in launching ventures and building incubators. Partnering with Mach49, George led the Hitachi America R&D team focusing on “Incubation” stage. The full incubation process consisted of finding the customer pain points, determining the product/service and then designing business. This process allowed to effectively understand the real and unbiased pain points of the market and customers that Hitachi will eventually target. This provided a foundation to creating validated scalable solutions.

With Mach49 and Hitachi America R&D’s multi-disciplinary researchers who have deep technology background in data analytics, design thinking and business, the project was focused on finding potential customer pain points, validation through direct interviews. The interviews were conducted to validate customer pain points, clarity on customer segmentation, as well as validation of service value, opportunity framework and product vision, etc. During the interview process, pilot customers were also identified. This helped us to understand the details and the eco-system to be engaged in.

Our project studied and analyzed the customer development process based on different type of interviews such as pain point interviews, storyboard interviews and landing page interviews. From exploring the pain, to test the data that resonate the best, and finally test the desirability of the solution concept.

The pain points were analyzed in a structured way. It’s the critical step to understand what needs to be resolved. To make sense of the finding, the team went through internal scoring of the pain points. They mapped these pain points by frequency and pain intensity. These pains and customer insights became the foundation for creating the innovative concept and appropriate business model. This provided the foundation to further discuss the go-to-market strategy with business experts.

Innovating and creating the agile concepts, as well as understanding the voice of customers and their pain points are the keys to craft digital solutions that can be scaled. Mach49’s venture creation methodologies highlighted as “Design Thinking”, “Lean Startup”, “Disruptive Innovation”, “Open Innovation” and “Agile Methodologies” enable determining where customers have challenges that need to be solved. It also provides the flexibility and freedom to creatively and quickly ideate solutions to address those challenges.

This project increased the maturity of the studies and helped gaining deeper insights of customer needs. It strengthened the Hitachi America R&D team’s data analytics skills to build concepts driving disruptive growth and accelerate digital transformation.

To learn more, please contact us at https://www.hitachi.us/rd/contact-us/.