Emanuele Musa

: Apr 27, 2020

Looking for Partnership Looking for Consultant Looking for Extra EU Funds
About Me

Babele is a technology and consulting company, founded in 2013, which works in the fields of collective intelligence, business modeling and social impact. We have pioneered application of open strategies and collaborative business modeling, providing our products & services to universities, incubators, networks and corporations spread across 4 continents.

Our work is split in 3 activities:

;     Innovation Tools: we provide tailored online collaborative platforms to manage innovation programs and engage stakeholders effectively;

;     Innovation Programs: We help you build, launch and manage intrapreneurship, corporate innovation and startup acceleration programs;

;     Training and Education: We hold bootcamps and workshops on design thinking to Lean Startup, social business modeling, reinventing organizations and growth hacking

The mission of the company is to enable the participation and engagement of stakeholders (citizens, civil society and CSR driven companies, etc) in the strategy of social good projects.


1. Innovation Tools

Our digital platform is an all-in-one workspace to manage social impact development programs and engage stakeholders in strategic planning, online mentoring and peer-learning. It supports social innovators in the development of their strategy by combining open business modeling, with e-learning and crowd-mentoring. The platform is also used to run idea incubation, startup acceleration, and intrapreneurship programs.

Our clients are corporates, startup accelerators, universities, and development organizations spread across 4 continents. Our platform has hosted 50+ international innovation programs, held by:

Corporations: Ernst & Young, Caisse des Depots, Bosch, Chicco, Banca Transilvania, etc.

Incubators: The UN, Ashoka, British Council, Impact Booster, Rockstart Impact, Yunus & Youth, etc.

Universities: Copenhagen Business School, Berkeley University, Southampton, ESCE, Sao Paulo, etc.

…which have involved a network of +1500 ventures from 143 countries.

The uniqueness of the tool is that, instead of creating isolated silos for each innovation program, it provides a broad interconnected ecosystem, in which different networks can manage their private online environment, but they can also reach out to the other programs to borrow experts, share best practices and cross-pollinate ideas.

The theory of change is to prevent these programs to work in silos, so they can leverage the collective knowledge and resources of a global social innovation network.

This approach enables society to collaborate and solve the most urgent challenges of our time. Organizations, experts and ordinary citizens can take an active role in developing solutions for the greater good, by supporting social enterprises from all-over the world to build viable and sustainable business models, through crowd- mentoring and peer-learning.

Key functionalities of the platform are:

E-learning: you can customize your entrepreneurship program curriculum and create a tailored learning environment - that is aligned with the content of your program and workshops;

Projects' Directory: All the projects developed by the students / entrepreneurs are accessible from one place. They are organized by different criteria such geographical location, business sector, developmental stage, and Sustainable Development Goals. On top of this, administrators can create additional filtering criteria through a flexible tagging system.

Program managers can approve and reject new projects, after reviewing the information provided. Contributors can follow the projects that are relevant to them, track their progress and performance, and contribute when appropriate.

Assignment Submission: Teams follow a step-by-step framework to complete the program's and develop a fully formed social business model / impact strategy;

Online mentoring: Program managers can easily allocate corporate mentors and external experts to each social projects, who can share their feedback /coaching notes on the assignment and on the team progress & performance updates;

Shared Database: program managers have a directory of relevant links, files, docs, videos, and best practices which are integrated with GDrive and Dropbox, and allows for granular privacy access;

Program Coordination: Program managers can schedule the program assignments, set deadlines and automatic reminders. It is possible to run multiple programs at the same time.

Performance tracking: program managers can track the progress of teams and their mentors, as well as the results they achieve over time.

Community management: There are public and private settings to write posts, launch challenges, and create newsletters, while managing communication with all the stakeholders effectively.

Beyond providing the tool, we also help organizations to engage stakeholders by:

Developing an engagement and facilitation strategy that maximize results in terms of participants' engagement to the program;

Creating the user-guides to on-board innovators, mentors, experts, funders, etc.

Training administrators on how to use the platform, track KPIs and manage the community facilitation;

Uploading all your resources, documents, and best practices in the shared database;

Organizing all stakeholders in groups and creating the first projects' profiles, so it's easier for pilot-participants to get started using the tool.

A few case studies:

; United Nations SDSN (US)–  Investment Readiness Program (IRP)

The United Nations SDSN and BABELE have co-founded the IRP: a 3-months virtual accelerator program with the aim to support social entrepreneurs address their main common challenges:

Develop the skills needed to launch a successful social business;

Link them to a network of mentors, partners and peers that can further their objectives;

Leave them with a professional investment deck to raise funds from impact investors;

The program has been launched in 2017, and we are currently at its 3rd edition, having engaged 100+ entrepreneurs, experts, and investors from over 60 countries. All the program activities have been hosted in Babele: from business modeling to mentoring, up to the investment due diligence.

; Caisse des Dépots (France) –  Trophées de l’innovation

Between 2016 and 2019, Caisse des Depots, used the platform to submit ideas in an open innovation competition aimed at tackling social and environmental challenges. Over 5000 CDC employees formed teams, found relevant experts and invited them to support their solution, and refine the implementation strategy by tapping into the collective knowledge of colleagues spread across 3 countries. The best ideas were accelerated ( through the co-development of an implementation plan) and after a final screening, they were implemented, allowing everyone in the network to track the progress and performance of those in charge to bring it to life.

; Artsana (Italy) –  Chicco Innovation

The innovation team at Artsana, uses Babele to co-develop more sustainable baby-care products by engaging internal and external stakeholders in the process: experts, clients and colleagues from 7 countries, which usually are not involved in the new products’ conception. The innovation team has tailored the innovation framework to match its needs, run an ideation phase, incubate 5 ideas, and then select the one for which they co-created a detailed go to market strategy. The platform enabled a diverse network to validate assumptions based on their skills and roles.

; University of Southampton (UK) –  Social entrepreneurship course

At the University of Southampton, students are required to come with a social enterprise idea for the university, so they can tackle problems that are close to them, targeting people that are easy to reach and interview. They must build their business model in Babele and engage students from across the campus to help validate the projects' key assumptions. They must develop an MVP, find customers, and validate the existence of a market opportunity. The best proposals are supported by KPMG consultants, and a winning proposal gets seed-funding from the university for the implementation. Students have the opportunity to iterate their idea and pivot several times during the time of the course, experiencing the real work of an entrepreneur.

2. Innovation Programs

We unlock the innovation potential of leading organizations by applying processes that are validation-driven, result-oriented, and scalable. Our acceleration process was created together with leading accelerators, international universities and was enhanced by the learnings from supporting more than 1,000 corporate innovation teams and social enterprises. Our flagship programs are:

;     Startup accelerators: 3-6 months programs, which provide startups with entrepreneurship education, mentorship, advice, and resources to help them succeed, including a Demo Day to facilitate investment opportunities.

;   Intrapreneurship: 3-6 months program to co-develop and validate innovative strategies and business model, by engaging internal and external talent in an organized co-creation process. Such programs aim to develop a culture of innovation within the organization.

3. Other Activities

Babele is a mission driven social enterprise. We spend a great deal of time working on high-impact initiatives, aimed at solving humanity’s urgent challenges. Our projects include: a pre-accelerator program for Syrian refugees in the Greek island of Lesvos (for the development of social businesses with the local population), boot-camps with Save The Children to help young students co-create solutions against bullying at school, Participatory democracy projects with local communities, workshops to help corporate managers become social intrapreneurs, as well as our continued support to NGOs that are striving to become economically sustainable social enterprises.

Keywords and matching areas:

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Capacity Building
 Education and Training
 Culture and Development
 Business Management
 Project Planning
 Business Development

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