Experts agree. Innovation is bred by bringing together diverse ways of thinking. To solve climate change—the fundamental challenge of our time—we’ll need an equally imaginative mix of existing and leading-edge technologies.
That’s why we developed Innovation at the Edge.
Innovation at the Edge is where internal and external innovation converge, bringing together our internal teams and external companies to blaze a path to a net-zero world. We partner, invest and incubate start-ups through our corporate venture capital (VC) fund, SE Ventures.
What does it mean to innovate at the edge?
At Schneider Electric, there’s no shortage of talent and expertise laser-focused on developing the technologies that transformed us from a hardware company to the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and industrial automation. This is what we call innovation at the core.
But we also appreciate that research and development (R&D) is just one approach. To reach new heights of innovation, we must draw on the creativity and expertise of the outside world. That’s where SE Ventures comes in.
Through SE Ventures, we incubate and invest in start-ups creating new technologies and business models to complement our current portfolio and to explore cutting-edge technology and trends that could disrupt traditional business models in the future. That’s what we mean by Innovation at the Edge.
We have invested in and guided hundreds of start-ups to accelerate developments in energy management, electric mobility, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, Electricity 4.0 and Industry 4.0. We invest globally in disruptive innovators aligned with our goals and purpose, seeking new applications and creating markets to move from invention to innovation.
We know to solve the climate crisis, the world must become more sustainable, digital, and electric. We also know the technologies exist today, but we have to move faster. Therefore, we pursue combinations of climate technologies that address this challenge, and initiatives and business models to speed their deployment.
Present and pending crises around energy, economy and climate are profound. There’s never been a greater need for transformation, which is why we’re doubling down on our commitment to finding bold solutions by launching our second €500 million Fund II—bringing SE Ventures to €1billion of committed capital.
Nurturing a Culture of Innovation
The advantage corporations like Schneider Electric have in venture capital is intimate market knowledge and proximity to customers. But genuinely disruptive technology could take years to hit the market.
That’s why we nourish a culture that recognizes and celebrates innovation. A culture that welcomes new ideas allows us to consider new perspectives inside and outside the organization, watching for those unusual combinations that can kindle revolutionary ideas.
When we encounter start-ups that present solutions to unsolved challenges, we work closely with our internal business units to help us establish a strategic fit. While SE Ventures’ decisions are independent, internal collaboration and driving synergies is key to our success.
Working with start-ups
Start-ups make attractive investment options because of their ability to take risks and pivot much faster than many larger corporations. These investments can present any combination of potential financial gains, chances for direct synergies with the larger corporation, or as proof of viability for novel concepts.
Through an experienced team of investors and operators with a deep network of founders, VCs and industry experts, we offer resources during the conception, development, production, and go-to-market stages of growth. Led by Global Head and Managing Partner, Amit Chaturvedy and a senior team with over 40 years of collective experience across start-ups and corporate business development, the SE Ventures team takes an outcome-oriented approach to progress. We work with each company to explore commercial relationships with our businesses, customers and partners while generating near-term value.
It can be a delicate balance to ensure these relationships are mutually beneficial. It’s the job of Innovation at the Edge to know when to provide guidance and resources, and when to step back and allow start-ups room to operate. Start-ups are often different from corporations in both structure and culture, and the ability to maneuver and respect those differences gives us both the best chance to thrive.
In our quest to uncover technological breakthroughs and value creation for our businesses and customers, we empower our teams to take risks and move fast. We don’t fear failure. We learn from it, building on the experience to create future success. There is no shortage of creativity, ingenuity, or imagination outside or within the company. And while necessity may be the mother of invention, innovation relies on an extended ecosystem to flourish.