We help companies that want to develop and grow their innovation capability. We’ll help you innovate with proven tools and methods that deliver both impact and results:
revenue growth by developing new or improved products and services
efficiency by making things simpler, faster and cheaper
customer experience by exploring new digital channels and ways of engaging customers
Our open approach is based on many years of experience leading and delivering innovation for a global FTSE100 technology company and for its key clients. Successful innovation in large companies can be challenging. We’ve learnt how to maximise downstreaming success resulting in more successful projects and at an accelerated rate.
We help you implement proven tools, methods and processes in your business that make innovation happen effectively. Whether that’s finding new technologies, working with startups, creating compelling propositions, demonstrators or showcases, running trials, driving collaboration and delivery success or measuring innovation value.
We can also help you equip and train your teams to become effective innovators and “intrapreneurs” and to build a thriving culture of innovation where innovation becomes self-sustaining and part of everyone’s day job.
We have a network of innovative delivery partner companies that can ensure whatever the nature of the innovation projects we help you create there is a downstream path to take you from concept to implementation and launch.
We know how hard it is to work with large companies and to get your product successfully “downstreamed”. Having driven startup innovation within a large technology company we understand the likely barriers and difficulties that need to be overcome.
Based on years of experience of bringing start-ups together with large companies we help you engage with target customers and translate your proposition into relevant industry use cases and benefits. We’ll also help you navigate complex organisational structures, pitch and deliver in a way that will maximise likely follow up and avoid wasting your time, resource and energy.
We can provide support, mentoring and coaching to help you drive your new venture forward. Our innovation services can help small companies progress and make innovation happen at pace.
“Helping you innovate effectively”
Finding and working with startups globally
For businesses that want to tap into the startup “buzz” of silicon valley and other global hi-tech hotspots like Tel Aviv and Tech City. Find, engage and work with new technologies and companies that solve your business needs and accelerate your opportunities.
Moving rapidly from concept to trial
For businesses that want to bring new ideas to life quickly, visualise and articulate concepts from a customer perspective, build working prototypes, trial with customers and iterate to find the winning solution.
Build the commercial case
For businesses who want to understand the commercial case for their innovations. Translate technology capabilities into business and customer language. Create a compelling proposition and pitch, articulate your USP, differentiation and customer benefits.
Innovation competitions, hackathons and workshops
For businesses that want to mobilise innovation into action and across complex organisational structures and boundaries. Drive collaboration within your organisation but and also with external partners, suppliers and customers. Find the best solutions, plan for success and drive into rapid delivery.
Measuring progress and value
For businesses that want to generate, evaluate and track the progress of innovative new concepts and ideas across multiple workstreams or programmes and measure the potential value to their business over time. Create an effective scorecard for innovation that provides prioritisation and delivery focus for your teams.
Training, mentoring & coaching
For businesses that want to create a working environment where everyone feels it is their role to innovate, bring new thinking and feels able to progress their ideas, test them out and get them delivered. Provide training and supporting tools to help your people become effective innovation champions and “intrapreneurs”.
“Delivering impact and results”
Soundbite: “Matt’s contribution is driving a step-change improvement to our proposition development work in Mitra.“
Kimberly Moss (Mitra CMO): I have to say that working with Matt was a truly great experience. Matt went above and beyond to ensure that both the requirements and deadlines we had set, were not just met but that they exceeded expectations. We were so impressed with the output of Matt’s initial project that we have since engaged with him on further opportunities that are well underway and going excellently. I couldn’t recommend Matt enough.
Soundbite: “VRtuoso were amazed by the quality and depth of the use cases DI generated for them and are now using them in their sales pitches to great effect generating new leads and helping customers relate the technology to their own business.”
Francesco Furnari (CEO VRtuoso) “The use case work produced by Downstream Innovation was totally amazing and delivered in record time! I was really impressed with the range and depth of research that Matt had done ensuring the use cases were realistic and really showed the power and USP of our product”
“Downstream also did an incredible job speaking with our corporate customers, understanding their customer experience and then produced an effective FAQ.”
As Head of Internal Innovation, Matt Lawson designs and leads the delivery of all the L Marks internal innovation programmes. Previously Director of Applied Innovation at BT, Matt is able to draw on over 20 years of experience bringing together diverse groups of technology and business experts to plan, structure and lead innovation events and programmes that are both exciting and engaging for participants and that also lead to downstream delivery plans and tangible business outcomes. New L Marks programmes include Sumitomo 0-1 Challenge which was designed by Matt and DPD Fusion which Matt both designed and lead.
UrbanScan are an exciting new 5G IOT company based in Israel. Downstream Innovation has been engaged to help with business development in the UK, identifying specific customer use cases for their technology and developing R&D collaboration opportunities with UK companies.
Gil Zwirn (CEO & Founder UrbanScan): “Matt joined UrbanScan as a strategic consultant a few months ago, and I must say he is head and shoulders above any other consultant I worked with over the last 20+ years. He combines deep knowledge of technology and R&D with extensive business experience, and his unique people skills and problem solving capabilities allow him to transform ideas into action. From the first day we felt that he was an integral part of the team, enthusiastically advancing our agreed upon agenda. I highly recommend Matt to any company in the IT, Telecom, or IoT sector that wishes to further advance its innovation and business activities.”
With the support of Downstream Innovation, UrbanScan has become a member of Innovation Martlesham and developed extensive engagements across BT and Openreach. Click here to find out more.
MoneyReady are an exciting new start-up offering fun, engaging and gamified financial education to primary and secondary school children. They will fill the current gap (lack of material and resources) schools face in delivering the financial education required by the national curriculum by providing a scalable platform that supports schools, teachers, parents and children.
Helen Driver (Founder MoneyReady): “Matt was an invaluable help when starting my business. He was quick to grasp the vision and concept, and was professional, thoughtful and thorough in his approach. Matt supported me to refine my proposition and produce a comprehensive, high quality technical specification, providing deep business and technological insight. The software developers and designers that Matt introduced me to all spoke highly of him, which further served to confirm the high regard in which Matt is held amongst his peers. Benefiting from Matt’s extensive knowledge, experience and network enabled me to take my business to its next stage of development with confidence. Thank you Matt.”
Matt Lawson (CEO Downstream Innovation) will be working for the CJBS executive education team supporting an innovation diploma programme for one of their global clients. The six-month programme guides participants through all aspects of innovation in large organisations in a series of six modules. The participants form teams at the start of the programme to deliver a practical innovation project from initial “need” to idea to business plan through to implementation and launch over the duration of the programme. Matt will be providing regular mentoring support to all of the teams guiding them through their practical projects and helping them apply the learning from the academic modules.
“It’s great to have Matt on board for this programme. He brings a wealth of practical experience in making innovation happen in organisations, both large and small. We believe he will be a great asset to the teams as they seek to apply their learning from the programme sessions to their own projects.” Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat, University Senior Lecturer in Innovation & Operations Management and Co-Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at CJBS.
Click here to find out more.
Proposition & Use Cases
prototype & trial
facilitation & training
mentoring & coaching
“I have worked with Matt for years and can confidently say that he is one of the most accomplished business people I have ever met. Matt provides both innovation inspiration and delivery excellence, which is a rare combination of skills. During his years managing innovation at BT, Matt has accumulated a wealth of information about what works and what doesn’t work when large and small companies try and break out of the mould to exploit new technology opportunities. One prominent quality of Matt is to deliver what he promises in a manner which inspires confidence at every checkpoint of every project. Altogether, I would say Matt is one of the most pragmatic and seasoned innovators I have met in my 25 year career.”
“Please follow the link for an INSEAD case study including Matts work for BT and the External Innovation team with Jean Marc. ”
“ Within Mitra, we hired Matt to help us with a proposition development challenge we’d been struggling with for a while. Matt made an immediate and positive impact. He took time and care to understand our company culture and way of working. This proved to be an essential prerequisite to ensuring the subsequent work fitted nicely into our business.”
Derek Bell, COO & Founder Mitra Innovation Ltd
“Trying to summarise Matt’s persona in a few words is the biggest challenge that I have ever had. Matt is a “Vulcan” of innovative ideas, processes, products, services, business, technologies, cultures.” “The use case work produced by Downstream Innovation was totally amazing and delivered in record time! I was really impressed with the range and depth of research done.”
Francesco Furnari, CEO & Founder VRtuoso Ltd
Matt Lawson (Msci Msc CEng MIET) is the Founder of Downstream Innovation and has over 20 years experience leading Innovation and R&D in one of the world’s leading Telecommunications and ICT companies. As Director of Applied Innovation he led the creation of BT’s Applied Technology Centre, transformed BT’s Hothouse and Innovation Showcases and provided new strategic direction to the Innovation Martlesham tech cluster. Prior to this he was Head of Multimedia Research as well as having experience in both project and programme management. Matt has recently taken on the role of Head of Internal Innovation at L Marks. He is also a certified leadership coach, experienced mentor and chartered engineer.
Our experienced team of innovation specialists available to support you on whatever innovation opportunity you are exploring.
Mick Gill is an experienced business manager; professionally qualified as an Engineer and Trainer. Also qualified as a consultant and coach, with a proven background in leadership, change management and organisation development. He has significant experience working with technology and innovation as well as business performance improvement. He has worked with both large and small organisations across the private, public and third sectors. Competent as a facilitator and problem solver he demonstrates strong interpersonal skills with business values that ensure he and others succeed in achieving desired goals.
Mike Hodgson has vast experience of delivering corporate innovation and working with startups. During his career at BT he was Director of BT’s Israeli technology scouting programme and was responsible for leading BT Global Services innovation programme and engaging with their multinational clients around the world. As well as working with Downstream Innovation Mike is CEO and founder of Silverback Consultants, a company which focusses on bridging the gap between start-ups and the corporate world. Mike provides advice, business development and where required a UK presence for start-up clients. Mike is an advisor to two VC’s as well as to a global Innovation services business where he has helped to shape the company’s innovation services strategy and portfolio. He is also an Associate Partner at Cambridge Management Consultants.
Richard Jacobs has over 30 years’ experience in technology-based systems and software development across the telecoms and defence sectors. This includes the evolution and leadership of BT’s multimedia research programme. He has extensive experience in leading, building and coaching large research and innovation teams. As a steering board member for the NEM (Networked Electronic Media) Initiative, he has worked collaboratively with many European partners to define priorities in the EU audio-visual research programme. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a recipient of the IEE Innovation in Engineering Award, and holds a number of patents.
Kevin Woollard has more than 10 years leadership experience in technology and research management, science park operations and R&D collaboration between industry, academia and government. In his previous role as Director of Research Engagement & Operations at BT he was responsible for building and running BT’s annual research program and transforming BT’s Adastral Park R&D site into a national science park (now home to over 95 hi-tech businesses). Currently he is chairman of the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, an academically led environment for startup business in early stages of business development.
We have an open network of innovative delivery partner companies that can ensure whatever the nature of the innovation projects we help you create (digital, software, hardware, cloud, mobile app, data & analytics) there is a downstream path available to quickly take you from concept through to implementation and launch. Please note you’re not obliged to use our delivery partners if you have your own preferred suppliers or alternate delivery capabilities for specific projects.
Multi-winning awards, Clarity International is a Digital Design Integrator supercharging the effectiveness and experience of Digital Learning, Employee Engagement and Sales Tools.
Nerostorm is a Suffolk-based technology company with full software development capability able to provide complex web application development, iOS and Android app development and embedded systems implementation.
Inasight was founded with a simple goal to enable their customers to exploit every aspect of their data using Artificial Intelligence. Using the most advanced Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning and Natural Language processing techniques, Inasight is transforming the way businesses think and operate today.
Minima Design is a product design consultancy. By applying over 50 years of combined experience in a wide range of industry sectors, we can quickly visualise, create and deliver real-world, cost effective product solutions with robust engineering, visual design flair and well-considered user interfaces.
Tech Mahindra are an IT services company that specialise in the scale development and integration of systems and networks. At Innovation Martlesham where they are co-located with Downstream Innovation they have created an exciting new “Makers Lab” to help explore and rapidly design and downstream innovative solutions.
Mitra have three major service offerings: 1- Cloud Systems Integration: Using WSO2 and Amazon Web Services as the powerful middleware solutions to connect disparate business systems and enhance their value. 2- Digital Innovation and Transformation: Helping businesses to improve their processes or create USPs, through technological improvements. 3- Product & Platform innovation and incubation: Helping innovators and enterprises turn great ideas into successful realities.
Coderus is a software design engineering firm, based at the high-tech Innovation Martlesham cluster at Adastral Park, Suffolk. Specialising in embedded (sensors) and mobile design, Coderus provides high performance, high resilience solutions to help businesses make the most of their hardware and tech. Coderus’ work includes app development, embedded software solutions, and creating state-of-the-art platforms and interfaces. Covering the entire project lifecycle, from prototype through to production, Coderus’s strapline is ‘Enabling the Internet of Everything’ which neatly sums up what they are about.
Silverback Consulting provide start-up introduction, lead generation & corporate engagement services. They have an extensive network of senior corporate contacts, many at CX level. They also help corporates scout for and engage with startups from around the world
Test Digital are Software Testing & Quality Assurance Experts providing consultancy on: implementing automation test frameworks, Test/QA Leadership/Strategy, and release management.
VRtuoso is the first enterprise product to allow anybody in a company to quickly and easily create VR presentations. Presenters can rapidly create VRtuoso slides with 360° and two-dimensional content, like video, images, text, shapes and polls. VRtuoso is the PowerPoint for VR and much more!
Quatreus is a leading communications business in creating engaging face to face environments for global customers operating in today’s digital world.
They specialise in, interactive showcases that improve understanding, engagement & adoption, innovative customer spaces that support engagement, sales & retention and digital collaboration technology that brings people, applications and ideas together in real time from wherever they are in the world enhancing productivity & reducing cost.
Their work includes, immersive showcases for the Financial, Retail, Industrial and Healthcare sectors, customer experience centres in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney, New York & Zurich and collaboration technology for global Media, Insurance, Financial, Retail & Technology companies
NextValley helps enterprises on their journey to discover digital native innovation practices in Silicon Valley and Asia. From custom designed learning expeditions to digital transformation accompaniment.
Hanaco are an Israeli technology scouting and venture capital firm based in Tel Aviv. Lead by Alon Lifshitz they provide access to the Israeli startup ecosystem, find specific startups to meet business challenges and opportunities for customers and host intensive technology scouting trips for corporates in Israel.
Downstream Innovation is an Associate Member of Cambridge Management Consulting (CMC). CMC is a boutique management consultancy based in Cambridge, London and Paris. They bring together the talents of their leadership team, partners and associates to tackle the business challenges that our clients invite us to help them solve.
Energy is one of our key brand attributes – hence the mc2 logo – as we aim to bring energy and enthusiasm to every business we help to improve. Combined with the expertise and experience of our team, plus that available from one of the world’s richest talent pools in Cambridge, we are confident that we can add value to virtually any business looking to accelerate it’s growth, in any vertical.
Downstream Innovation is a member of Innovation Martlesham (IM) one of the fastest growing and most exciting technology clusters in the UK, home to around 100 hi-tech businesses from small startups to major global technology brands. IM is a thriving innovation ecosystem that provides a variety of services including a business incubator and accelerator as well as a suite of business mentors, networking opportunities and access to investment.
Listen to Interview between Nicky Daniels (Head of Innovation Martlesham, BT) and Matt (CEO Downstream Innovation)
Watch a talk by Matt at an IM breakfast event
Downstream Innovation is a member of TECHEAST which provides networking with technology and innovation clusters across the east of England. Tech East galvanise the East of England’s digital tech sector to speak with one voice and engage with decision makers on key issues. They connect their members with growth opportunities and with each other both on a 1:1 basis and through networking events.
Click here to read the Membership Spotlight interview with Matt.
Let’s work together!
“Develop a thriving culture of innovation”
Here you can find articles we’ve written and updates on Downstream customers and projects
Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of the innovation services described above and to explore how Downstream Innovation might be able to help your business innovate successfully.
+44 (0)7733 448254
B1 First Floor