What is a POC?

By Linly Ku Published on Oct. 06, 2021

One of the main objectives of a corporate innovation strategy is to work with disruptive startups in their industry and eventually integrate that startup’s technology into their main products. The process typically starts with a proof of concept (POC) to test how well the startup’s technology integrates with the corporation’s existing products.

What is a POC?

A proof of concept (POC) is how startups demonstrate to a corporation that their technology is financially viable. The startup essentially creates a prototype in a sandbox-environment to prove their technology is capable of handling real-world applications. The overall objective of a POC is to find solutions or improvements to a corporation’s existing technologies and products.

Best Practices for Implementing a POC

  1. Corporations should have a clear strategy before working with startups. Have specific business use cases in mind to provide direction. 
  2. Have startup-friendly legal documents. Startups often get bogged down during the legal process and slows down the entire POC process. 
  3. If you have sensitive data that can’t be easily shared, make a sandbox of historical data to test. 
  4. Have an engineer on the innovation team that’s able to evaluate the technical aspects of the startup technology. 
  5. Make it clear to startups from the beginning if you are seriously considering partnering or if it just exploratory.
  6. Have someone on your innovation team with startup experience. This person should know how the POC will realistically scale out. 
  7. Minimize the number of business units involved with the POC directly. Avoid forcing the startup to sign off with several different team leads.

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