Every small business begins with a culture of innovation – without one, they’d never grow. The bigger they become, the harder it becomes to retain that focus on remaining innovative, often leading to unimaginative projects and unfulfilled team members.

  • Larger businesses that don’t innovate are rich targets for smaller, disruptive start-ups

But how do you compete with leaner companies who can pivot within days not months, with much less to lose and everything to gain?

  • No matter your size, or how big a ‘turning circle’ you may think you have, you can can still be innovative

By focusing on your core values, by challenging your perceptions… and most of all, operating like the lean, entrepreneurial organisation you need to be.

  • At Startling, we meet dozens of start-ups and entrepreneurs each month

We see their passion, we help them focus their ideas and take them to market in the leanest way possible. So we know what it takes to operate that way – and we work with larger organisations to operate in that way too, to bring the passion for innovation back into their businesses!

Our Innovation Programmes

Imagine if you had an in-house business accelerator, just for your own projects, teams and ideas… that’s exactly how our innovation programme works. We bring our experience, our business network, and our entrepreneurial toolkit to your projects.

We begin by meeting with senior team and project leaders to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your different teams, and individual team member needs. Together, we design a calendar of activities from between 4 to 12 months, each step designed to challenge you team to be innovative and entrepreneurial. 

The programme is typically focused around a key project or deliverable – either a new, live project, finding a solution to an existing problem, or working on a ‘challenge’ project defined between Startling and yourselves to most effectively deliver your outcomes.

Once we’re engaged, we handle everything – organising workshops, events and sessions, providing one to one mentoring for your team, and providing overview reports and outcome documents every month. You can have a little or as much involvement in the programme as you like.

Innovation Activities

As with everything we do at Startling, the activities within each innovation programme are bespoke – personalised to meet the requirements of each business and team. Typical types of activities include some or all of the following:

  • Interactive Workshops – to generate ideas, gether requirements, resolve conflicts and test assumptions.
  • Creating Specifications – using our tried and tested processes and approach to create engaging functional specifications, for pitching internally and gaining rapid engagement and sign off.
  • UX +UI + Creative Design Processes – creative sessions to work on interface design, identify and test key user journeys, and explore initial creative concepts… including creating interactive demos.
  • Agile Methodologies – training and support in implementing Agile/Scrum within your teams, story writing workshops, help running sprint reviews and planning sessions.
  • Public/Private Events – internal or external events to pitch or present ideas, to network and meet customers and sector experts, to strategically attract talent or identify competitors.
  • Interactive Focus Groups & Ideas sessions – filling a room with your customers, or sector experts, to generate ideas and challenge assumptions about your products and business
  • One to One Innovation Mentoring – working with team members to identify personal development goals, to work through mental barriers and track progress against their own targets.


The benefits to your business of running a managed programme of innovation activities within your organisation are clear – you know you need to keep your culture of innovation alive, and our programmes are designed to help you achieve that goal. 

For team members crying out to be more entrepreneurial, challenging them to work on your projects with the same energy as a start-up increases engagement and energy levels. For the more risk averse members of your team, they keep the safety net of the support offered by a larger organisation, but still have the same opportunities to stretch and develop their skills.

Many training or coaching programmes focused on individuals deliver benefits only for single team members or whilst they are in action. Our innovation programmes help you develop a cultural shift that sets the bar for all teams and team members throughout your entire organisation, with the goal of challenging ingrained behaviours on all your future projects.


We like to start all our innovation projects with one of our ‘Innovation Coffee Mornings‘ – a free 1-2 hour creative workshop for up to 30 of your team members. It’s the most effective way of meeting you and your team, and showcasing our skills.

You can engage Startling as your innovation partners for as little as £1,995 + vat per month, for periods from 4 months upwards. Pricing is based on the size of your teams, and the number of innovation activities you’d like us to deliver each month. We’re happy to discuss different options and price levels to suit your requirements.

As a paid, externally provided development activity, our programmes should qualify for R&D Tax Credits – if correctly applied for. We are happy to introduce you to our advisors on this topic, who can help you offset some or all of the programme costs.

Contact Us

Every project we support starts with a free workshop – face to face or online – to discuss your ideas and your requirements. We’re always happy to sign NDAs in advance.

If you’re a larger organisation, we’ll even run a free ‘Innovation Coffee Morning‘ for up to 30 of your team members. Simply enter your details before and we’ll be in touch ASAP.

Or for an even quicker response, call now on 0333 366 0170.