FCL launches corporate incubation with Co.Labs
February 28, 2020
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) and Co.Labs are thrilled to announce a ground-breaking agreement that will build Saskatchewan’s first Corporate Incubation (CI) Team. This initiative will empower internal ‘intrapreneurs’ at FCL by taking them from a traditional corporate environment into one purpose-built to develop and adopt new technologies.
This new CI Team will be tasked with developing a “smart grid” that will use Internet of Things (IoT) devices to control electrical loads in Co-op Convenience Stores during power outages. The technology solution will also be capable of demonstrating electrical demand response for energy savings.
“Due to major advancements in the development of Internet of Things devices, we believe there’s an opportunity to reduce purchased electricity from the grid and significantly improve the resiliency of operations during power outages at local Co-op retails,” said Nevine Booth, FCL’s Director of Growth and Development.
CI has emerged in recent years as an effective tool that enables large organizations to consistently innovative through leveraging the benefits of startup principles such as agility and speed. Its demonstrated success across the globe has proven that corporate leaders and tech startups have much to learn from one another in today’s rapidly changing digital economy. Co.Labs’ CI Program provides clients with:
- Co-location: Working alongside early-stage startups, corporate teams are immersed in startup culture as they seek to develop and adopt new technologies. This will allow them to take advantage of the many benefits which are inherent to startups such as speed, nimbleness, and disruption;
- Programming and Mentorship: Corporate teams will have access to Co.Labs’ international mentorship pool as well as curated programming to support their development efforts; and
- Talent Attraction: CI serves as a platform for large organizations to attract top talent in markets where there is growing competition for computer programmers and engineers.
How it works
- Identification: Co.Labs works with a client to identify a significant problem or opportunity facing the organization.
- Team Assembly: Co.Labs supports the organization in recruiting a CI Team Lead to spearhead the project.
- Incubation: Throughout the term of the project, the CI Team physically locates to Co.Labs and participates in curated programming as they develop and adopt new technologies.
- Integration: Once a technology has been developed or procured, it is then integrated into the core organization and deployed.
The central purpose of CI is to solve a complex problem facing an organization or to take advantage of a unique opportunity by way of developing and adopting new technologies. Expected deliverables for this project include the following:
- Developing a full understanding of electrical loads in Co-op Convenience Stores
- IoT technology selection/validation for electrical load control
- Energy storage technology selection
- Algorithm and user-interface development
- Bench testing of system components
“There are additional benefits of the program such as the proliferation of startup culture throughout the organization and the empowerment of internal entrepreneurs,” said Jordan Dutchak, Executive Director of Co.Labs. “These allow large organizations to continue to innovate and remain ahead of market disruption.”