Openness is the key to successful innovation. We invest in much more than just our internal innovation potential to facilitate the development of promising innovations in our business units. We rely on open collaboration and open innovation – cooperating with external partners such as start-ups or other partners from our ecosystem to develop and drive ideas forward together, to inspire each other, and to provide mutual support. Our incubator teams and innovation centers help us to achieve this, coupled with our expertise in the field of venture capital.
Innovation through Cooperation
Shaping the future together: we are investing in start-ups and relying on open innovation for new ideas and partnerships. Working with our steadily growing network, we are developing digital business models and pioneering technology solutions.
We seek active cooperation and partnerships with start-ups in consumer and industrial sectors. A key factor for success is cooperation on an equal footing: we want to combine the best of two worlds to create a win-win situation for both sides. In addition to specific projects, Henkel receives important input, fresh ideas and new food for thought. Start-ups, on the other hand, can gain access to global markets, entrepreneurial know-how and the opportunity for investment. To accelerate digital innovations, we have developed our own idea factories. We also rely on innovation hubs as centers for innovation for our digital transformation.
Fritz Beauty Lab
The Fritz Beauty Lab idea factory was established by the Henkel Consumer Brands business unit. This is where innovative solutions for the Beauty sector are created with external partners in an agile testing and learning environment. With the aid of digital tools and e-commerce platforms, consumers’ needs are analyzed and new ideas are quickly implemented. For instance, the M:ID (short for Men ID) personalized haircare range was brought to market in less than six months. Another example of the rapid introduction of innovative product lines is the Kaloon Mindful Care skincare range, with overnight skin regeneration products.
Love Nature GmbH takes care of sustainable innovation in the Henkel Consumer Brands business. This idea factory is where innovative and environmentally friendly laundry detergents and cleaning products are co-created with consumers, sustainability influencers, and sustainability experts. Their shared goal is to continuously develop the market and provide new sustainability boosts through innovation. For example, all Love Nature products are plant-based, refillable and all bear the EU Ecolabel.
The Digital Garage is part of our Henkel dx BERLIN Hub – our innovation center for technology and digital transformation. It is a place where our Open Innovation & Incubation experts work on new digital business models and develop them through start-up collaboration, company building and intrapreneurship. In addition, Henkel has been organizing the Henkel Xathon, an business hackathon for female founders, for the past three years to support female talent from the technology industry.
Got a good idea? As part of our corporate venture capital activities, we invest in young, high-growth start-ups with digital or technological expertise all around the world. If the concept suits Henkel, then the start-ups receive investment, access to our network of experts, and benefit from our many years of experience in our core global businesses. Henkel has two venture units that act as an interface between Henkel and the external innovators: Henkel Tech Ventures and Henkel dx Ventures.
Henkel Tech Ventures
Henkel Tech Ventures is the corporate venturing arm of Henkel Adhesive Technologies and invests especially in start-ups that offer materials science solutions or innovative digital business models. By way of example, Henkel Tech Ventures has invested in companies working on sensor technology for manufacturing and in the 3D printing sector.
Henkel dx Ventures
Henkel dx Ventures is the ventures unit of Henkel dx, which invests in digital business models such as direct consumer platforms in the e-commerce sector. Working with start-ups, market research experts, tech giants, and consumers, we create innovation focusing on consumer packaged goods (CPG).
Henkel invests in medical technology start-up Smartz AG
Henkel Adhesive Technologies further strengthens its capabilities for the growing demand of smart adult care solutions by investing in Smartz AG (Smartz), a medical technology start-up headquartered in Baar, Switzerland. Smartz has developed an end-to-end-solution for diapers that improves the quality of life for adults while at the same time effectively supporting care and medical personnel as well as reducing costs and increasing the service level in care facilities. Both companies already have signed a joint marketing and joint development agreement earlier this year to combine Henkel´s printed electronics expertise with the adult care Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and software solutions of the start-up. With the investment, Henkel aims to strengthen this partnership and to drive the development of additional innovative adult care applications in the future.
Henkel further invests in the start-up LoveLocal from India
Henkel participates in a funding round in the Indian start-up LoveLocal to further strengthen its direct-to-consumer expertise. The investment in LoveLocal under the umbrella of Henkel dx Ventures helps the company to gain insights about the retail markets and consumer behavior in emerging market.