Honda starts company-wide expansion of business creation programme - Just Auto
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Honda starts company-wide expansion of business creation programme

By Graeme Roberts 11 Jun 2021 (Last Updated June 11th, 2021 11:12)

Honda has expanded its Ignition ideas incubator programme to cover most workers in Japan and brought in a venture capital firm to help evaluate innovations.

Honda Motor has begun expanding its new business creation programme, Ignition, to the entire company.

Ignition is a programme that gives shape to the original technology, ideas and designs of Honda workers and contributes to solving social issues and creating new value.

The programme was initiated in 2017 by Honda R&D, the research and development subsidiary. Since it began, Ignition has received many applications with new business ideas, and several proposals that have a high degree of compatibility with Honda business are already being pursued with an eye toward commercialisation.

There also were proposals that could deliver value more quickly if they were pursued through a startup venture, taking advantage of the unique characteristics of startup companies; therefore, in 2020, Ignition added an option for commercialisation of new business ideas through business ventures, in addition to commercialisation inside Honda.

Ashirase, whose establishment was announced today, is the first business venture to originate from that.

In April 2021, Honda began evolving Ignition as a company-wide programme which enables all its workers in Japan to take on the challenge of creating new businesses.

This extends beyong engineers’ to other workers from divisions including production, sales and administration.

“Honda will create products and experiences that do not yet exist in the world, generating a ‘fresh breeze’ in society,” the automaker said in a statement.

Ignition is collaborating with a venture capital firm which participates in the final round of the evaluation as one of the jurors examining each proposal from the exacting perspective of an investor. Proposers have access to advice and support from the venture capital firm during the evaluation process.

All full-time Honda workers in Japan are eligible to submit proposals regardless of their length of employment and assigned divisions. Ideas that pass the final evaluation process will be commercialised within Honda or by establishing a business startup company.