When asked about what you need in order to stay successful in the age of technology, experts tend to mention the same few things: technological expertise, creativity, open-mindedness, an eagerness to experiment and an entrepreneurial mindset. And it's not just individual employees who need these traits; companies need them, too. That's why Deutsche Bahn offers its employees targeted support for their ideas. One example is its Skydeck Accelerator program for employees.
The Skydeck Accelerator, the main program for employees, helps employees implement their IT innovations for DB's core business. The goal is to enable people with ideas to create a prototype and develop a business model within ten weeks.
Teams participating in the program receive extensive technical input over a ten-week period. The program also covers topics including business model development, new methods such as design thinking, and marketing. Each team is responsible for developing a prototype and a business model to back their idea. They are supported by experienced mentors from the DB Group and outside organizations. Each session kicks off with a two-day bootcamp, and teams meet once a week over the course of the program. The program concludes with demo day, when teams present their prototypes and business models in front of an audience. Finally, a decision is made whether to pursue the ideas further.
The Skydeck Accelerator began nearly three years ago. The EVE and AIM projects got their start there and are now DB ventures, which are organized as startups within the DB Group.