A2A X GlassDollar

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A2A is a Life Company. They are a leader in Italy in managing services around citizens. They are present in the entire value chain of energy, from production to the sale of electricity, gas and services, to solutions for e-mobility. Through their networks, they distribute electricity and gas, drinking water and heat for district heating. Finally, they deliver circular solutions and services from urban cleaning to the integrated management of waste, and to the recovery of material and energy. 

Luca Volterrani, Innovation Ecosystem Lead at A2A Life Company, since 2019 has been collecting challenges from Business units in the organization and connecting them with the most relevant startups in the market. 

“We have to innovate to face climate change, to become more sustainable, to compete in this modern market and survive” says Luca, who collected many years of experience in the innovation advisory of PwC and Deloitte.

Historically, A2A Life Company has been in touch with startups via different models including Corporate Venture Capital and Venture Clienting. They have partnered up with different organizations (e.g. Politecnico of Milan) to stay up to date on the new trends and find interesting university spin-offs. They developed a dedicated procurement process for startups. With a growing project portfolio the need to orchestrate operations effectively grew. They were looking for a tool specifically developed for Venture Clienting to measure and further reduce time-to-pilot, cost per PoC and scale their capacity to enable more BUs with PoCs each year.


The Challenge - Partnering to see through the clutter

Climate emergency, international geopolitics and the need for greater energy self-sufficiency have required increased momentum for the circular economy and energy transition, the two mainstays of A2A’s mission. 

It is A2A Life Company's goal to contribute substantially to cultural and infrastructure changes in Italy and its communities. In order to achieve this, they need systematic and continuous innovation through their diversified business model and a portfolio of assets across the entire value chain of energy, the environment, and water.

How do they innovate?

A2A's idea of innovation is based on collaboration and joint participation within and outside the company. However, finding the right partner to solve niche challenges is difficult since thousands of startups are born, pivot, and die each month. It is extremely difficult to see through the clutter to find useful solutions. 

In addition to identifying potential partners, the Venture Client Unit must coordinate dozens of stakeholders on multiple projects at once, making its job even more challenging. It is for this reason that A2A adopted GlassDollar Venture Clienting Operating System.


GlassDollar 🤝 A2A Life Company

Objective: Making Proof of Concepts (PoCs) with startups more efficient through GlassDollar Venture Clienting Operating System.

In 2022, A2A Life Company teamed up with GlassDollar to accelerate their innovation process.

A2A was able to streamline their process, reducing the time and cost of each Proof of Concept (PoC) and increasing the average ROI. A2A utilized the GlassDollar Venture Clienting OS, which combining AI and Big Data with the human intelligence of GlassDollar Venture Experts, to manage the PoC process end-to-end.

Through the GlassDollar platform, A2A's Innovation unit collected innovation challenges from various business units, autonomously searched for solutions, ordered flexible on-demand sourcing, and collaborated with GlassDollar and business units to identify the top providers. The platform allows A2A to connect with startups with one click, track the status and monetary impact of different PoCs, exchange votes/comments with relevant stakeholders.


Sourcing valuable startups has never been easier

In one year of collaboration, A2A Life Company conducted 16 sourcings on a wide variety of challenges from their organization. A few of the challenges were broad, so we created landscapes to get an overview of the market and the concrete possibilities. That enabled business units to specify requirements. Most were concrete directly, as the business units were actively working on that innovation challenge at the time. For all concrete challenges we created benchmarks to compare the top candidates for PoCs. 

Looking into the future

Out of those benchmark sourcings, many potential innovation projects crystallized, the most promising for example in Innovative Public Lighting - reduction of energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Customer Voice

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“We were looking for an innovative solution to quickly identify startups perfectly fitting our innovation challenges, and thanks to GlassDollar we found it.”

Luca Volterrani
Innovation Ecosystem Lead