By @SimonCocking

Great news for Dublin and Ireland to hear that Karl Aherne and Bernard Flynn have emerged out of stealth mode to announce the exciting news about a new business accelerator called Red Planet.

Red Planet, a new type of business accelerator, uniquely focused on accelerating revenue for both large enterprises and emerging startups, was launched today in the heart of Dublin’s docklands.

Red Planet, founded by Karl Aherne (formerly CEO of Wayra Ireland) and Bernard Flynn, (CEO of Katawave), and including the team who operated Ireland’s most successful corporate accelerator, Wayra Ireland, offers a new revenue acceleration model that combines the inventiveness, speed and disruption of startups with the resources, distribution and brand power of large corporates. With a specific focus on generating revenue, both for the corporate and the startup, Red Planet will deliver new value creation and growth to corporates while simultaneously building sustainable, fast-growing and funded startups.

Startups are unbundling Corporate Businesses

“Corporates are heading for a perfect storm,” says Red Planet’s CEO Karl Aherne. “Cloud technology has changed everything. Building a tech business once cost $5m – now it can be done for as little as $5k. Mobile devices and wireless networks are giving users more choice about how, when and where they interact with products. And these users demand personalised services – not just tailored to them but also when, where and how they want it. The age of globalisation and consumerism is being replaced by the age of the Empowered User”.

Giant corporates, despite being loaded with legacy power and resources, are realising that their business models are being picked apart by thousands of technology startups. Corporates have traditionally battled other corporates under clear rules of engagement that have been followed for years. But startups don’t care for rules. Most corporates know the storm is coming but they are not sure what to do.

Startups do not respect legacy business models and love to find a valuable niche to disrupt within corporate value chains. But with limited resources and little time, their challenge is to be seen and heard amongst thousands of similarly ambitious startups before their cash runs out.

Red Planet flips the Acceleration Model

“Traditional accelerators often deliver random results with programmes that are too short, too formulaic and not focused enough on driving revenue growth,” says Aherne. “Startups need an unfair advantage to succeed – and where better to get it from than the corporates you’re aiming to disrupt.”

Red Planet first works with corporates who are facing specific challenges driven by the impact of digital platforms and new trends in customer behaviour and engagement. “By working with the corporates first, we are able to co-design the ideal solutions, and then, taking those elements and knowing the required outcomes, we find the best startups to work with in order to deliver the right solution to our corporate members,” adds Aherne.

Startups keep their equity

Red Planet is startup friendly, not taking equity from startups that it works with, providing free workspace, interventions with mentors and domain experts, as well as access and constant product-market fit validation through its corporate members who are major customers in waiting. In return, when the startup generates revenue through its corporate members, Red Planet takes a small slice of that revenue.

Red Planet has begun to work with a number of multinationals to deliver revenue growth through new digital platforms.


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