How does Kickbox work?
The Kickbox process involves three phases: red, blue and gold.
Over a two-month period, employees are given the chance to focus on developing their idea, holding initial interviews and carrying out market research to assess demand. The focus of Redbox is on the problem in need of solving – on identifying and defining it. In support of these initial efforts towards validating the idea, the “Kickboxer” is given CHF 1,000, an internal coach, learning material and the opportunity to buy in help from an external expert. The Kickboxer rounds off this phase by pitching their idea to a jury, and then moves on to the blue phase if given the go-ahead.
The aim of the Bluebox phase is to spend four to six months building a low-level prototype and testing it with real customers. This involves implementing the idea on a technical level and marketing it, with the support of a budget of CHF 10,000, an internal coach and access to experts. The Kickboxer rounds off the blue phase by pitching the idea to a jury again, and moves on to the gold phase if successful.
In the Goldbox phase, the Kickboxer has six to eight months to build an initial version of their idea – a minimum viable product (MVP) – and take it to market. The Kickboxer receives up to CHF 300,000 to test whether the product has a chance on the market.
What makes Kickbox so special?
Kickbox gives employees the chance to play an active role in the innovation process at Baloise, enabling them to familiarise themselves with new methods and tools and gain their first start-up experience. It also makes it possible to support and challenge employees, creating a unique community within the company.
Many of the components are open source, which means that various Kickbox materials are accessible to everyone – regardless of whether or not the service is used by Swisscom. This feature allows for easier access to innovation.
Why is an innovation promotion tool like this important for Baloise?
Kickbox aids the achievement of strategic goals at Baloise. The strategic focus of Simply Safe is centred around customers, whose expectations and wishes are constantly evolving. Kickbox enables employees to launch products or services that are in tune with changing customer needs, using their ideas to generate value for Baloise customers. At the same time, our employees acquire new skills that support their professional and personal development. They learn to take a more agile approach to their work, to apply new methods and quickly validate their ideas (or abandon them if appropriate) – qualities that have proven successful in today’s market.
What could a Kickbox project look like?
Pursuing and contributing your own ideas is a part of Baloise culture, and the Parcandi app, the easiest way to find a parking space, is an example of what can emerge from a Kickbox project. At the end of 2019, Baloise employees had the idea to create a parking space app to offer unused parking spaces in private residential and commercial buildings. A driver needs a parking space, while a private provider has a space to offer, resulting in a win-win situation – the driver saves time, and the person offering the space can ensure that the parking spaces are used.