Rogers launches Rogers Ignite program for companies to pitch their market-ready products and innovative ideas

Rogers has just made it easier than ever for companies to pitch their market-ready products and services to a major telecommunications company with the announcement of the first dedicated innovations team within a top Canadian provider.

The new program, called Rogers Ignite, will actively seek out new and innovative ideas from companies of any size in Canada and around the world, while offering an online portal for companies to pitch their solutions.

Previously, start-ups have struggled to get their idea in front of the right person in the right department within such a large organization, explained Rob Switzman, Vice President of Innovation for Rogers.

“Historically, one of the challenges we have is that companies might not even know to come to us, and if they do come to us they might not necessarily know where to go,” he said. “We want to be able to capture innovation by giving people a place to go to present their ideas as a central point of intake.”

Instead of waiting around for a response that may never come, the new department seeks to provide companies with immediate feedback on their ideas, and provide opportunities to those that show potential for mutual benefit.

“They’ll have regular communication and know where they stand,” said Switzman. “Within several weeks we’ll give them an indication of whether it’s something we want to pursue or not.”

Rogers Ignite has been fine-tuning its processes over the last four months through a pilot program that saw 100 applications, approximately 50 to 60 of which are “in various stages of assessment,” according to Switzman.

For a start-up in Canada, landing a major partner or client like Rogers could be a game changer, which makes the application process absolutely vital. According to Switzman, companies need to articulate how their innovation would fit in with Rogers’ business strategy in order to be considered.

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“Before you pitch to us, make sure your product or service is in a state where you’re ready to go fast with Rogers, and be very clear on what customer value proposition you’re delivering to us,” he said. “Think about how that would fit within the Rogers marketing machine or the Rogers business machine.”

Just like a job application, Switzman says he and his team won’t be as inclined to consider generic pitches. Instead, they look for pitches that have thoroughly considered why the opportunity makes sense for Rogers’ customers or how it can specifically improve their internal processes.

“The more they can have it pitched specifically for the Canadian market and the Rogers opportunity, the more attractive the opportunity would be,” he said.

To learn more details about Rogers Ignite, and how to apply, visit Rogers here.

Jared Lindzon

Jared Lindzon

Jared Lindzon is a freelance journalist and public speaker based in Toronto. Lindzon's reporting focuses on the future of work, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. Beyond his regular columns in Fast Company's WorkLife section and The Globe & Mail's Careers section, Lindzon has also been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The BBC, TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone, Fortune Magazine and many more. As a public speaker, interviewer and moderator Lindzon frequently shares the insights he's gathered through his reporting at conferences and events around the world. Lindzon received an MA in Journalism and an Honours BA in Media Studies from Western University.

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