The Programme APOLLO aims to support companies in their innovation process by adapting methods usually used by startups.
The Programme APOLLO is intended for companies that want to innovate (product, service, business model, new technologies, organization…) but do not really know how to proceed and what to do.

Programme APOLLO is composed by 3 phases:
- Phase 1 using the design thinking method to define the needs of the customers (field investigation with interviews)
- Phase 2 using creativity and open innovation methods to imagine the future of the company by involving experts, customers, potential partners…
- Phase 3 to evaluate and prioritize ideas and actions generated in phases 1 and 2, and to define a first action plan
Programme APOLLO involves a 3 or 4-people crew from the company staff, including the CEO, to participate into 10 work sessions spread over 5-6 months.

The main stakeholders of this practice are:
- the 3 or 4-people crew from the company, including the CEO
- a supporting binomial from the business support organization
- real people, potential customers, …, to meet crew members during the field investigation (30 minutes interview aim)
- almost 15 people (experts, potential partners…) for the 3 creativity sessions

The main beneficiary of Programme APOLLO is the company, that finishes the programme with an action plan and an ideas book to develop.

Resources needed

For 1 company

Human resources:
- 21 days for the business support organisation (support by a binomial)
- 10 half-days of work sessions for the company crew + time to organize customers interviews

Financial resources:
- almost 5000€ from the company

Evidence of success

Since 2016, already 7 propelled crews (6 local companies + 1 company from the Ile-de-France region - partnership with the local business support organization).
Thanks to the Programme APOLLO, companies initiated new innovative projects that allowed them:
- to increase their turnovers by the identification of new growth drivers,
- to improve their customer relationship by implementating a customer-centric culture,
- to maximize their internal processes thanks to the digitalisation.

Potential for learning or transfer

The methodology used is based on the user centered approach which is an unmissable method to support start-ups in the creation of their offer. Indeed, this approach is increasingly used all over the world, in order to stimulate innovation within organisations.
The added value we offer, is that Laval Mayenne Technopole has adapted this method in order to make it relevant for all kind of business sectors or companies’ typologies. Thanks to the Programme APOLLO, business support organisations that would implement it, would have a packaged programme, stimulating innovation, to offer to SMEs.

This practice can be transferred to other business support organisations within a training program delivered by Laval Mayenne Technopole during 4-5 days.
1 transfer already took place in the Ile-de-France region (Val d’Oise Technopole).

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Laval Mayenne Technopole
Pays de la Loire,
Start Date
January 2016
End Date


Please login to contact the author.