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Frequently Asked Questions


What is ScoutLab?

ScoutLab is DPW’s dedicated scouting and scaling service run in partnership with TNW, a Financial Times company, and nlmtd. The program helps large organisations identify, assess and test startups, technologies and trends that drive growth for your organization.

What does the ScoutLab program entail?

Scoutlab entails two key programs: “Source & Select” and “Pilot”. 

1.) Technology Scouting (“Source & Select”)

Our scouting services are focused on finding solutions in the following three areas:

Scouting Innovations for Procurement: We help you find and discover the most promising innovations that will have the greatest ROI and impact on procurement’s digital transformation.

Scouting Innovations for the Business: We help you source innovative solutions and technologies to solve unmet needs of your stakeholders and business partners.

Scouting Innovations for Sustainability: We help you find today’s smartest technologies and innovations to accelerate sustainability performance.

2.) Technology Testing & Scaling (“Pilot”)

Scaling the technology is often the most important and challenging part, not finding it. We help companies build strategic innovation capabilities into their organisations through 100-day pilots. We ensure a successful execution of the pilot and a “minimal viable partnership”, focusing not only on the testing of the technology but also on shaping the collaborative relationship and cultural fit between the customer and the tech provider.

I’m a corporate, why choose ScoutLab?

Extension of internal capabilities
Reduce time spent on traditional technology scouting channels and build new strategic innovation capabilities into organizations.

Ecosystem reach & relationships

Your corporation is global, it has resources and it has talent. We complement your team with our network and reach in the global innovation ecosystem:

  1. Database of over 400,000 emerging technologies 
  2. Incubators and accelerators 
  3. Venture capital funds
  4. Expert network
  5. Primary research

Simply speaking, we are able to find new solutions which you wouldn’t be able to identify yourself, based on our experience, database and ecosystem reach. 

Corporate innovation know-how
Tech scouting is full of challenges, and there are many hurdles and obstacles which need to be overcome before the scout’s work is successfully completed. Our team has a deep understanding of internal innovation challenges in big corporations.

Boost your perception
Collaborating in this fresh approach to tech scouting shows that your company is not stuck in the here and now, but has its eyes firmly set on the future. It shows that your company is agile and flexible, and that you are putting the company’s money where the needs are.

Our success stories
We have successfully worked with the most forward-thinking companies and the brightest startups to build the future of procurement. See a selection of our clients here.

I’m a solution provider, why should I apply for a ScoutLab challenge?

We help you win new customers
Our goal is to help solution providers grow and succeed. ScoutLab exposes your company to new business opportunities – free of charge! 

Our track record
ScoutLab has a proven track record of converting challenge based scouting activities into actual pilots for solution providers which have led to signed agreements of engagement following successful pilots.

How do I know if there is a new challenge?

To stay posted on future ScoutLab challenges, please register your company here. We also advise you to follow DPW on LinkedIn and keep your eyes peeled on the ScoutLab opportunities page.

Does ScoutLab require my company to travel?

No, the program is run fully virtual.

Can I apply if I applied before?

Yes, past applicants are open to join a future challenge again. We work with a growing number of companies who are constantly looking for new digital tools.

Do you provide feedback to applicants that were not selected for a challenge?

Unfortunately, we don’t. Due to the high number of applications we receive for each challenge, we are not able to provide individual feedback.

I have more questions. Where can I find answers?

Reach out to


What does your scouting process look like?

Our fast and agile scouting process combines a number of inbound and outbound activities from leveraging our own portfolio and databases of technologies, to community outreach and in-depth expert interviews.

1. Challenge Shaping – Week 1

  • Formulation of concrete challenge statement via workshop with core team members of the customer
  • Validation of challenge statement via community expert outreach

2. Longlist of Solutions – Week 2-5

  • Database search
  • Social media challenge promotion
  • Active scouting: Desktop research, community outreach, expert interviews
  • Final assessment report with overview of scouted solutions 

3. Shortlist of Solutions – Week 6

  • Customer selects 3-5 solutions via interactive virtual workshop

4. Selection Day – Week 7

  • Top 3-5 solution providers and customer team meet for a virtual interactive deep dive and Q&A
  • Customer selects one preferred pilot candidate

5. Collaboration Shaping – Week 8

  • Pilot shaping session to shape collaboration between customer and provider and align on pilot details

6. Proving the Value of Collaboration in 100 days – Week 8-20

  • 100-day pilot to run a POC to prove the value of the solution as well as the ability to work together towards a common goal

What is DPW’s role in the scouting and selection process?

DPW maintains an objective role throughout the program and solely acts as the ecosystem orchestrator and facilitator of the process. The actual selection of the solutions is done by the customer and not influenced by DPW in any form or shape.

Can you give me some examples of past ScoutLab challenges?

Yes, of course. Here is a snapshot of some real-world challenges ScoutLab has solved:

  1. Contract Lifecycle Management
  2. Market Intelligence
  3. Portfolio & Resource Management
  4. Data Duplication
  5. PO & Savings Analytics Insights

My company just applied for a challenge, what happens next?

First, DPW will confirm the receipt of your application via email. After the actual application deadline expires, all applications will be shared with the customer who will select 3-5 solutions with the best problem-solution fit based on predefined selection criteria. DPW will then invite those companies to the Selection Day to virtually demo their solutions to the customer.

When do I receive information about whether I’m selected or not?

Typically within two weeks after the application deadline expires, we let applicants know whether they were selected for the Selection Day, or not.

What is a Selection Day?

During Selection Day, 3-5 solutions get the opportunity to showcase and demo their solutions to key stakeholders of the customer, followed by Q&A. The goal of Selection Day is that the customer chooses one solution for a 100-day pilot.

What could be the outcome of Selection Day?

The goal of Selection Day is to determine the winner of the challenge and start shaping the following 100-day pilot between the customer and the solution provider. However, a few other scenarios are possible, too.

  1. One solution has been selected for a 100-day pilot
  2. No solution has been selected yet due to delays on the customer side
  3. Additional due-diligence and questions are necessary to make a decision  
  4. No solution will be selected for a 100-day pilot

How many companies do you select for the selection day?

Our customer chooses the solution providers for Selection Day, that typically consists of 3-5 companies that deep dive their solution on the same day to the team. Of course, this could change depending on the preferences of the client.