Case Study

Monetizing Innovation

The Situation

Our client is one of the largest electric and gas utilities in the country. Innovators from within the company had developed technology to help it solve vexing internal challenges.

These internally-developed technologies have material value to other utilities, but due to a complex structure of regulatory and internal governance rules, this utility
technology was unable to scale its impact and bring value to other utilities. ADL proposed that the value of the technology could be maximized through external pathways that could include spin-outs, joint ventures, or licensing agreements.

Our Process


Identify the core advantages of your business and the greatest threats from new technology.


Lay the groundwork for the new lean venture with a concrete business plan.


Operate a lean team, carefully tracking key indicators and adjusting as needed to fit growth goals and culture matching.

ADL’s Approach

Based on our understanding of corporate objectives and the potential opportunity, we led a down-selection process to determine which commercial pathways merited a detailed evaluation.

Preliminary Feasibility Assessment

  • High level assessment of commercial feasibility of product/service being evaluated
  • Focused on technical feasibility, market opportunity, and competitive landscape
  • Key Questions: Does this opportunity warrant deeper investigation?

Monetization Pathways Identification​

  • With input from CLIENT teams, identify the exhaustive list of venture pathways
  • This step is not meant to incorporate execution risk of any path
  • Key Questions: What are all of the ways CLIENT could extract value from this product/service?

Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment​

  • Complete detailed feasibility assessment focusing on go-to-market strategy, operational strategy, business risks, and financial pro formas
  • Key Questions: For the monetization pathways that are most viable for CLIENT, is the commercial opportunity viable?

Pathway Evaluation and Ranking​

  • Begin mapping pathways against commercial
    assessment, internal objectives, and external risk factors
  • Identify most promising pathways for continued evaluation
  • Key Questions: Based on our understanding of
    corporate objectives and the potential opportunity, where
    should we focus a detailed evaluation?

Go-to-market Execution Planning​

  • Compare pathways and select most viable option
  • Develop plan to test hypothesis about proposed monetization pathway
  • Key Questions: What is the business plan to execute on selected monetization?


ADL led our utility client all the way through the five stages of the monetizing innovation framework. At the conclusion of the process, our client approved the co-created plan to commercialize the technology externally. The execution plan for the rollout is under development at the time of writing.

The utility valued ADL not just for its work in shepherding this technology through the monetizing innovation framework but also for its collaborative effort to upskill the innovation team on the process for monetizing internal innovation.

ADL has been asked to play a leading role in the creation of new entities that are expected to emerge from this process with the hope and expectation that significant financial benefits will accrue to the utility.