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9:30am 10:00am (30 mins)

Main agenda

Check-in + Breakfast

Innovation functions at large corporations are by nature fast-moving and volatile. Building and executing initiatives and new processes to foster new ideas internally while collaborating with innovators from outside their four walls can be challenging. However, the conservative, quarter-to-quarter focus that often reigns supreme in large corporations challenges the efficacy of innovation teams, the very units that were built to combat the issue. This Front End of Innovation Conference Pre-Day will center around strategies for open innovation leaders to de-risk external collaborations and open more efficient pathways into their core organization.


Time: 10am-5pm

Location: MassChallenge, 21 Drydock Ave., 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02210

10:00am 10:30am (30 mins)

Main agenda

Networking + Welcome Remarks

  • John Valentine - Senior Director of Partnerships, MassChallenge
  • Sean Belka - Senior Vice President, Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, Fidelity Investments

10:30am 11:30am (60 mins)

Main agenda

PANEL- Building Organizational Structures and Internal Advocates to Support External Collaborations

Without close coordination with internal business leaders, an innovation team can become an island. Business unit KPIs and success metrics must align with the innovation team’s goals, incentivizing both the testing and adoption of technologies built and sourced. This panel explores the foundation and tactics used by these innovation leaders to optimize both successful internal and external collaborations.

  • Anil Achyuta - Director of Advanced Research, L’Oréal
  • Iain Michel - Corporate Vice President, Corporate Development, PTC
  • Carla Small - Senior Director, Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator, Boston Children's Hospital
  • Pascal Marmier - Senior Vice President, Head Digital Analytics Catalyst, Swiss Re
  • Moderator Stuart Weitzman - Director, Market Development & Innovation Programs, GE Ventures

11:30am 12:30pm (60 mins)

Main agenda

PANEL- Assessing Startups: Normalizing the Opportunity-to-Risk Ratio

Corporations are by nature more risk averse than their venture capital counterparts. Innovation, M&A, and corporate development functions have a mandate to extend their company’s thinking through creative partnerships, client relationships, pilot agreements, investments, and acquisitions. This panel explores strategies for de-risking startup engagements and helping executive leadership gain comfort with higher risk investments of time and financial resources.

  • Vijay Patel - Director, Strategy Partnerships and Innovation (Digital), CVS Health
  • Luba Greenwood - Vice President, Global Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Development, Roche
  • Andy Miller - SVP Innovation and Product Development, AARP

12:30pm 2:00pm (90 mins)

Main agenda

Lunch + Startup Collaboration and Deal-Making Challenge

2:00pm 3:00pm (60 mins)

Main agenda

PANEL- Assembling an All-Star External Innovation Network to Uncover the Right Opportunities

Recognizing the virtual impossibility of building all disruptive innovations in-house, these innovation leaders have built robust, trusted networks of investors and innovators to help find relevant, high quality innovations faster. This panel is a master class on using the startup ecosystems to scale the reach of your innovation team.

  • Gabriele Ricci - VP Head of Digital Health and Emerging Technology, Shire
  • Rick Rundell - Senior Director, Technology and Innovation Strategist, Autodesk
  • Cris De Luca - Director, Digital Health Innovation, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Sandy Kreis - Director and Innovation Partner, Lab of Forward Thinking [LOFT]
  • Moderator Scott Bailey - Executive Director, North America at MassChallenge

3:00pm 5:00pm (120 mins)

Main agenda

Design Thinking in your Pocket: An Introduction to the Innovators’ Compass

Many organizations invest heavily in developing their people’s capacity to innovate, but see little return. The workshops may be well-attended, fun and even inspiring—but walk around the office a week later and few traces remain. People haven’t changed the way they see problems or solve them, and they’re working together in the same ways.

Design thinking doesn’t need to be so complex and intimidating, and a designer’s mindset doesn’t have to be so hard to learn. Over the course of this immersive workshop we’ll explore the power of The Innovator’s Compass—an intuitive, portable approach to design thinking—to tackle some of the everyday problems we encounter at work and in the rest of life.

  • Ela Ben-Ur - Principal, i2i Experience
  • Dan Coleman, Ph.D. - Principal, Big Sky Blue

5:00pm 6:00pm (60 mins)

Main agenda

After party