2018 Innovation School

By Brigette Smith, 2018 SPS Intern, USA

The 2018 Innovation school kicked off on Sunday, 22 July. The school is a four-day intensive hands-on training course that is designed to teach aspiring innovators the skills they will need to pursue a career in innovation.

Claudio Mazzali, Senior Vice President and CTO of Corning Optical Communications,  giving a talk at the 2nd Innovation School
The school covered idea formation and validation, different types of business models, customer discovery and much more. Top industry professionals were in attendance as speakers, mentors, and panel judges.
The participants were broken into teams and asked to prepare a pitch to be judged on the last day. The teams put together ideas for a product or service at the beginning of the school and were tasked to develop it to the best of their ability using the skills they learned and the resources that were available throughout the school. 
Eric Koester in an one-on-one mentoring session with an Innovation School participant 

Over the course of the school, the participants were given the opportunity to listen to talks from industry professionals, including Linda Smith, Dr. Etkaterina Golovchenko, Lucian Hand, Leslie Kimerling, Mark Tolbert and more, on their business practices and personal experiences, participate in skill building activities, and receive personal help from Innovation School mentors. The teams were given several opportunities a day to meet and apply what they had just learned to their project. This schedule allowed them to develop their idea most efficiently and really solidify the skills they were learning through application.

By the final day, there was a noticeable difference in the students. When they started they seemed nervous and a little unsure about their ideas, but by this point they had gained a new confidence in themselves. Every pitch was very professional and well done. Teams were able to explain the need for their product/service, provide statistics from customer surveys showing interest in their product, and propose a plan for moving forward with development. Some of the teams even managed to secure potential outside investors in just four days!

Lucian Hand, President of Altos Photonics, with Innovation School participants 
The judges on the panel were extremely impressed with the pitches and had a difficult time deliberating on which teams deserved the top placements. It seemed every team had at least one panelist advocating for them. The participants showed that they were able to apply the tips and skills they had learned over the few days tremendously well and had created professional level presentations in just that short amount of time. Overall, the second Innovation School was a raging success!



Posted: 31 July 2018 by Brigette Smith, 2018 SPS Intern, USA | with 0 comments

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