Author Archives: Sheryl Chamberlain

About Sheryl Chamberlain

Sheryl Chamberlain is a global leader who brings together diverse groups of people to jointly create innovative solutions that achieve new levels of success for companies, organizations, communities and people. She has broad experience in leading strategy, partnerships, and operations with Fortune 1000 companies, foundations, start-ups, and social enterprises with a goal to accelerate revenue generation while improving organizational performance.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Global Entrepreneurship: The Israeli Phenomenon

Imagine the possibilities when you immerse students in a global entrepreneurship graduate program that takes students outside the classroom to solve problems, work collaboratively and get closer to industry while driving new levels of innovation. “At Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, a university with a heavy bent toward engineering entrepreneurship plays a part in nearly every course that students encounter,” said Bloomberg Businessweek. Not a surprise, considering it’s the main focus of the university’s mission statement: “Developing innovative and entrepreneurial leaders for a global technological world.“ “Our goal is to introduce as many students as possible—particularly non-business students—to innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Mark Rice, dean of the business school. As a result, WPI inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs working hand in hand with industry taking leadership and innovation to the next level for generations to come.

Joel Schwartz and Students

Joel Schwartz and WPI Students at EMC Israel Center of Excellence (COE)

Understanding the impact of entrepreneurship programs, Joel Schwartz, EMC SVP and General Manager, Global New Business Development, collaborated with WPI professors, Arthur Gerstenfeld and Susan Vernon-Gerstenfeld, to develop a graduate-level course in WPI’s MBA program called “Global Entrepreneurship: The Israeli Phenomenon.”   The course immersed students in the entrepreneurial Israeli-Massachusetts high-tech world through a series of lectures and on-site visits delivered by successful entrepreneurs and business leaders from Israel and the United States.  Critical to understanding their field trip experience in Israel and Israel’s  entrepreneurial success, was an in-depth study of the unique historical, social, cultural, and political factors that created the State of Israel and that allow innovation to flourish.  The academic side of the course addressed those topics through a variety of readings and papers that the students wrote, which set the context for the field trip.  These visits were quite literally on-site as Joel accompanied the WPI class on a weeklong trip to Israel for a series of face-to-face meetings with Israeli CEO’s, venture capitalists, and senior government officials of the international Israeli academic community.  During the field trip, EMC’s Israel COE hosted several panel discussions with entrepreneurs, military personnel, and venture capitalists.

Israel

On-site in Israel

As a guest instructor I had the opportunity to kick off the program sharing key insights into “Israel The Start-up Nation” thus establishing the framework for a discussion between Joel Schwartz and the students.  Other guest lecturers included David Goodtree  (TEDxBoston) who led 2012 Massachusetts’ water mission to Israel,  Akhil Nigam (Co-developer of MassChallange) lead a class with on start-ups while Susan Hunt Stevens from Pratically Green collaborated with Kathrin Winkler EMC’s Chief Sustainability Officer to deliver another powerful lecture on sustainability.  Check out Kathrin’s blog:  Interconnected World.  When the students returned from Israel Kevin Perkins, EMC’s IP Attorney presented the value of IP for entrepreneurs along with Paolo Gaudiano, Founder and President of Infomous, President and CTO of Icosystem, a serial entrepreneur who discussed how he uses IP as a competitive advantage.   A timely discussion in this day and age considering the nature and frequency of IP law suits as detailed on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and other financial and legal publications.

Kevin Perkins and Paolo Gaudiano

Kevin Perkins and Paolo Gaudiano

The students, mostly graduate students had diverse backgrounds, with many from China, some from Latin America and about half from New England.   Here is a video that I took after they returned from Israel. From left to right the students are Jiaqi (Nick) Lu, Joaquin Serrano, Kathryn Remillard, and Weihan Gao.

During the last seven weeks of the program the students were assigned a group project to develop an innovative startup idea including market research, technical feasibility study, financial analysis, and, most importantly, a brief investors’ pitch.  The students presented their startup ideas at the end of the course to “compete” for the investment to a panel of judges including me, Mark Rice (Dean of WPI Business School), and Steve Rubin (then Chairman and now Emeritus of the WPI Board of Trustees).  Four ideas were presented to us but only one could win and that was CrowdSpot. Their idea was based on an existing offering in Amsterdam, where a mobile application helps you find crowds.  Their version of CrowdSpot offered new capabilities which included where the crowd was and wasn’t helping you to find parking, tickets to concerts, sports games etc.  But the other ideas were equaling inspiring and included:  Azimo social entrepreneurship (People2People (P2P) mobile microloans), Precision Threads (custom suits using Israeli 3D camera technology) and True Candidate (enhancing the admissions process using web based social media tools).

With WPI’s business school offering a minor in entrepreneurship, as well as activities like the Entrepreneurship Club on campus, and a business course catalog that includes classes like “Engineering Entrepreneurship,” “Entrepreneurial Selling,” and “Growing and Managing New Ventures” it is no wonder Business Week rated WPI School No. 1 in the Nation for Entrepreneurship.  I look forward to working with WPI and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Sheryl Chamberlain

Sheryl Chamberlain

Connective Behaviors That Spur Innovation

Simmons  Conference 2013

Women Leaders at Simmons Conference 2013
Edwina Mays, Jackie Glenn, Gail Degan, Sheryl Chamberlain and Stacy Schaeffer

Leaders aspire to build ever more nimble and responsive businesses while seeking a competitive advantage in a global economy. Today’s successful leaders must not only be strategic thinkers, but innovators as well. And the successful leaders of tomorrow must be able to drive organizational innovation by tapping into the knowledge and creativity of their teams. Innovation is often the key driver of an organization’s growth and performance. It can be the single best way for a company to differentiate itself from competitors. How can we help foster a culture of collaboration and creativity to help drive growth and success? Fostering connectivity, first and foremost amongst other things, promotes creativity and spurs innovation.

More than ever before, we have the ability to share our ideas and encourage a discussion around them, unconstrained by time, physical borders or distance. We live in a connected world. Connectivity is about having the practical means to connect with others; but it is also about having the connections we need to enable and encourage innovation. Connectivity increases exposure to new opportunities, new ideas, and to feedback. Communities of corporate innovation are connected to every facet of business from product development, customer engagement, marketing programs, to employee development. Empowered workers care more about developing high-performing cultures that drive customer value over time.

As the founder of EMC’s West Coast Women’s Leadership Forum (WCWLF), my vision was to make EMC the center of Leadership and Innovation through the eyes of women. Our programs follow this theme and are delivered to internal and external audiences of men and women often in partnership with nonprofits, universities and other corporations. In 2012, we delivered more than 50 programs, making EMC’s WCWLF one of the most diverse and interesting venues with a rich community of attendees. Looking to further our influence and reach, we developed a new Leadership and Innovation in the Executive Suite speaker series. The program brings leaders and innovators with different points of view to EMC and creates a community to inspire leadership through the voice of innovators, showcase thought leadership, and establish new partnerships while building connective behaviors that spur innovation. To increase our impact, we partnered with digital book publisher Vook to create an eBook commemorating the program while expanding our reach. “Connective Behaviors That Spur Innovation” was released in March and has since inspired a global community of thought leaders to share their perspectives. Jeremy Burton, Executive Vice President, Product Operations and Marketing was the program’s host and keynote speaker.

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At EMC World I will once again be working with Vook to commemorate EMC Women in Technology through the Women of the World program called “Boost Your Credibility – Hidden Behavioral Cues,” scheduled for May 8th, 2013. More than 50 largely hidden behavioral and contextual cues have been discovered that deeply affect how others respond to you. Cues cover situations as diverse as setting, female/male differences, sounds, and the sequence of “scenes” we experience. Keynote speaker Kare Anderson, a Forbes Columnist and expert on quoteability and connective behaviors will be joined by Helene Barnekow, EMC Senior Vice President, World Wide Field & Channel and Bill Teuber, EMC Vice Chairman. The eBook planned release date is scheduled for July 2013.

Can Art Change our Water Consciousness?

Join EMC and Linda Gass at our next Grass Roots Innovation Program on March 26th from 5:30-7:30 at EMC’s Santa Clara Offices.

Linda Gass is an environmental artist whose work is informed by the wilderness, maps, aerial photography and her activist passions. Her current work explores land use and water issues by portraying aerial views of the human marks on our landscape. Linda’s presentation will take you on a photographic journey to the places that inspire her work, from the wilderness areas of California to some of the significant water interventions in the American West. Linda will show a wide range of her work: stitched paintings on silk, land art made with textiles, photography, new works in glass and a glimpse into at an exhibit she curated about the history and future of water in the Santa Clara Valley. She will also show images of her artistic process: from initial concept sketches to the finished artwork. You will leave with a new appreciation and awareness for water resources and how art can play an important role in educating the public.

Linda will also show images of her artistic process: from initial concept sketches to the finished artwork.

Gold Rush Black

Registration Link

About Linda Gass
Linda Gass is a professional environmental artist. Her work is on display at the US Embassy in Moscow. She explores land use and water issues in California by portraying aerial views.

Linda Gass

The Grass Roots Innovation Program (GRIP) is a Bay-area series of seminars, lectures and panel discussions featuring well-respected leaders & innovators from a diverse set of industries and careers.  Speakers discuss their leadership styles, personal visions, and strategies for success while reflecting on their views around leadership and innovation.  GRIP is sponsored by EMC, but attendance at GRIP events is open to anyone regardless of employment status or company affiliation.

Women of EMC Celebrate International Women’s Day With Their Favorite Quote

Women of EMC

On International Women’s Day the women of EMC connected and shared their vision of women’s leadership. I have to admit I started the dance, but it was Annie Mclure that ended it with her energetic quote: “Deliver life gloriously experiencing everyday firsts!!!”

It isn’t often you get an opportunity to deliver rapid fire global emails on the topic of women’s leadership during a busy work day. But the passion was high and the exhange powerful. Here are some of the amazing quotes created on the fly and found in personal journals.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Take time for yourself. Plan for longevity.” Leslie Rourke

“Your difference makes a difference.” Stephanie Lubrano

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou

“We are born to live, not to prepare to live.” Tammy Merrill

“Coming together is a beginning, Keeping together is progress, Working together is success!” Jennifer Axt

“There is no too for development more effective than the empowerment of women”  Kofi Annan

Care more than others think is wise,
Risk more than others think is safe,
Dream more than others think is practical, and
Expect more than others think is possible.
An African proverb

Proverb

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” Diane Mariechild

“It is difficult being a full time working mom but if there is a will to succeed in both arenas, there are ways, just a little more sacrifice on our part. We women are known for our perseverance, sacrifice, and the ability to multi tasks.” Jessica Huynh

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“Appreciate the women under your skin”

“Live………….Love……………Laugh!” Millicent Madison

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson

“A leader take people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be!!” Rosalynn Carter

women 3

“Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.” Sherry Rothfield

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” Karoline Ross

“We can do anything that we set our minds to – Don’t let anything stand in your way.” Michelle Green

“You can tell the quality of a leader by those who choose to follow.” Tsun Tsu

“Women who behave, rarely make history.” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“Life is too important to be taken seriously. Cheers!” Teri Goldy

“ring out their better side so they see and support yours, and ‘we” accomplish greater things together and for each other than we can on our own + more http://www.sayitbetter.com/quotes/” Kare Anderson

“If you educate a man, you educate an individual; if you educate a woman, you educate a community.”

Denver With Dan

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.” James Oppenheim

“Live everyday as if it is your last …” Suzanne Rainwater

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Helen Keller, author, political activist, and speaker

“Being a woman is to be a princess on the 20’s, a queen on the 30’s, an empress on the 40’s and special the whole life through.” (unknown author)

“A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Eleanor Roosevelt.

“I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.” B. R. Ambedkar

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Maya Angelou

“We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.” Emily Dickinson

“Find your passion, whatever it may be.
Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen
FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” T. Alan Armstrong

Women

“Life is like a day at the market, you have to go home at the end of the day, whether your basket is full or empty.” So live life to your fullest and believe in the possibility of the impossible.” Geetha Prabhukumar

“People like what they know; they don’t always necessarily know what they like.” Art history professor Dr. Toni Sepeda referring to art, but SO applicable to technology!

“Your Significance is not in Your Similarity to Others, but in Your Point of Difference.” Donna Williams

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“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Lauren Thatcher Ulrich

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” Anonymous

I love this quote because it reminds me of just how strong I am, how much we as woman have overcome and how much strength I can look around and gather from so many other strong woman around me.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Live every day to its fullest and appreciate what you have, not what you want.” Maria Mathios

If you are not being treated with love & respect, check your “price tag”. Perhaps you have marked yourself down. You are the only one who tells people what you’re worth by what you accept. Bottom line – Get yourself off the “clearance rack” & get behind the glass where they keep all the “valuables”. You are highly VALUABLE and one-of-a-kind!” Tena M. Paparelli

“Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force. “ Dorothy L.Sayers
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What I was impressed here is that this quote has multiple connotations and tries to advocate people to be not plain followers but to create new paths and drive the way. Meaning, LEAD through Transformational Thinking which is very much aligned to EMC Vision of 2012 and 2013 namely Transform Yourself, IT and Business and Lead to take more share.” Ms. Madhu Bindiganavalae Manjunath

“If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.” Katharine Hepburn

You’re Awesome by Tammy Ward
The nurturing, caring, mother..the passionate,
Exciting vamp..the romantic dreamer
The playful child. The determined go getter
The loyal friend all these woman
And more are you

Acknowledge and treasure each one
Give each of your inner women time and
Opportunity to surface, for each has
Wonderful things to offer and make you
So lovable.

Make time for nurturing and passion and
Romance. Follow your goals and let nothing
Stop you. Find opportunities for friendship
And fun. Respect all your inner womanly strengths and values.

Be proud of these things, for together
They create one truly AMAZING WOMAN.

women2

“Just as EMC is leading customers’ transformation, women are leading a global transformation enabling companies to innovate through collaboration and communication.” Sylvie Otten Sollod

I asked GOD for a Flower,
He gave me a garden
I asked for a tree
He gave me a forest
I asked for a river
He gave me an ocean
I asked for an angel
He gave me you!

“Our woman of EMC: Enthusiastic, Mature & Customer oriented. “ Ana Verdegais

“Enthusiasm + Magnificent + Commitment + Women = BEST LEADERS IN THE WORLD.” Zamanta Anguiano

Embrace our difference! “The writer of originality, unless dead, is always shocking, scandalous; novelty disturbs and repels.” Simone De Beauvoir

“Every aspect of EMC’s corporate management, technology, products, solutions, support and services are enriched with a caring touch of EMC’s women.” Anjali Fields

“Journey Continues but Celebration should also continue.” Seema Tahaliyani

And my quote that started the exhange.

“EMC is the center of leadership and innovation through the eyes of women.” Sheryl Chamberlain

Happy International Women’s Day!

chihuly-points.jpg

How Will You Change the World?

Driven by a passion to build a sustainable, scalable social world, this year’s Hult Prize brings together global thought leaders committed to reducing food insecurity in urban slums by 2018.  Almost a billion worldwide people need food security with urban slums representing almost 200 million.  “The Challenge:  Can we build sustainable, scalable, and fast-growing social enterprise to increase food security in  urban slums by 2018?”  It is clear this problem will get worse if nothing is done.

Hult International Students

Hult International Students

Hult Prize, in its fourth year, is an innovative challenge called into action by global college and university students to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing social issues.   There is thousands of student participants, representing over 250 universities from over 150 countries.  Nobel Peace Prize Winner Professor Muhammed Yunus said at the 2012 Hult Prize, “If you can create a real business, the beginning of a protype, you can change the world.”

The Hult Prize annual challenge is the largest student competition, which unlike other competitions requires students to use business skills and to develop sustainable, scalable solutions through social enterprise.  The overall challenge consists of 5 regional international competitions, an online competition, and a business incubator leading to the global final which will take place at the Clinton Global Initiative on September 23, 2013.  The 5 regional competitions are held at Hult International Business School campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.    The winner of this year’s challenge will be awarded USD $1 Million in seed capital to launch a pilot of their winning idea.   All of the regional winners participate in two months of training through the Hult Accelerator program.

This year, I was invited to participate as a judge representing EMC Corporation at the Boston Regional Competition.

Peter Alto, Fidelity; Mitchell Leiman, Bain; and Ellott Seaborn, Arnold Worldwide

Fellow Judges:  Peter Alto, Fidelity; Mitchell Leiman, Bain; and Ellott Seaborn, Arnold Worldwide

Fellow judges represented some of the world’s top companies and not only invest the day in the judging process but also provide student mentorship, fostering growth of our next generation of leaders.   The Hult Prize Founder, Ahmad Ashkar was on site along with Ron Jonash – Hult Prize Case Writer & Senior Partner, IXL Center.  Ron shared his vision for the Hult Prize in this short video.

So what is it like to be a judge?  First, I have to thank Peter Russell, Jr. the Director of Corporate Relations, Hult North America.  His passion for the program is only surpassed by his attention to detail, ability to build teams and the associated community ensuring continued collaboration.  Every element of the judging process is considered from the moment you sign up, engagement with fellow judges, student delivery, deliberation, decision and celebration.  Also, and even more importantly everyone is a winner. While our goal as a judge it to determine the finalist in the regional competition, it is clear to me no one loses.  Joining the Hult community is a lifetime and life long experience, one that will ensure that together we can make the world a better place.

Peter R. Russell, Jr. Director Corporate Relations, North America Hult International Business School

Peter R. Russell, Jr. Director Corporate Relations, North America Hult International Business School

But it doesn’t stop here. There are other amazing programs. Two come to mind. First of which is the Hult Action Projects.  International students compete to deliver high-impact ideas and strategies for clients’ most pressing business issues. Led by experienced management consultants, student teams will focus nearly fulltime on one of two key objectives over 6 weeks: Competitive Intelligence in “Competing for the Future” and “Innovation & Growth in “Innovation Olympics”. In each program the teams make three competing presentations to the client sponsor at which point they receive feedback and direction from the client on where to focus their next level of pursuit.   EMC China, through the personal support of YIng Li VP and GM EMC China, is participating in this program.  The second, which  is near and dear to my heart, is the Hult Women in Business event on April 20, 2013.  This was presented to me by Dina Samra, Corporate Relations Coordinate, Hult Boston.  As I look ahead, and consider my personal investment in Hult I, too,  am committed to the success of this powerful community committed to sustainable, scalable social change.   I hope you will join me ion my journey.

Rahul Joshi, Hult MBA Student

Rahul Joshi and Prabhu Gopalakrishnan Hult  International Business School MBA Students

Learn more about the Boston Regionals from fellow judge Deidre White, CEO , CDC Development Solutions by reading her blog:  Hult Prize Champions Insect Protein To Fight Hunger

Jugaad Innovation

Navi Radjou

Navi Radjou, an innovation and leadership strategist based in Silicon Valley is the co-author of the bestselling book, “Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth”.  His book was touted by the Economist as “the most comprehensive book yet to appear on the subject”.  Let’s hear from Navi at EMC’s GRIP event.

“Innovation is a major directive at corporations worldwide. But how do you drive innovation and growth as the global business landscape becomes increasingly unpredictable and diverse? The answer: jugaad. Jugaad is a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness (think of it as the “MacGyver” spirit). Jugaad is the secret formula of successful grassroots entrepreneurs in emerging markets such as India, Africa, China, and Brazil who are able to innovate faster, better, and cheaper in the midst of high complexity. For the first time in the U.S., you will learn how to apply the frugal and flexible principles of jugaad in your own organization to accelerate growth and outperform competition.

The GrassRoots Innovation Program (GRIP) is a Bay-area series of seminars, lectures and panel discussions featuring well-respected leaders & innovators from a diverse set of industries and careers.  Speakers discuss their leadership styles, personal visions, and strategies for success while reflecting on their views around leadership and innovation.  GRIP is sponsored by EMC, but attendance at GRIP events is open to anyone regardless of employment status or company affiliation.

Women of Influence

Women’s leadership is at an exciting turning point in history. Around the world, women are stepping into positions of growing power and influence in business, politics and society.   As they grow in stature many become women of influence committed to supporting the next wave of leaders.

One such woman is Linda Alepin, a successful corporate executive with over 30 years experience in high tech. She epitomizes a woman of influence having served in senior positions as an officer of a Fortune 200 IT company, CEO and Founder of an early Internet start-up, and now as Founding Director Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN). Linda formed the network in 2004 which has trained 160 women leaders from more than 40 countries and various sectors of society and encouraged them to transform their work into breakthrough global projects.

So what is Global Women’s Leadership Network ?  First I have to admit I am a graduate and while I was clearly going down the leadership path, this community was transformational, providing new tools allowing me to rise to new heights and levels of influence. They taught me three basics: 1) to raise my vision make it bigger; 2) imagine the journey from the top of the mountain not from the bottom, and most importantly and;  3) we are a global community and through our network collectively we have more power and influence than any of us have alone. While it sounds simple, it isn’t.   Learning new skills is like building muscles, developing them and keeping them strong through exercise and diet.

GWLN is dedicated to igniting a new future for humanity by liberating women leaders around the world. They do this through capacity building activities, such as education, and also building a network of support among leaders from many countries.  Their projects cover wide areas of involvement including, but not limited to,  environmental sustainability, health care, economic development, food security, gender equality and human rights. Simply stated, Global Women’s Leadership Network GWLN exists to help women step out of survival and dependence into their inherent power, enabling the transformation of world conditions – woman by woman. Their policy is to work for women, in partnership with individuals, NGOs and corporations, to create an environment conducive to broad participation for major social change around the world.

GWLN Graduation

GWLN Graduation

Join me as I catch up with Linda by viewing this video I recorded at EMC’s Leadership & Innovation event on Jan 24th.

The Light of Innovation

Keep the door open to new possibilities, and let the light of innovation shine through. That’s what I did last week, the first full week of 2013.  Recharged after time off, I was joined by friends and colleagues as we started the New Year ready for action.  Arriving in Boston on Sunday evening, I interspersed corporate meetings with connections to innovators.  Some of the most interesting interactions I enjoyed are illustrated by the following three examples.

First, in November I partnered with MassChallange to showcase Boston startups at EMC’s first corporate Innovation Market. Johnny Monsarrat, Founder and CEO Hard Data Factory, was representing his startup.  Johnny, a serial innovator turned entrepreneur caught up with me at the Prudential Center in Boston on 1/8/2013 to demo the world’s largest business high tech calendar while selling me on his branding ideas.  You never know where the next big idea will come from. Check out Johnny’s vision at EMC’s Innovation Market.

Second, Tom Ward and Jay Mixter, co-founders Twyxter.  They met me for breakfast in Framingham to demo their new social media platform. Their passion for innovation is equal to their vision to foster collaboration, productivity and loyalty among employees. The Twyxter community enables corporate employees to make new connections, lead more sustainable lives, and encourages charitable donations. Essentially employees sell, rent, or share “stuff” like books, bikes, couches and music instruments on their platform.  Through this community they create social interactions among people who work together which fosters new and stronger personal and working relationships across the corporation.  One of the things I liked most was the ability to donate the proceeds from these trades to charity.  What a great way to clean out your closet while giving back.

Founder and CEO Twyxter

Tom Ward, Twyxter CEO

Twyxter Founder and COO
Jay Mixter, Twyxter COO

My last stop before my 7:00 AM flight home was the MassChallange New Year’s party.  Yes, you can celebrate the New Year on Jan 10th, and Chinese New Year in Feb (if you plan ahead).  A little about Masschallange whose mission is to catalyze a startup renaissance. They do this by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and succeed immediately. Their primary activities include running an annual global accelerator program and startup competition, documenting and organizing key resources, and organizing training and networking events.

Attendees at the New Year’s celebration included Martin Sklar, President & CEO AblaCor MedicalAmir Eldad, Chairman New England-Israel Business Council, Ben Littauer, Boston Harbor Angels, Tito Jackson, Boston City Councillor, District 7 and EMC MassChallange Executive Sponsor, Joel Schwartz.  But is was my chance meeting with Nate Tepper, that was truly inspiring.  Nate the Founder at TEDxUMassAmherst, also is the Business Development at MassChallenge, and a Student Board Member at Entrepreneurship Center and shares my passion for communities of innovation.  Committed to our new found partnership, Nate invited me to be a “Friend” of TEDx, an offer I accepted with honor.

Nate Tepper

Nate Tepper

WIth the week ending on a high note I am looking forward to next week when I head back to Boston where I will meet with Robert Buderi, Founder and Editor in Chief of Xconomy, and also lecture at WPI’s School of Business class titled Global Entrepreneurship: The Israeli Phenomenon.

Unleashing Corporate Innovation

In late 2012, I led EMC’s annual global corporate innovation conference from Israel. The experience was truly life altering, and opened new doors, including the opportunity to provide my perspectives on unleashing corporate innovation on EMC’s Reflections blog.

Here is a small excerpt from EMC Reflections:

In today’s world, large corporations are embracing open innovation through new partnerships, entrepreneurial spirit, and existing capabilities.  Open innovation expands the potential sources of innovation far beyond the bounds of any single organization with the explicit purpose of accelerating internal innovation and expanding markets for external use of innovation.  In this new world, corporations are better positioned to innovate as they create new communities conducive to collaboration and open thinking. The impact is enormous as organizations foster the development of transformational cultures and invest in the talent needed to cultivate this new paradigm.

To read more about Unleashing Corporate Innovation go to this link and share your perspectives on unleashing corporate innovation.

EMC Reflections – Unleashing Corporate Innovation

Innovation Conference Host

Sheryl Chamberlain EMC Innovation Conference Host

GRIP – The Future of Innovation

I founded the Grass Roots Innovation Program (GRIP) in 2009 with a view to bringing together leaders and innovators from different points of view to EMC and the Silicon Valley community.  GRIP going into its 4th year has grown into a Bay Area series of seminars, lectures and panel discussions featuring well-respected leaders & innovators from a diverse set of industries and careers. Speakers discuss their leadership styles, personal visions, and strategies for success while reflecting on their views around leadership and innovation. GRIP is sponsored by EMC, but attendance at GRIP events is open to anyone regardless of employment status or company affiliation. As luck would have it, EMC’s Merissa Hamilton and Whitney Mullin are the new co-directors, as their passion for innovation has grown along with their commitment to the community at large.

Many of the speakers have come to the program via connections with Bill Daul Founder of NextNow Network and Nosostros Salon. These groups of visionaries were selected to meet regularly to explore and transcend creative and intellectual boundaries — from the past…to the here…to the next now. Then there is our friend Jeff Chow a member of the governance board of Global Women’s Leadership Network (GLWN) and serial social entrepreneur.  He and his wife Shirley Chen, PHD work with many other organizations, including the Salvation Army, One World Children’s Fund, the Big Turtle Fund (sea turtle research and environmental education), and numerous organizations working in Africa.

GRIP is one example of community coming together to form new alliances.  I am still amazed by the power of our microcosm of Silicon Valley,  where competitors regularly become allies, when their passion is fed by a vision of what the new world can be through partnership and collaboration.

In mid-2012, I took a new role at EMC working in the Office of the Chief Technology Office (OCTO).  In addition to a number of  other assignments I also worked on University Programs with Rhonda Baldwin, PhD. and OCTO University Research Manager. New to this function I invited Dr. James (Jim) Spohrer, Director IBM University Programs to our GRIP.  At this program, “The Future of Innovation”, Jim discussed the role of universities as knowledge engines.

Join me as Rhonda Baldwin asks Jim a few interesting questions on innovation like:

  • Is there a dark side of innovation?
  • Is there a cap on innovation?
  • Where do you get together with the greatest innovative minds?

More About Dr. James (Jim) Spohrer

Dr. James (Jim) C. Spohrer is IBM Innovation Champion and Director of IBM University Programs worldwide (IBM UP), Jim works to align IBM and universities in regional innovation ecosystems globally.   Previously, Jim helped found IBM’s first Service Research group, the global Service Science community, and was founding CTO of IBM’s Venture Capital Relations Group in Silicon Valley.  During the 1990’s while at Apple Computer, he was awarded Apple’s Distinguished Engineer Scientist and Technology title for his work on next generation learning platforms.  Jim has a PhD in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence from Yale, and BS in Physics from MIT.  His current research priorities include applying service science to create smarter (less waste and more capabilities) universities and cities, also known as tightly-coupled holistic service systems that provide whole service to the people within them.  He has more than ninety publications, been awarded nine patents, and is a Fellow of the SRII (Service Research and Innovation Institute).