Tag Archives: innovation

Burnish Your Brand, Using Your Best Talents More Often

Wherever you go, whatever you do, the most effective tool you bring with you is the brand called “You.”  My brand, cultivated over time, reflects my vision and passion of being an agent of change leading innovation in the corporate world.  For me, this involves helping others find their unique gifts and then orchestrating the sharing of those talents to innovate new ways to contribute to the organization’s success. These collaborative efforts provide personal growth, development, and meaningfulness for us as individuals as well. Truly, this is a winning combination in a competitive global world.

Women of World

Many leaders from different industries have tied their brand to ground-breaking innovations. I personally admire, and strive to emulate, those who have paid it forward, setting the stage for the next generation of leaders and innovators. When preparing for a recent keynote at USENIX, I took the opportunity to showcase women leaders who transformed their respective industries. Part of my message was highlighting how, in this increasingly connected world, we still need to depend on others to achieve success and meaning in life.

Kay Koplovitz

Kay Koplovitz

Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Network, was the visionary who conceptualized satellite-based networks. She also created the business model for cable networks by introducing the concept of two revenue streams—licensing and advertising. When she founded USA Network under the banner of Madison Square Garden Sports in 1977, she was the first woman to head a television network. But she didn’t stop there. Understanding that access to startup capital has consistently been cited as the biggest pain point for female entrepreneurs, she founded venture-catalyst Springboard Enterprises to help women build ”big businesses starting small.”  Over 500 women-led companies have participated in Springboard’s accelerator programs, raising nearly $6 billion. Of note, more than 80% of Springboard companies are still in business as independent or merged entities, including 10 IPOs, and many are the technology engines of publicly traded companies.

Mae Jamison

Mae Jamison

Astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, also founded Sally Ride Science and Sally Ride Camps to encourage girls’ interest in science and technology. The girls, who are at the middle-school level, participate in innovative, hands-on science learning activities in an environment that designed to be supportive, enriching, and—most importantly—fun!

Following Dr. Ride’s footsteps, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to travel in space in 1992. She resigned from NASA in 1993 to form a company researching the application of technology to daily life: 100 Year Starship. The organization designs and implements independent, collaborative, and open-source projects to advance and promote the public engagement, research, development, and capabilities needed for humans to reach another star.

Another woman who has had an impact on an entire country and the global startup community is Dr. Orna Berry. Prior to joining EMC as the first Corporate VP and GM of the Israel Center of Excellence, Dr. Berry was the Chief Scientist in Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor. One of her strengths is bringing together communities of leaders and innovators to identify a gap in a market, and then racing to identify a solution.

Joe Tucci and Dr. Orna Berry

Joe Tucci and Dr. Orna Berry

Combining technology and social entrepreneurship, Juliana Rotich founded “Ushahidi” , which means “testimony” in Swahili. This platform was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come to represent the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform” web tools for crowdsourcing crisis information and reporting on topics related to the environment.

Juliana Rotich

Juliana Rotich

Each of these women was a pioneer in her own field, and each used her success to help others. All have a global perspective and consistently reach outside their normal sphere of influence. In taking these leadership lessons to heart, you should note that it’s important to first figure out what you care about most, tie your brand to your vision, and remember that success is not only about the body of work you deliver, but the impact you can have on your community and beyond. Reach for your true dreams and goals and don’t be afraid to innovate. Goals are the starting point to taking action, building a plan, realizing your brand, and using your best talents more often.

Edwina Mays, Jackie Gleen, Gail Deegan, Sheryl Chamberlain and Stacy Schaeffer

Edwina Mays, Jackie Gleen, Gail Deegan, Sheryl Chamberlain and Stacy Schaeffer

See more at: EMC Reflections EMC Executives Report From the Road

Smashing the Box – EMC Innovation Tours at MassChallenge

The official starting point of the Boston Marathon, the oldest Marathon in the world is Hopkinton, MA where EMC’s corporate headquarters sits less than 26 miles from the center of Boston.  The area’s many colleges and universities make Boston an international center of higher education and medicine, leading many to dub the city “The Athens of America” and a world leader in innovation. It is no wonder MassChallenge the largest-ever startup accelerator, and the first to support high impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached was established here.

International Day

MassChallenge International Finalists Day

On March 4, 2013, MassChallenge joined forces with Founding Gold Sponsors EMC Corporation and The Kraft Group to extend its reach and launch its Israel program, which will connect Israel’s most promising early-stage companies with the resources and networks at the heart of MassChallenge’s Boston accelerator.  In the announcement John Harthorne, Founder & CEO, MassChallenge stated “MassChallenge Israel features a deep infrastructure of supporters and resources within Israel, strong connections between Israel and Boston, and exclusive opportunities for Israeli startups in Boston. “Boston and Israel have had a special relationship for a long time that has generated close collaboration on the business and technological fronts. MassChallenge selected Israel for our first international location because Israel is at the cutting edge of technology and entrepreneurial activities globally, and because we are eager to leverage the historic ties between our two communities to enable top Israeli startups to scale quickly and effectively.”  Chris Goode, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs & Public Policy, EMC Corporation said, “Through collaboration, developing solutions for some of the world’s most intractable problems becomes a reality. EMC is honored to be a part of the MassChallenge program and is committed to helping the most profoundly innovative businesses around the world access the resources they need to succeed. MassChallenge Israel will strengthen the already critical bridge between our two innovative regions, and we look forward to supporting the bright new ideas this partnership generates. “

Technology Directions

Technology Directions

Understanding the power of our partnership sponsored by Joel Schwartz, EMC SVP and General Manager, Global New Business Development and EMC Chris Goode, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs & Public Policy, EMC Corporation I collaborated with Scott Bailey MassChallenge Director of Partnerships and Kara Shurmantine, Manager Partnerships to create new business opportunities between our shared community.  Initially I drove EMC‘s global participation in the MassChallenge’s judging process and inspired local EMC leaders to mentor this year’s 128 finalists.  From there I established and hosted a new CTO Office program called “Technology Directions:  Keeping it Real”.  Our first event held in May was “Open Source Software – What’s the Buzz All About”?  Speakers included leaders from Rackspace and two MassChallenge start-ups Appsembler and Profit Bricks.   On October 16th, 2013 I will host and moderate The New England Diversity Council Inaugural Greater Boston Women in Leadership Symposium, “A Day in Excellence through Leadership”. Please join us if you are in the Boston area.

AIG, Sheryl Chamberlain, Jennifer Rivet

AIG, Sheryl Chamberlain, Jennifer Rivet

But I am not the only one thinking outside the box while extending and growing our partnership with MassChallenge and driving a global community of innovation.   EMC’s EBC Senior Director Bernie Baker and his team Lisa Letts and Jennifer Rivet partnered with Steve Todd, EMC VP and Fellow to develop an EBC customer innovation tour at MassChallenge’ s corporate headquarters.   As the self-appointed MassChallenge Alliance Director I will work with Bernie’s team and Steve Todd to expand this program while building the spirit of innovation from the walls of EMC to our customers, partners and into our global community of EMC leaders and innovators.   Stay tuned as we share results of this amazing program and our continued partnership with MassChallenge where we are committed to living outside the box.

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

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.

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.

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.