JPMorgan Chase // Financial Solutions Lab

JPMorgan Chase // Financial Solutions Lab

JPMorgan Chase & Co has invested $30 million into its innovative initiative – the Financial Solutions Labs. This five year program supports and promotes innovation aimed at helping Americans save money, build assets and improve credit. Each year a common financial problem is chosen as the overarching theme and a wide range of applicants are invited to submit their innovative solutions. Successful members are given $250,000 in capital, support from FinLab operating partners, strategic advice from its advisory council and resources from the founding partners to develop and implement their ideas.  

Leaders: Maria Lajewski (Manager, Center for Financial Services Innovation), Ryan Falvey (Managing Director, Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation)

Learn More: Financial Solutions Lab homepage

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Thales // xPlor

Thales // xPlor

French aerospace, defense and security firm Thales, recently launched Thales xPlor to search for partnerships and technologies that can help grow Thales’s businesses. The xPlor team identifies promising ideas, tests them with customers, and develop them into solutions that can turn into businesses. CEO Allan Pellegrini describes this program as “a catalyst for connecting our initiatives at Thales to all of the exciting entrepreneurial ideas flowing from research institutions and small business startups in the U.S.” One pioneering product is the Dragonfly, an augmented reality display originally used by military fighter pilots, and now successfully being implemented by Texan neurosurgeons.

Leaders: Pete Roney (CIO)

Learn More: xPlor Homepage | About the initiative

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General Mills // G-WIN Digital

General Mills // G-WIN Digital

Imagine you could have a say in the latest innovations and creations of your favorite food brands like Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs or Pillsbury. Well, in fact you can. G-Win Digital, an off-shoot of G-Win (General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network) seeks the public’s input and ideas in emerging technologies and digital capabilities. A big believer in connected innovation, General Mills successfully partners with external innovators, startups and consumers for current product enhancements and new product development.

Leaders: 

Learn More: G-WIN Homepage | GM Wants Your Ideas | New foods from G-WIN | GM Opens Innovation Initiative

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Hallmark // LEaP Lab

Hallmark // LEaP Lab

Hallmark founder J.C. Hall has built a multi-billion dollar business built on creativity, collaboration and innovation. With over 25,000 books in it’s library and 5,000 art supplies at their fingertips, they have been keeping their customers inspired for decades. If however, the company's creativity happens to stray, employees can also tap into the LEap (Learning Exploring and Prototyping for Tomorrow’s Hallmark) Lab. Here they can use the latest technology and prototyping tools, including access to a 3D printer and a wood shop, to test their hands at new product innovations.

Leaders: Paul Barker (SVP Digital Innovation)

Learn More: Innovation at Hallmark

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Intel // IoT Platform

Intel // IoT Platform

Intel is one of the most successful and innovative companies of all time. However, having mostly missed the boat on the mobile revolution, this tech giant is determined to anchor down in the IoT (Internet of Things) market which is expected to grow to $26 billion by 2020. Through its IoT Platform, Intel aims to accelerate IoT innovation by delivering to market faster, decreasing solution complexity and offering customizable and repeatable building blocks for devices to deliver data to the cloud. 

Leaders: Shashi Jain (IoT Innovation Manager at Intel Corporation), Craig Wetzel (IoT Business Development Manager at Intel Corporation)

Learn More: Platform infographic | Intel Introduces A New Platform To Accelerate Innovation In The IoT Space | Press release

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Ingersoll Rand // Engineering and Technology Center

Ingersoll Rand // Engineering and Technology Center

Cultivating a customer-centric mindset was a key component to growth at Ingersoll Rand, when Paul Camuti took to the newly appointed Vice President of Innovation position. In 2012, revenue from innovational totaled $3.3 billion. That same year, a lab opened in the Czech Republic focused exclusively on research and development and improving time to market. Installing GPS systems in golf carts that can be used to calculate yardage or order a sandwich before the next hole, is just one example of this diverse company delivering innovative new products.

Leaders: Paul Camuti (SVP of Innovation and CTO), Michael Wynblatt (VP, Innovation and Emerging Technology)
Learn More: Innovation at Ingersoll Rand | Innovation Drives Growth at Ingersoll Rand | Engineering and Technology Center

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MetLife // LumenLab

MetLife // LumenLab

LumenLab is the hub for innovation at MetLife. Originally considered a gamble for this 145 year old enterprise, the Singapore-based lab continues to prove the success of experimentation. Through its LimenLab, this leading provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs develops new products to better serve its Asian market’s needs. Adopting the startup culture of Silicon Valley, MetLife creatively adapts western-centric innovation to cater to the health and wealth requirements of its Asian customers.

Leaders: Gary Hoberman (EVP and Co-CIO), Tom Wolf (EVP and co-CIO), Jim O'Donnell (EVP and CTO)
Learn More: LumenLab | MetLife Invests in Innovation Center to Redefine Insurance Industry in Asia | MetLife takes a gamble on startup culture

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Starbucks // My Starbucks Idea

Starbucks // My Starbucks Idea

Through My Starbucks Idea, customers’ ideas such as free birthday treats, cake pops and mobile payment drives-thrus are brought to life. The current tally is at 277 ideas and it continues to grow. This omnipotent coffee corporation has taken coffee to the cloud, with its innovative Clover coffee machines that digitally control temperature and brew time, update recipes according to customer data and record barista performance. Starbucks also plans to make coffee the first sustainably sourced agricultural product in the world. Who knows what they’ll brew up next.


Leaders: Luigi Bonini (SVP Innovation and Product Development), Mary Wagner (SVP of R&D/Q&R)
Learn More: My Starbucks Idea homepage

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Staples // Labs

Staples // Labs

Just one innovative development lab is not enough for this powerhouse retailer. Staples now boasts three labs in total: Sustainable Innovation Lab (research committed to reducing the environmental impact of office supplies), Velocity Lab (a race car themed workspace that fosters collaboration with a focus on mobile commerce), and Development Lab (tapping into start up talent on the West Coast).  Staples is fast taking over the ecommerce space with accelerated time to market. In just 9 weeks the Innovation Lab launched digital wallets – Staples’ fastest deployment ever. 

Leaders: Faisal Masud (Chief Digital Officer)
Learn More: Staples Labs homepage

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Philips // Simply Innovate

Philips // Simply Innovate

Through Simply Innovate, members of the public are invited to step up to the plate and help this electronics giant innovate. Philips believes that great ideas often come from outside the company and is open to collaboration with the community as well as with academic and industrial partners. At its Innovation Open Contest, participants from around the world were invited to pitch their novel technological ideas. First place went to four industrial design students from the UK with the potential to revolutionize oral health care through their ultrasonic technology.

Leaders: Wiecher Kamping (Function Developer and Open Innovation Manager for Mother and Child Care at Philips Consumer Lifestyle)
Learn More: Simply Innovate homepage

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Reebok // Advanced Concepts

Reebok // Advanced Concepts

Leading sportswear company, Reebok, is one of the frontrunners of innovative apparel engineering. "At Reebok, we are committed to technological and engineering innovations that will help people be fit for life," says Paul Litchfield, Head of Advanced Concepts. In 2014 Reebok was named CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award Honoree for its cutting edge Checklight designed in collaboration with MC10. This innovative skullcap uses multiple motion sensors to create actionable impact data used to determine an athlete’s physical condition before continuing play.

Leaders: Matt Montross (Director of Development - Advanced Concepts at Reebok), Bill McInnis (Vice President, Reebok Future at Reebok), Kevin Leary (Director of Product Development, Innovation at Reebok)

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Thomson Reuters // Labs at Waterloo

Thomson Reuters // Labs at Waterloo

The Thomson Reuters Labs is a “vibrant innovation centers that supports academic research projects in partnership with world-class universities and accelerate tech start-ups.” With its newest Waterloo Lab, Thomson Reuters looks to turn its one-off start up relationships into long-term commitments, setting down roots in this high tech hub. The $12.5 billion information solutions company is making a rapid shift from acquisition to innovation from within. Drawing from a newly created catalyst fund, innovation has taken center stage with newly appointed innovation champions, an innovation network and enterprise innovation workshops all playing key roles.


Leaders: Brian Zubert (Director), Mona Vernon (VP labs)
Learn More: Labs at Waterloo homepage

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NBC Universal // Technology Center, Media Labs

NBC Universal // Technology Center, Media Labs

NBC Universal Technology Center is the catalyst that keeps this global media and entertainment giant at the forefront of innovation. Designed specifically to foster collaboration and co-creation between its offices across the world, this $17 million investment is a lab for innovative technologies. To complement this initiative, Media Labs is a secondary space that works with start-ups, venture capitals and research groups to develop new ideas.

Leaders: Altaf Rupani (Chief Technology Officer), Michael Ibrahim (Director of Innovation Products), Fielding Kidd (Manager, Innovation Programs), 
Learn More: Media Labs | Technology Center

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Kaiser Permanente // Garfield Innovation Center, Innovation Consultancy

Kaiser Permanente // Garfield Innovation Center, Innovation Consultancy

Healthcare giant, Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation Consultancy takes a customer-centric approach to healthcare innovation. The team uses drawing, writing and photography to record how healthcare professionals interact with each other and with patients. This unique blend of anthropology, journalism and customer empathy creates a treasure trove of qualitative data which can be used to improve the health care service reaching 8.6 million members. The Garfield Center, equipped with an entirely virtual medical-surgical unit, from waiting room to radiology suite, is where innovative ideas and practices are tested developed in their native environment. 

Leaders: Chris McCarthy (Director at the Innovation Consultancy)

Learn More: Garfield innovation center homepage | Innovation consultancy homepage | Kaiser Permanente’s innovation on the front line | Garfield center virtual tour 

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Johnson & Johnson // Innovation Centers

Johnson & Johnson // Innovation Centers

Global healthcare leader, Johnson & Johnson, has joined forces with entrepreneurs around the world to positively impact human health through innovation. This takes place at their hubs in Boston, California, Shanghai and London, where scientists, academic institutes and biotech startups combine new ideas, the latest in medical technologies, healthcare products and pharmaceuticals. This behemoth company recognizes how crucial providing the best care possible to patients around the world is, and their innovation centers keep them at the cutting edge of these healthcare solutions.

Leaders: Jeff Calcagno (New Ventures at J&J innovation), Patrick Verheyen (Head of J&J Innovation), Cris De Luca (Digital Health and Innovation)

Learn More: J&J Innovation homepage

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Ikea // Space 10

Ikea // Space 10

In a bold move, Ikea has invited potential disrupters to innovate and create right beneath their nose, and on their tab, too. The Swedish furniture incumbent recently launched Space 10 - themed labs that run for three months at a time and provide innovators from across the world the platform to present and brainstorm the latest in urban living prototypes. Whether these prototypes mature into products or not, Space 10 helps Ikea stay on the pulse of consumer trends inhome design and ahead of possible market disruptions.  

Leaders: Mikael Ydholm (Head of Research), Eva-Carin Banka Johnson (Ikea Future Home Innovation Manager), Matt Stanley (Manager Sustainability Innovation)

Learn More: Space 10 homepage | Inside Space 10

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt // HMH Labs, HMH Innovation Fund

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt // HMH Labs, HMH Innovation Fund

Proving you can’t put a price on the value of innovation, world leader in education, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has launched a cool $100 million innovation fund for the development and delivery of tailored learning solutions and technologies. Their HMH Labs, which serves 50 million students, teachers and adult learners worldwide, has firmly established this education giant in the lucrative edtech market. The purpose of the labs, says CTO Brook Colangelo, is “to rapidly simplify the delivery of educational technology solutions in the classroom and at home.” 

Leaders: Claudia Reuter (SVP Labs)

Learn More: HMH developer portal homepage | About HMH labs | Announcing the Fund

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Home Depot // BlackLocus, Technology Center

Home Depot // BlackLocus, Technology Center

From associates equipped with First phones (walkie talkies that can also process card payments), Paypal Wallet payment options and updated self-checkout facilities, Home Depot’s innovative technologies make the purchasing experience a pleasure. The engineers, analysts and scientists at acquired start up Black Locus, comprise the innovation team behind such development. Additionally, Home Depot collaborates with students at Georgia Tech through its debut research and development based research center, The Home Depot Technology Center, to bring in a steady stream of young, fresh ideas.  

Leaders: Jeff Jacobs (Director of BlackLocus)

Learn More: BlackLocus homepage | Home depot innovates customer checkouts | Partnership with Georgia Tech

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American Express // Financial Innovation Lab

American Express // Financial Innovation Lab

To stay on top of the latest technologies and opportunities in financial services, The American Express Innovation Lab is developing new products to appeal to consumers in new segments. The group is experimenting with facial recognition software, wearable devices, and mobile payments, often focused on customers traditionally underserved by financial services companies.

Leaders: Kenneth Chenault (CEO), Harshul Sanghi (Managing Partner at Ventures), Neal Sample (President of Enterprise Growth Group)

Learn More: Financial Innovation Lab homepage | Ventures homepage | American Express Opens Tech Lab in Palo Alto | New Initiatives | American Express Lab Testing Facial Recognition Technology

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Samsung // Accelerator

Samsung // Accelerator

Partnering with or investing in innovators outside the bounds of a large organization is an approach many companies have taken. Samsung, one of the world’s largest electronics companies has applied the accelerator model to doing so. The Samsung Accelerator provides capital, and product and strategic support to entrepreneurs building market-driven software. Samsung’s portfolio of companies are hard at work creating new user experiences that respond to emerging needs in the virtual reality, the internet of things, payments, and consumer wearables technologies.

Leaders: David Eun (President Global Innovation Center), Emily Becher (Head of Accelerator)

Learn More: Accelerator homepage | World's biggest startup? Samsung Electronics to reform corporate culture

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