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About last week…

Last week, 30+ graduates put their best and most innovative ideas forward at our Innovation Mini-MBA. Held at the Academy by Google, in London, the programme took place during London Tech Week 2018.

Now in its second year, the 5-day programme welcomed individuals from over 20 companies, ranging from pharma to retail and from media to financial services, including Deloitte, Telefonica UK and AECOM. From Product Managers to Individual Consultants or Design Directors, everyone gained new ideas or models, such as “the fuzzy front end” or “negative brainstorming”, and left feeling better prepared to tackle innovation challenges in their organisation.

Academy at Google, London

The start of an immersive journey

  • Can I develop a process that enables innovation in my organisation?
  • How do I build a culture of innovation within my team?
  • How do I differentiate myself in a competitive work environment?

With different questions to answer and various levels of experience, the journey was bound to be different for everyone. Some of the students attending were completely new to innovation and the tools they would receive. Others knew exactly what to expect, having had colleagues take the course during the previous intake.

To begin with, students received the tools to define a user problem and started to think about the innovation process. During the following days, split into teams, they went through the ideation, prototyping and building process for their respective innovations. The course was very hands-on and allowed everyone to learn by doing.

IA1   IA4      IAa2.2

 “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

Six teams were formed. The innovations they proposed ranged from using IoT technology to provide accurate details of people boarding trains (Trainspotter), redesigning train carriages for a more personalised journey (Smart Carriages) to an app holding all your assets in one place, aimed at the insurance industry (Vaultr).

Finally, it was time for the teams to present their ideas to a panel of judges. With over 40 years of experience in driving change and thriving on disruption, the panel consisted of:

  • Nicola Darke – Director of Customer Success, Wazoku
  • Jeremy Davies – Chief Operations Officer, KNect365
  • Katie King – Director of Transformation at Digital Leadership Associates and Founder, Zoodikers Consulting Ltd.
  • Fionnuala Duggan – Managing Director, KNect365 Learning
  • Milan S. Lakhani – Head of Strategy and Business Development, Business Innovation Centre, Konica Minolta, Inc.
  • Carin Campanario – Technology Innovation Strategist, TUI


Each team pitched for 15 minutes, followed by a 5-minute Q&A with the panel.


vaultr presentation   unbox1

The panel praised the pitches for their quality. Each team then received individual feedback for their idea. Only one won though – Smart Bins. The idea that won presented a prototype for a bin that could identify the type of waste individuals are producing – whether recyclable or not. This would enable public sector organisations to use that data to improve the citizens’ quality of life while making households more sustainable.

Smart bin team with Rody Vonk

Thank you to everyone who took part, well done to all the teams and welcome to the Innovation Mini-MBA Alumni!

Engaging. Immersive. Refreshing.

The next Innovation Mini-MBA will take place 14th – 18th October 2018, in Dubai, where it will launch for the first time.

It will also take place in London, 19th – 23rd November this year.

Visit our programme page here if you would like to find out more.