Linking Startups with Corporations at RocketSpace’s Innovation Summit

On Thursday, November 29, RocketSpace welcomed over 50 major corporations to its first ever Innovation Summit. Over the course of the day, attendees took a deep dive into opportunities and trends in corporate open innovation.

“Open innovation 2013 is really about bridging the gap between startups and innovation technology with the corporate world,” noted Jay Onda, Business Development Consultant for NTT Docomo.

As the home of over 130 of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley, RocketSpace provided an ideal environment for bridging that gap and introducing executive stakeholders to the startup ecosystem.

Keynoting the event were IdeaFaktory’s Steve Faktor, UC Berkeley’s Dr. Henry Chesbrough, and RocketSpace’s own Duncan Logan.

Faktor, a Fortune 100 innovator & author of Econovation, delivered a talk entitled “The Red, White, & Blue Pills of Arousing Innovation.”

In his keynote, Chesbrough, often called “the father of open innovation,” emphasized that innovation cannot be developed in isolation and spoke about the separation of research and development.

Duncan Logan outlined his vision of the “technology economy” and how RocketSpace is building an ecosystem around high-growth tech startups that can become critical fuel for corporate innovation.

After the keynote addresses, participants moved on to small-group breakout session rotations. Simon Mulcahy of Salesforce led a session on Innovation as a Management Strategy, James Patterson of Yammer moderated the discussions on Emerging Technology Integration, and Chris Redlitz of KickLabs headed the conversation around Streamlining Startup Engagement. The sessions provided an opportunity for corporate attendees to engage with one another more directly.

“I’ve been able to speak to people who do what I do in different capacities and different companies and to hear about their successes, their failures, their lessons learned,” said Diana Stepner of Pearson PLC. “That’s all insight that’s really valuable to me because then I can apply that to my job.”

To cap off the day, the corporate representatives mingled with startup founders over wine, sushi, and Chinese food.

“This was a great event — good insights into the innovation areas of the leading strategic players in Silicon Valley,” remarked Benjamin Levy, who works out of RocketSpace as a partner with BootstrapAdvisor. Other startups in attendance included Obvious Engineering, Whit.li, AdColony, and Loc8te.

Eryc Branham, Chief Revenue Officer at RocketSpace, had to speak loudly to be heard over the hum of conversation. “Innovation in corporate America is still this early, nascent idea,” he said. “That these teams can get together, share ideas, share best practices, and allow us to be a catalyst of that — seeing the excitement and the energy that innovation can bring to corporate America when you bring the startup community into it — it’s just incredible.”

Learn more about RocketSpace’s corporate ambassador program by clicking here.

By Jaslyn Law

Jaslyn Law is a marketing and operations analyst at RocketSpace.

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