Mountain View, California (EastBayDaily) — 650 Labs, an analytically driven strategy consulting firm located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is offering a new immersion boot camp for multinationals through its “Pop Up Innovation Lab.”
The highly competitive pop-up program aligns with the emerging global trend toward multinationals setting up innovation centers and labs in Silicon Valley, while not having the costs associated with a permanent presence in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley has historically and continues to be viewed throughout the world as a unique region for disruption and innovation, and executives globally frequently report visits to the Bay Area as inspiring and productive.
With the program, 650 Labs hopes to share the Valley’s insights for disruptive innovation with the growing number of multinationals looking to immerse themselves in the innovative best practices that the Valley is famous for. Multinationals from all corners of the world are tapping into a trend of forming close ties with Silicon Valley to take advantage of its innovative characteristics.
The Pop Up Innovation Lab is more in keeping with the new vision of Silicon Valley as the “Industry-Disruption Capital of the World,” its creators say. But that immersion is rarely as simple as moving a business to Silicon Valley. Opening an office in Silicon Valley is costly, but establishing connections with the Valley's innovative culture is increasingly essential for businesses anywhere in the world, across all industries.
“Not all companies, no matter how big, can afford to own a permanent office in Silicon Valley,” explains Mark Zawacki, founder of 650 Labs. “Instead companies are invited to take advantage of the best of both worlds, and visit Silicon Valley for a pop up experience. Visiting Silicon Valley for a week is nice, but our rigorous methodology is based on multinationals working on a high-profile challenge or opportunity while in the Valley, and for a sustained period of time.”
The Pop Up Innovation Lab bridges the gap between an expensive permanent office and a weeklong field trip by having companies send teams to Silicon Valley for a prolonged period, typically two to eight weeks. During the time in the Valley, the client team will immerse themselves into Silicon Valley and utilize all of its resources and techniques that they would otherwise not have access to. “Effectively, our client teams coming to Silicon Valley are working on strategic issues that have board level visibility. It’s beyond immersion really, we are having the client teams actually mimic behaviors and qualities of Valley disruptors,” says Zawacki.
In addition to fleshing out the strategic initiative they are working on, the experience includes relevant site visits, just-in-time education modules (i.e. business model innovation, design thinking, structured analysis, etc.), networking and discussing industry trends within the industry ecosystem, attending relevant conferences, and interacting with the right Valley ecosystems, including VCs, startups, serial entrepreneurs, vertical cluster companies and other key influencers.
The Silicon Valley setting is a rich environment for the experience. It’s there that, specifically, companies in the Valley have successfully impacted industries – from financial services to retail to telco to media – within a growing culture of cross-cluster collaboration. “Multinationals visiting the Valley for a week isn’t enough anymore,” says Zawacki, “the pace of disruption in many industries is happening too quickly for the annual visit.” “Besides,” Zawacki offers, “those short visits are rarely focused on a specific strategic threat or opportunity. Our Pop Up Innovation Lab teams have the opportunity to consider real-world company issues in the context and environment of world leaders of disruptive innovation. This experiential learning model goes beyond networking to provide a more cultural immersion sense for participants."
While extensive research is part of the lab methodology, client teams are exposed to multiple approaches to achieve breakthrough results. In particular, there is a core curriculum consisting of interactive educational sessions and relevant case studies. Teams will also go out and network, and visit relevant Silicon Valley companies that will reinforce the core curriculum.
While the Pop Up Innovation Lab teams will be given great responsibility and independence by their companies, 650 Labs’ own team of professionals will mentor them. 650 Labs has a well-balanced team with backgrounds in operations, venture capital, and strategy consulting. They’ve successfully completed over 300 projects worldwide and have extensive experience both with multinationals and startups.
About Mark Zawacki Mark Zawacki is the Founder of 650 Labs, a strategy consulting firm which helps non-technology multinationals understand and react to industry-wide disruptions emanating from Silicon Valley. He has advised more than 300 clients globally on a myriad of growth and revenue-related initiatives including business strategy, innovation & disruption, business and corporate development, alliances/partnering, go-to-market strategies and international expansion.
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