How does the program work?
Innovation Olympics is an eight-week action learning program that IXL Center and the Global Innovation Management Institute offer every quarter. It is a unique and practical program that challenges business school students to integrate their business knowledge to solve a real innovation & growth issue for a senior executive from a company.
More information at Students FAQ
Why Should You Participate?
- Work and meet with senior executives to crack the case
- Learn a world-class methodology to develop a new business
- Receive a professional certification from the Global Innovation Management Institute and be included in its globally distributed resume book
- Have fun and get bragging rights for being the winner
- Add this experience on your resume as a form of internship under IXL Center
- Receive $4,000 or $2,000 for being 1st or 2nd, respectively*
- Winter (January – March): register by January 25th
- Spring (April – June): register by April 2nd
- Summer (June – August): register by May 31st
- Fall (October – December): register by October 5ft
What are the Companies You May Work with?
We have worked with more than 200 biggest companies in the world that vary in corporate size, scope and reach.
These are the examples of potential Client Companies:
What are the requirements to participate?
No registration or participation fee required. Participation can be done in-person here in Boston, or virtually.
- Team must have at least 4 members and has functional diversity.
- Team members should have a minimum of 2 years work experience.
- Team members should be students or alumni from the same school.
- At least 3 team members need to attend all client meetings*. While for weekly mentor sessions*, at least 2 members need to attend.
- Only one team member needs to register the team.
*Meetings are primarily video conference or could be face-to-face depending on location of client/mentor and teams.
Multiple teams from same university can apply. No two teams from the same university will be competing from one another. Selection will be based on functional diversity, work experience, university and time of registration.
We will announce the selection 2-3 weeks before the cycle. Shortlisted teams will be contacted by program team.
Innovation Olympics four key elements:
1. Best Companies, Hardest Challenges
Senior leaders from world-class organizations drive high performance results by:
- Defining an exciting and difficult challenge they are currently facing with stretch targets
- Demanding world-class results from teams and provide constructive feedback
- Setting guidelines for degree of stretch, current realities
2. Diverse and Well-Prepared Teams
Each company receives 3-4 well prepared teams of 4-6 participants including:
- Students and/or alumni with minimum of two years of work experience
- All participants and interns trained in disciplined innovation tools
- Participants from different job functions, multiple industries, countries and cultures
3. Battle-tested Lean Innovation Process
In 6-8 weeks, the teams leverage a battle-tested process, software enabled tools, and robust exercises to drive the generation of:
- Hundreds of insights and idea fragments
- 15-25 well-developed concepts
- 5-10 tested and validated business cases and plans
4. Experienced Business Innovation Coaches
Experienced mentors/coaches* provide expert guidance and program management by:
- Managing and guiding the diverse teams and act as the primary interface between teams and clients
- Providing tools, training, and coaching to build more lasting innovation capability and leadership skills
- Enabling clients to focus on evaluating ideas and business concepts instead of program management
* Previous mentors include consultants, partners and senior executives.
EXAMPLES OF PREVIOUS INNOVATION OLYMPIC CHALLENGES
- Helping VP OF NEW BUSINESS OF VERIZON to identify multi-billion dollar growth opportunities at the intersection of telecommunications and other industries.
- Working with the PRESIDENT OF SHERWIN-WILLIAM’s $2 billion Global Finishes Group to develop new coating concepts that could be possible and profitable for emerging markets over the next five years.
- Helping the DEPUTY COO OF EMIRATES NBD, a Middle-Eastern banking giant, develop futuristic and innovative solutions beyond credit cards.
- Working with the DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION & NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OF NATURA, a Brazilian cosmetics leader, on the future of online cosmetics.
- Helping the innovation and NEW BUSINESS TEAMS AT CLOROX build stronger value propositions and business cases around ideas that had been submitted but not fully developed
- Working with a member of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD to identify new scale up implementation business models to make OLPC a sustainable organization in the face of intense competition.
*Note on the Prize:
The maximum prize available per company is $6,000. In case of a tie, the prize money will be allocated accordingly to reflect the tie. The individual recipients of prize money will be responsible for the tax implications of their winnings. Prize payments are treated as income by the IXL Center and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a United States government agency that is responsible for the collection and enforcement of taxes. Non-U.S. citizens residing outside the US will have to take care of the tax on their prize payments. There are two options:
Option 1: The prize winning will be sent to one of the appointed member of the team through a check or wire transfer. The team will need to fill out an authorization form.
Option 2: Each member of the winning team receives an Amazon gift card.