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Innovate or Buy? How M&A are shaping corporate innovation

It seems like every time you turn around, that cool brand you just discovered or that small, hip company you’ve prided yourself on buying for the past few years is being bought up by big corporate conglomerates. The recent one added to the list is Blue Bottle Coffee, which Nestlé just purchased for around $500 million.

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The Retail Comeback: socialization, product education and entertainment are generating the new wave

It’s an exciting time for retail. This may not be the obvious conclusion after looking at headlines like “Retail Apocalypse” or reading figures saying 8,600 stores will have closed by the end of 2017. It’s important to distinguish that it’s not a great time for retail, in fact it may be at its lowest point ever. However, while physical retail stores haven’t been doing their best, they are at a revolutionary juncture where they get to redefine what they can be and the sky is the limit.

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Reliable Sustainability: new trends in transparency of sourcing schemes

“Transparency is the primary contemporary value.” This declaration comes from The Responsible Corporation by Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley, who through their work with Patagonia became pioneers in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). More and more, their statement gets backed up by data and studies. With today’s socially-savvy shopper, sustainability is no longer just a trend, but a necessity for brands to thrive. However, when so many companies are tooting their horns about the good they are doing with CSR, how is it possible to figure out who is undertaking what they say they are?

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Sprinting for 12 Italian companies

Getting started with a project seems to always be the hardest part. Whether it’s getting stuck in abstract thoughts or fear of not reaching perfection, there are countless barriers that prevent teams from working efficiently. In order to sidestep these hurdles, this year to kickoff the Italia Innovation Program project work we invited Google Venture’s Jake Knapp, creator of the Sprint Methodology, to facilitate a Design Sprint that would help push the groups into rapid ideation.

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From Silicon Valley to Italy, the future of high-end manufacturing is here

Italy is a world-leading creative manufacturing powerhouse, and we are strongly committed in gathering the best talents and resources in the world to foster its vision and leadership.
After 4 four years of educational and corporate innovation programs, we have decided to map and open the Italian high-end manufacturing know-how to select, invest in and accelerate emerging new companies.
Companies that are able to natively translate the Italian know-how on a global and digital scale, fast-paced by nature and internationally populated since their beginnings.

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Innovate or Buy? How M&A are shaping corporate innovation

At Italia Innovation, by involving young minds in the specific problems faced by today’s global companies, we can spark innovation. Our weekend at Georgetown was an opportunity to introduce university students to two Italian companies, then inspire them to rethink their future in a hackathon format. While we’ve done hackathons before, this was the first time we introduced the students to the unique economic factors that the companies face from their home economy. We found that orienting the students to the unique economic heritage from which these companies came helped students better understand how to project evolution and success.

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Surfing the third wave of coffee

In November 2015, in just 10 days, illycaffè met 90 students from top U.S. colleges and business schools and together designed new ideas to foster illy’s product innovation, brand and retail strategy.
With two main events staged in Silicon Valley at the Enjoy HQ (Ron Johnson’s newest start-up) and Harvard University, talents from Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, Harvard, MIT and Wharton School of Business teamed up and worked for one day with the special mentorship of Giovanni Loser — illycaffè General Manager, Bill Burnett — Executive Director of the Stanford Design Program and Mitch Sinclair — IDEO Boston Design Director.

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