SEI, a leading global provider of wealth management solutions, held an “Ideathon” at its Finsbury Square offices in the City of London on Friday. The aim of the contest was simple: the acceleration of innovation. In an exercise known as “intrapreneurship,” SEI encouraged its best and brightest employees to develop and pitch internal startup project ideas, which they felt would create business development opportunities.
Ten projects were selected for the final round, where teams were given a mere three minutes to impress four guest judges, one of whom was the Fintech Times’ very own Editor-in-Chief Katia Lang. Whilst the atmosphere was nurturing and good-humoured, the competition was fierce, with each team clearly invested in its proposed ideas.
One- by- one, each team filtered in to face the judges, and the Alphabeta office’s high- art- infused surroundings added dramatic tension to the occasion. Some of the standout intra-startups included:
- SmartBox – A versatile interdepartmental training app and chatbot with the ability to independently complete tasks vi using AI and deep learning
- JellyFish – A user-friendly, customer-focussed retail trading app with an aim to “take the sting out of investing”
- SAMP – An aggregation application which would aim to take advantage of SEI’s investment data for a myriad of uses, including compliance and standardisation
Many corporate institutions struggle to harness the innate creativity of their workforces, but intrapreneural contests like SEI’s offer fresh avenues of innovation and development that can arguably be what the world of big business so sorely needs.