Innovation Blender: Janrain Encourages Their Intrapreneurs To Shine

innovation-blenderJoin me as I sit down with Anthony Dupre, Janrain’s VP of Engineering, to talk about our first Innovation Blender, or hackathon that recently took place.

Gina: We recently held the first ever Janrain Innovation Blender. Tell me about the event.

Anthony: With the Innovation Blender, we wanted to give Janrain employees the opportunity to break away from their typical work day, let their inner entrepreneur walk into the spotlights, give them a reason to connect with one another and provide a glimpse into what co-workers do on a daily basis.

Although initiated by our Engineering team, we wanted the event to be cross-discipline and open to the whole company, which we achieved and witnessed strong collaboration by peers who don’t typically have the opportunity to work together. With over 25 pitches, 7 projects worked on and over one hundred participants representing most areas of the company, the first Innovation Blender is a resounding success.

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We kicked things off with the ‘pitching’ session. Going down the list, employees presented their ideas in front the jam packed set of bleachers of the basketball court. Just before lunch, Janrainers voted to select the top seven ideas that would be assigned a team and be implemented over the next 24 hours. The teams self organized and a number of them worked through the night until noon the following day.

The presentation phase started right after lunch on day two. Not only did all seven teams demonstrate functioning prototypes for their projects, all had prepared polished presentations that resulted in a standing ovation from everyone.

Gina: So now what?

In the spirit of the event, some projects will naturally be picked up and maintained by the Janrain community. For example, one internal project is readily useable and I hear people refer to it often. Others have real potential as a Janrain product and we will be exploring ways to sponsor it. We hope that both projects and ideas initiated during the event continue beyond the initial thrust.

Many people who participated or observed are already lining up ideas and looking forward to our next Innovation Blender.

Stay tuned to the Janrain blog to hear about Innovation Blender ideas coming to life.

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