Earlier last month, we announced the addition of Michele McConomy to the executive team as Vice President of Corporate Services, the division devoted to corporate partners at RocketSpace.
“This greatly expands our ability to meet the demand we see from corporations to further their open innovation efforts,” said Duncan Logan, founder and CEO of RocketSpace. “The addition of Michele will bring an entire new and bold approach to how we serve our corporate partners and their open innovation needs. Michele’s experience demonstrates successful development and management of corporate innovation programs, and how we can expand our ability to meet the market demand with her as leader of our Corporate Services division.”
A New Platform for Corporate Innovation
“RocketSpace’s model is the future of corporate innovation,” said Ms. McConomy. “Special places bring together special people, this includes corporates and startups alike, to drive new innovations to market. This is the future. It isn’t just about corporations being inside their own physical walls anymore. It is progressive, as a company, to realize that you can not and will not have everything it takes to continuously innovate inside your four walls.”
“Michele brings an entirely new platform for our corporate partners who work or want to work with RocketSpace,” said Mr. Logan. “It will further drive our skills and capabilities of what we can and will deliver for corporates. Her commitment to excellence and success will continue to drive the program to new heights. This will only continue to enhance and build upon RocketSpace's mission to bring the future to market, but now at the intersection where corporates and startups meet.”
Michele comes to RocketSpace from Mindjet where she was Vice President of U.S. Business Services, responsible for overseeing a multi-million dollar portfolio of corporate innovation services and consulting engagements. Michele comes with vast experience in leading senior teams in the development of robust corporate innovation programs and scaling a consulting services practice by driving new and existing business development.
Q&A With Duncan Logan and Michele McConomy
Duncan Logan: Michele, it’s fabulous that you’ve come on board the RocketSpace team. Congratulations! Hard to believe it has been almost two months now.
Michele McConomy: Thanks Duncan, I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this fantastic team. It has been a fantastic start, and myself and the Corporate Services team have been hard at work since day one working together to continue to enhance and expand our relationships and capabilities to lead corporates to success with their open innovation activities. I’m definitely feeling right at home here!
DL: You have been in corporate innovation for some time. Why did you ultimately decide to join RocketSpace?
MM: I truly believe that the future of corporate innovation will be at the intersection between corporates and startups. Corporates must find ways to become partners with startups that are in pursuit of new and disruptive tech. Corporates must not only understand this community, but also be in a position to engage with it. This is where RocketSpace lives, at the heart of a new and exciting ecosystem. This is why I believe what we do will fundamentally change the way corporate innovation programs are designed, executed and, to be honest, where they are located physically.
DL: What is the immediate impact you think you can have on RocketSpace?
MM: I have been working in corporate innovation for some time, where I have seen both fantastic successes and fierce struggles with these programs. I believe the vision for a corporate innovation program must include finding ways to work outside the core corporate environment and identifying ways to bring the outside world in. It will be the only way to generate true success going forward and to keep pace with the changes happening so rapidly. RocketSpace's Corporate Services has a unique value proposition in that we not only have a major physical presence in the technology startup world, but we offer corporations the ability to connect to this global startup community as a catalyst for open innovation. The corporate partners we have worked with to date have seen great successes as a result of their physical proximity to the energy on our campus and leveraging our team's expertise to identify opportunities across the globe. We will continue to scale and develop our Corporate Services program to be in line with those two things, driving the success of their corporate accelerator programs and discovering opportunities across the world to work with startups.
DL: What is your long-term vision for RocketSpace's Corporate Services?
MM: Corporates must find ways to work with and work like startups. It's not an option any longer. Corporations need to be connected to a physical space where they can get outside their walls and innovate with the world around them, literally! At RocketSpace, the environment on our physical campus creates amazing opportunities for corporates to work along side game-changing startups. This is the type of environment they wish they could create in their own buildings, but now, they have the incredible opportunity to be an active part of it. By corporate partners being physically part of our campus and engaged with our Corporate Services team, there is a real advantage in the networking, connectivity, and knowledge opportunities that leads to opportunity.
DL: How would you describe your core strength?
MM: Beyond our physical space here at RocketSpace, our product is our people. I am very much a people person, always have been, ever since my days as a papergirl at the age of 12! Developing meaningful relationships and understanding the challenges faced by others is what is important to me. I learned early on in my days at PwC to put myself in other people’s shoes. I have been my clients. I know the struggles they face and the incredible opportunities that are on the horizon. I feel one of my greatest strengths is to bring together expertise and talent that share those same values, along with the passion and energy they have for open innovation. We are focused on developing great relationships and delivering valuable solutions to the challenges our corporates face. Our team is comprised of incredible talent and expertise, but our team also shares the same values around people that I do.
DL: What do our corporate innovation partners and others have to look forward to with RocketSpace's Corporate Services?
MM: We plan on creating more opportunities for networking and connectivity for our corporate partners to learn from each other, but to also invite the world to learn about what our corporate partners are doing to drive success. We feel it is critically important to create a large, diverse community for our corporate partners and others to learn and build from as they each pursue open innovation. You will see more on how we plan on doing this over the next couple of months.
DL: As we ourselves aspire to expand globally, what is your plan to continue taking the RocketSpace Corporate Services mission to corporates?
MM: We are at a tipping point with open innovation. It is all the buzz. My plan is pretty simple - share our stories and get the message out there. What we do every day with our corporate partners accelerates opportunities with game changing startups - either remotely or right here on our campus. It’s real, it’s practical, and it is, most importantly, valuable. We know how to bridge the gap from the corporate world to the startup world. We do it best. As we expand globally and have more of a physical presence to offer in different technology hubs across the globe, that will only further attract corporate partners to our program. For global companies, it will be a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the startup culture in each of the global locations we are in.
DL: Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michele!
MM: Thanks Duncan. In open innovation, the sky is the limit for our corporates, and we are excited to be a leading part of that journey for them!
To learn more about RocketSpace's Corporate Services and our work with big brands, visit us here.