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Introducing SousZen

See how Xinova partners with PepsiCo and Innit to launch the new Seattle restaurant tech startup, SousZen, that aims to digitize ‘back of house’.

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“I think the pace of disruption that’s occurring in the marketplace means you have to innovate,” said Michael Mahan, investment manager for Stanley Black & Decker in our conversation at the 2018 IRI Annual in Atlanta.

The whole concept of “too big to fail” is a concept of the past. Entire industries, not just companies, are being felled by young companies that didn’t exist a few years ago. The example that Mahan points to is upstart SpaceX who beat out decades-old Boeing for government contracts. Even more notoriously are Uber and Lyft who have upended the entire taxicab industry.

While Stanley Black & Decker are far from being a startup, they can still participate in the market by partnering, or better, investing in startups. The advantage, said Mahan is they get to “see the innovation as it comes out early on, but also not do it at a price tag of an acquisition.”

It’s necessary for his company to play in this marketplace because startups don’t have the same quarterly demands of a public company. While they may not be generating revenue and just burning VC money, they have more freedom than Stanley Black & Decker, which allows for greater experimentation.

Mahan knows that they need to be more aggressive about growth. Market disruption doesn’t happen with small incremental change.

“If you always innovate to just grow one or two percent, you’re never going to get that breakthrough innovation that you’re really looking for to make a huge dent in the market,” said Mahan.

Created by: David Spark 
Spark Media Solutions

IRI’s Annual Conference is the go-to event for global innovation leaders. Come together with your peers from large corporations, startups, and everything in between to challenge conventional ways of managing innovation and learn how to stay relevant in an accelerated and ever-changing environment.


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