In this episode, Fiona Triaca from Naked Ambition talks with Kate O’Keeffe from Cisco about cross-industry innovation. Kate talks us through how CHILL works, some of the success they have had and some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way. She also explains how she gets the stakeholders on board with the concept early on and shares her lessons in how you can be a driver of innovation at your own company.


About Kate:

Kate O’Keeffe is the Senior Director and one of the founders of Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs – also known as CHILL. CHILL condenses up to two years of normal innovation into just two days by bringing together a handful of Cisco’s customers—along with entrepreneurs, hackers, and end users—in a 48-hour lab focused on a particular industry challenge. They collaborate, build prototypes, test them with users, then iterate up to 12 times before making a pitch for on-the-spot investment.

CHILL is the culmination of Kate’s vision that today’s hyperinnovation era requires both specific muscles and the capability to involve customers and startups in new and exciting ways. Since CHILL’s inception, a full 75% of projects have progressed to further stages, including to CHILL-X, a process that creates startups from scratch.

Kate’s also a Melbourne native and proved her entrepreneurial chops as a fashion designer by founding, building and exiting a successful shoe business, Cinderella Bella. She is the recipient of numerous industry awards and recognitions including, most recently, the M-Prize Innovating Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Harvard Business Review and McKinsey, and a place on Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business 2016” list.

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