Northwestern Mutual opens innovation lab, announces pitch event

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Northwestern Mutual has opened an innovation center, Cream City Labs, at the company’s headquarters in downtown Milwaukee. Cream City Labs was designed to advance innovation, ideation and experimentation for employees and community partners, which include local startup companies.

The Labs offer space for Northwestern Mutual employees to have more space for collaborative and creative work, which encouraging new ways to think and deliver leading digital experience for the company’s clients and financial advisors, the company says. In addition, it is open to students and faculty in the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute, launched along with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University in June. It is also housing Cream City Venture Capital portfolio companies, providing access to Northwestern Mutual mentors, technologist and business resources that are expanding startup companies.

Northwestern Mutual is also prepping for its sectond Reverse Pitch MKE event, in which startups and entrepreneurs are invited to hear company executives outline a business problem, then work on a solution. Participating teams can apply to pitch their solutions to Northwestern Mutual in January 2019. The winner will be announced in February 2019. The business problems are:

  • Securing digital, high-volume and -value payments
  • Evaluating inclusion in the workforce
  • Streamlining medical record review

“Cream City Labs demonstrates our commitment to providing our employees with skills, opportunities and space to innovate and embrace an entrepreneurial mindset as we work to transform how people experience financial security,” said Karl Gouverneur, vice president of digital workplace, corporate solutions and head of digital innovation at Northwestern Mutual. “The lab enables our employees to connect with digital innovators and creative thinkers both within and outside of the organization, driving innovation forward both in our company and our community.”

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