Derek Chin is Head of Innovation and Product Strategy at Nerdery, a business consulting company. Brian Ardinger, Inside Outside Innovation Founder, talks with Derek about corporate innovation, adaptability, and financing innovation projects.
Bringing ideas to life
With the heart of a serial entrepreneur, Derek is fascinated with how to bring ideas to life. After working at a startup in college, Derek started his own business and learned the importance of design thinking and bootstrapping. He eventually went to law school and had the opportunity to work for United Healthcare, analyzing new laws and regs to discover new business opportunities.
Derek continued at United Healthcare after law school, as their entrepreneur-in-residence, and was humbled by the challenges of corporate innovation. After a few years, Derek left to help start a new company called BrightHealth, with a former CEO of United Healthcare. In 5 months, they raised $80 million, in Series A, as a small startup trying to replicate a huge insurance company. Selecting the best staff and supplementing with consultants, was an important stratetgy to move fast. BrightHealth raised another $160 million in Series B and then was at a point of scaling.
Now at Nerdery, Derek helps other companies think like entrepreneurs and accelerate their growth by creating MVPs and selecting the right staff. He’s worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, including businesses like Google and Purina. He thinks a key obstacle to innovation is resourcing and staffing. Companies are building teams before they know what they are doing. Derek believes small corporate innovation teams partnering with agencies like Nerdery, to find market fit, is the best approach. Innovation teams are able to integrate the project back into the business, and the agency team goes away. “Team -as-a-Service” model.
As for innovation trends, Derek sees an evolution of how companies are financing innovation projects. Many are acting like VCs, looking for results from small bits of money, blurring the lines between VCs and Corporate Capital.
For More Information
For more information, connect with Derek W. Chin on LinkedIn.
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