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GameChanger Products LLC, www.gamechanger.net, a growth and innovation consulting firm for Fortune 500 companies, announced today the launch of GC Combinator™, an innovative new service that allows corporations to utilize teams of entrepreneurs to work with corporate managers to build innovative new products. The unique service gives corporate managers and executives an opportunity to work directly with successful entrepreneurs over several days.
“Our GenJuice entrepreneurs love this program, because it allows them to work on big, exciting problems without being tied down to a corporation”
“Many corporations are in need of disruptive innovations to help drive future growth, and they need out-of-the-box thinking to shake things up,” said GameChanger CEO Larry Popelka. “This is a unique opportunity to work with teams of creative and talented individuals who specialize in reinventing categories and business concepts. Just think how much a corporation could benefit by having its managers work directly with the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg to create the next generation of growth ideas.”
GameChanger has already tested the GC Combinator with a range of corporations, with teams working on everything from toothpaste to automotive products. “It has been an eye-opening experience for every company that has participated so far,” said Popelka.
The GC Combinator typically results in a wide range of innovative new product and business concepts that companies use to fill their pipeline. The lead opportunities are built out during the GC Combinator sessions with rough development, test and launch plans established, so they may be easily pursued. Companies can either take these opportunities into their internal pipeline or continue to use GameChanger and the GC Combinator entrepreneurs to build, test and expand them on an entrepreneurial basis. In addition, corporate participants also benefit from the sessions by improving their own entrepreneurial thinking skills.
GameChanger’s GC Combinator is loosely modeled after the successful Silicon Valley Y Combinator, which brings in dozens of groups of young entrepreneurs to build innovative new businesses and compete for funding in what is comparable to an “American Idol” for entrepreneurs.
The Y Combinator has been responsible for launching more than 300 successful new businesses in the past five years, including Dropbox, Reddit, Justin.tv and AirBNB. Over 300 investors participate in “Demo Day,” the event where final Y Combinator pitches are made.
“We believe Y Combinator and other similar programs that have sprung up during the past few years provide a great model for rapid innovation in the startup world,” said Popelka. “With the GC Combinator, we are capturing that same energy and spark for corporations.”
To help support this effort, GameChanger has made a strategic investment in GenJuice, a network of young entrepreneurs. GameChanger will have access to hundreds of GenJuice members to participate in the program. Investment terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Our GenJuice entrepreneurs love this program, because it allows them to work on big, exciting problems without being tied down to a corporation,” said Popelka. “For many of them it is also a great bridge between startup gigs.”
All of the entrepreneurs in the GC Combinator program have successfully launched or been part of one or more startups that have been funded. They come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, everything from engineering to social network marketing. Ideas that come out of the GC Combinator are owned by GameChanger clients; entrepreneurs are pre-screened to avoid client conflicts.
GameChanger’s innovation process and its other services are based on entrepreneurial techniques honed at startups. The GameChanger team includes former executives who helped launch or expand iTunes, eBay, Fresh Express Salads, Swiffer, Clif Bar, Clorox Green Works and several other successful new businesses.
GenJuice was the brainchild of former GameChanger Associate Arielle Patrice Scott, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and co-founder of two other startups. GenJuice was started in 2010 as a way to connect young entrepreneurs with each other and to potential resources and information. In 2010, Scott launched a 15-city GenJuice Tour, which attracted over 35,000 young entrepreneurs.
GameChanger provides innovation and growth consulting for large companies like General Mills, Hershey and Valvoline, and is accepting new clients on both a retainer and project basis. For more information, contact Nikki or Kory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please see www.GameChanger.net; follow us on Twitter @gamechanger