AP NEWS

Fortune 500 executives to learn about innovation from Cleveland companies this week

June 19, 2018

Fortune 500 executives to learn about innovation from Cleveland companies this week

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Innovation Leader is bringing 50 executives from Fortune 500 companies to check out companies in Cleveland this week.

In 2017, the organization named Cleveland among five up-and-coming cities, along with Chicago, Denver, Portland, and St. Louis.

The corporate tourists doing the “field study” are limited to just 50 people because they will visit innovation labs and companies including KeyBank, Cleveland Clinic, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nottingham Spirk, American Greetings and Think Box at Case Western Reserve University. They will tour companies on Wednesday and Thursday. While here, they will cover a range of topics including research and development strategy with a focus on creating partnerships with other business units to make innovation an everyday occurrence, not just a company initiative.

Scott Kirsner, editor and co-founder of Innovation Leader – a Boston-based magazine and website focused on innovation in large companies, said Ohio cities like Cincinnati and Columbus have interesting things going on, but his team thinks  Cleveland has more than a lot of startup activities, it also has major innovation activity.

Innovation Leader is an independent information service run by a team of journalists, analysts, and media entrepreneurs focused on helping change-makers in large organizations.

It first started touring groups in Boston and San Francisco in 2014. Since that time, they’ve taken groups primarily to cities such as Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle and New York. At the end of the year, they’ll visit Atlanta before heading back to Silicon Valley in 2019.

“In the past we’ve visited companies likes Starbucks and Marriott at other cities,” he said. “For people who haven’t been to Cleveland before, it’s a great way to get a window on all of the companies powering innovation firsthand. It’s a very different experience from just going to a hotel and watching power points for two days.”