The Engine+ Catch Up: Insight From 2020’s Winning Team

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As you’ve probably heard, TheEngine+ is Kinesso’s innovation and entrepreneurship competition. Through this platform, pioneering and like-minded individuals come together around a ground-breaking idea, form teams, and pitch their concepts to a panel of executive-level IPG judges. The top-rated teams develop their proposals further to compete for first place! On September 15, 2020, five teams were selected as finalists and competed for a cash prize and resource funding for additional staffing support in TheEngine+ inaugural event. A year later as we approach the 2021 competition, we caught up with Anup Badhe, Director of Engineering at Kinesso, who was part of last year’s winning team.

Viewpoints: What attracted you to TheEngine+ competition?

Anup: The attraction to TheEngine+ was the chance to pitch something of your own, get money for it and build it to make that a reality.

Viewpoints: What was your experience to submit your initial idea?

Anup: We formed a team based on combined expertise in engineering, product and program management. [Then, we] made the pitch to Gautham and Sam and they agreed that it was a good idea.

Viewpoints: Were you surprised to have been selected as a finalist? 

Anup: We were pleasantly surprised when the support team for the event told us that we were the finalists. We didn’t expect it since there were a lot of other ideas on the table.

Viewpoints: What were some of the highlights of preparing for, and presenting at the final event?

Anup: We prepared a rough draft of the content and shared it with the mentors, made multiple revisions, and researched how ideas are presented to VC’s. Then we practiced our final presentations for several iterations and made notes on our key punch point in the slides

Learning and improving are critical to innovation, so TheEngine+ team are taking steps to make the 2021 program even better. The additional support our winning team will now receive includes:

  1. Assigned Product Sponsor – Pair the team up with the custom solutions team who can bridge conversations, support and navigate operational duties
  2. Iterative Workflow – Develop a plan that focuses on an iterative approach and define key milestones
  3. Dedicated Resources – Align with leadership on accessibility to resources, either existing or incremental staffing

With these upgrades to the program, TheEngine+ competition is now poised to make even greater strides in the coming years. Keep checking in over the coming weeks as we dive deeper into TheEngine+ program, its past participants and this year’s teams!

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