The third edition of Fluidra Innovation Week has successfully taken place in Barcelona and surroundings this October 2019. Fluidra, a Spanish multinational listed group, is the global leader in the pool and wellness industry. Founded in 1969, Fluidra has long-standing experience in developing innovative products and services in the global residential and commercial pool market.

Once again, the company trusted Imagine to promote an intrapreneurial attitude with Fluidra Innovation Week, where Fluidra’s employees generated innovative solutions, products and business models, thereby involving them in building the company’s future.

This year’s theme was: “Social and Technological Trends” – How are social and technological trends affecting the pool and wellness business today? How will they reshape it in the future?

15 employees from different countries and diverse professional backgrounds were selected to come to Barcelona and dive into an intense week of work and inspiration. With the support of experts, mentors and Imagine staff the 5 teams of three passed through the phases of the Lombard Method to reach solutions which they presented on the last day of the program to a jury composed of Fluidra & Zodiac Executives. 

The 2019 edition was kicked off at the “Espai Cytizen”, where the participants met for the first time, formed teams and completed Phase 1 – Inspiration. Teams looked at key challenges facing the pool industry in the future, like: How can we make pools fully sustainable? How can we increase pool use by making them a “fun space”? How can we make the decision phase of the pool buying cycle easier for a future pool owner? How can we ensure optimal pool maintenance with minimal disturbance to pool users? How can we provide real-time information about their pools to owners? Once each team chose their challenge, they narrowed them down on the concrete problems and personas they would work on for the rest of the week. 

In the evening of day 1, the teams went to the beautiful beach town of Sitges, a mere 30 minutes South of Barcelona. After an inspiring tour of the town and its entrepreneurial origins, everyone met for a nice family dinner by the sea to gather energy for the following day. Inspired by the sea breeze in Sitges, the teams worked on Phase 2 – Ideation: through diverging and thinking of the craziest ideas possible, and then converging them to detect the most innovative and viable solutions. At the end of the day every team presented their first ideas to the other participants, David Tapias (Fluidra’s ESA R&D Director) and Imagine staff and received valuable feedback to apply in the next steps.

The next day, Phase 3 – Prototyping took the participants to the The Catalyst, where they had a Prototyping masterclass by Ignasi Plaza, CEO and Founder of Protofy. During the day, the teams were working on the business model and got feedback from experts and Fluidra managers, Xavier Servat and Frederic Dalmau. They were also working on the look & feel of the projects with the help of Imagine’s designer team.

In Phase 4 – Communication, the team started the day with a Communication & Public Speaking workshop by Emma Rodero in the inspiring environment of Teatreneu in the Gràcia neighbourhood. During the morning, the teams prepared their pitch and rehearsed on a real theatre stage.

The Demo Day was celebrated at the Estrella Damm space at the Pier01 of Barcelona Tech City, a private non-profit organisation open to all Barcelona-based members of the local and global technology ecosystem. The jury, led by the Executive President of Fluidra Eloi Planes and R+D Director David Tapias, was presented with 5 different and complete solutions, like a subscription platform to improve your pool experience, a circular economy system to create more sustainable pools or how Fluidra can use drones for maintenance and safety issues.

With such different and impactful ideas presented, it wasn’t easy for the jury to decide on one winning solution. But after some debate, the winning team was announced and awarded with a Silicon Valley trip to see first-hand how the most innovative and creative minds turn ideas into reality. During the trip they will be invited to visit some of the most famous companies like Google or Facebook and universities like Stanford.

Looking forward to the Fluidra Innovation Week 4 in 2020!