The sixth edition of the Fluidra Innovation Challenge has ended, one more year, with excellent proposals. Fluidra, a global leader in the pool industry, has a long-standing experience in developing innovative products and services in the global residential and commercial pool market.
They are committed to encouraging the intrapreneurship attitude amongst their employees, offering the chance to develop innovative solutions for the challenges they face.
With this goal in mind, Imagine designed a program to select and accelerate the top 5 ideas to showcase them on a DemoDay in front of the top directives of Fluidra.
Since covid, the program had to take a spin and become entirely online. This year, we wanted to bring back some of the face-to-face encounters, adding value to the previous editions. The updates of this edition were the following:
- Firstly, we flew to United States to start with the first Dream BIG competition. Two Dream BIGs took place in person (San Diego and Sant Cugat) but we also added two online competitions for those employees who live abroad.
- Secondly, on the Demo Day the Jury was invited in the Fluidra Head Quarters in Sant Cugat to watch the 5 team from the FIW present their project.
- Thirdly, this edition offered three different awards, the investment on the winner project but also a trip for the winners to Fluidra’s Head Quarters. Who won? Keep reading to find out!
Every year Fluidra chooses a specific challenge to frame the program. This year the challenge was “How can we improve the customer experience through the implementation of new DIGITAL and SUSTAINABLE strategies for our products or services?”
The program underlies the four phases of the Lombard Method: the disruptive learning process developed by Imagine, based on the Design Thinking and Design Doing methodologies. The first two phases, Inspiration and Ideation, took place during the competition. The last two, prototyping and communication, were developed during the FIW.
It all began with the Kick-Off call, giving an overview of the program and the different phases and explaining the updates of the edition. The challenge of the edition was also exposed and it introduced some of the main pain-points of Fluidra’s customer journey to inspire the participants.and the new.
The program continued with the Dream Big Competitions and a rather important task: creating a team of three. It is very important to join a cohesive and multidisiplinary team when working in challenging projects.
For the first time, two Dream BIGs were conducted in person. The first one took place in their offices in San Diego and the second one in their Headquarters in Sant Cugat.
In addition, to have an inclusive worldwide competition, there were two identical Dream Big competitions that took place in different time zones.
The competition was a success! And the five winning teams who advanced onto the Fluidra Innovation Week program were:
- Thylacine (Australia)
- Three Pool Guys (United States)
- Think or Sink (United States)
- FIF Team (France)
- Bigarq (Spain)
The FIW arrived! Due to the internationality of our teams, Imagine also offered parallel morning and afternoon sessions, based on the locations of the teams. This week was framed under the prototyping phase. Prototyping serves to validate the proposal to get stronger arguments in defending that the project should become a reality. Specifically, if the project is desirable, viable and feasible.
The 15 participants connected everyday during three compacted hours, combining a variety of masterclasses with innovation experts, feedback sessions with mentors in the pool industry and team work with their personal designer.
On Monday, October 24th, after David Tapias (Fluidra Product Compliance, Open Innovation, ESG Product Director) gave a warm welcome, the teams jumped right away onto their first masterclass. Blai Carandell, Founder and CEO at Noba Ventures and Toni Llull, Business Designer at Noba Ventures, focused on the different strategies in order to analise the desirability and viability of the projects.
Afterwards, the teams had their first meeting with their personal graphic designer to add their magic touch in the image of each project. They met with the designer every day.
On Tuesday, Ignasi Plaza, Founder and CEO of Protofy, lead the masterclass with his expertise in developing successful prototypes when the time constraint is high. In the FIW, the participants have to learn how to develop a MVP with a short amount of time. This, is a crucial skill that entrepreneurs must master.
Tuesday was also the first meeting with mentors from Fluidra. Each team met privately with one mentor who works at Fluidra in order to give qualitative feedback about their project and reafirm to the teams, if the approach the project is doing makes sense to them. These were the mentors for this year’s edition:
On Wednesday there were two different masterclasses with innovation experts as well as the daily meet with the designers.
First, they worked with Jordi Ortiz, former Google employee for almost a decade and current CEO at SECARTYS. He is an expert on Exponential Technologies and offered the teams his point of view specifically on the technologies they were using as well as informed them about the latest trends.
Second, they met with Cagsun Asemoglu, strategic design and innovation lead at Strategyzer, who expanded on the Business Model Canvas and how to test hypothesis.
Up until here, the teams focused on validating and prototyping their proposal. However, the main purspose of Thursday and Friday was working on their final pitch. As the teams continued developing their prototypes, working with their designer and getting feedback from the mentors, they also worked on their communication skills.
On Thursday, they met with Borja Nicolau, Public Speaker and Stan-up Comedian, to learn more about how to tell a great and appealing story.
On Friday, Emma Rodero, professor of voice and director of the Media Psychology Lab at the University Pompeu Fabra, coached the teams on their pitching skills and techniques to improve and better project their voice.
Every year, the FIW culminates with a DemoDay, where the teams showcase their projects and Fluidra’s jury announces the winner. Every year, Fluidra’s top directives attend to the DemoDay, taking the role of Jury members to choose the winning project. After Borja and Emma’s training, the teams were on the right path to pitch their ideas on the DemoDay!
The DemoDay, on November 10th, was celebrated through an online webinar where colleagues and employees from all over the world witnessed the results of their peers’ work. In addition, this year we had the pleasuse to have most of the Jury Board in person in a set we brought to Fluidra’s Head Quarters.
The Jury board of 2022 edition was the following:
The five teams exelently pitch their ideas, answered questions from the Jury and waited for the final veredict. The winner of the Fluidra Innovation Challenge and the two additional awarded teams were:
- Winner of the Fluidra Innovation Challenge: Three Pool Guys – United States with the project called “the next evolution of iAquaLink”.
- Winner of the Most Sustainable Award: Bigarq – Spain, with the project called Ecofluid.
- Winner of the Audience Award: Think or Sink – United States, with the project called called Fluidra ProLine Network, selected by the DemoDay audience went to the Trifectos team from the United States with their e-sharing project.
To conclude, we want to thank the over a hundred participants of the Dream Big, the experts and mentors, the designers, the Jury members and the amazing staff from Fluidra, for making this experience possible! The world is changing rapidly and this initiative is a great motivator to include the employees in building the future of the company they represent.