I noticed this job posting on the wire today (copied below). Looks like VISA is setting up an Innovation Incubator. VISA refers to their larger R&D group as VISA Labs, and this group would be known as the Incubator. VISA Labs doesn’t seem to have a dedicated website (but it looks like their design contractor has a preview up here).
I did find an interesting interview online with Joe Cunningham, Visa’s Global Head of Technology Strategy & Innovation where he talks about VISA Labs and the way they’re organized for innovation. My guess is Joe is who the Sr Director of the Incubator would report to (you can see him speaking here to the Singapore Big Data Meetup group).
Although they’re big into open innovation, it looks like they want to pilot some stuff in-house too. If you’re interested in innovating inside a company with lots of assets to leverage, this might be interesting.
VISA – Sr. Director – Innovation Incubator
Visa Inc. is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories, enabling them to use digital currency instead of cash and checks.Visa does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations enable its bank customers to offer consumers choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. From the world’s major cities to remote areas without banks, people are increasingly relying on digital currency along with mobile technology to use their money anytime, make purchases online, transfer funds and access basic financial services. All of which makes their lives easier and helps grow economies.
Behind the Visa brand are our talented employees who continuously raise the bar with innovative solutions and products that deliver the convenience and security of digital currency to more people all over the world.
Visa is selectively recruiting for a Leader who will help build and lead Visa’s Foster City-based Incubation Unit. You will have the rare opportunity to work at the vanguard of payments, mobile solutions, social media capabilities, digital commerce experiences and a wide range of emerging digital payment platforms. You will reimagine how consumers interact with their money for payments and commerce through innovative product concepts, prototypes, and pilots that delight our customers and position our company for substantial growth.
– Lead rapid prototyping and piloting of new consumer experiences. You will be part of a highly dynamic, lean, and multi-disciplinary team to validate hypotheses and new product concepts
– Integrate broad knowledge of product concepts in emerging spaces (e.g. loyalty platforms, business analytics, authorization, and identity management) to develop viewpoints that inform internal development.
– Collaborate with external partners. You will also help us nurture relationships with key external stakeholders in the payments and commerce ecosystem including academics, entrepreneurs, VCs, etc. You will be a key team member in structuring business development relationships with external pilot partners.
– As the senior member of the Visa Incubation Unit, you will interface directly and often with officers throughout Visa’s business units, with the explicit objective of helping accelerate the firm’s corporate agendas through research and learning, rapid prototyping, and applied pilot market tests.
– Work closely with the enterprise research and development function to complete the innovation lifecycle at Visa.
– Provide consultative development services to validate/prototype ideas for Visa products and services.
– Define/evolve the incubation innovation portfolio.
– Based on incubation results and market insight, advise Corporate Strategy, IT and Product regarding potential technology injection, partnering, and investment opportunities.
– Actively participate in the Open Innovation framework to tap into outside expertise and make Visa an innovation partner of choice.
– Act as a “front door” for innovators wanting to work with Visa.
– Develop relationships with external entities to evangelize Visa’s innovation agenda.
– Match innovation partner capabilities/goals with Visa needs.
– Leveraging the Open Innovation framework, democratize innovation at Visa by broadening access to the innovation pipeline through evangelizing, promoting, and participating in initiatives/programs designed to foster a Culture of Innovation at Visa.
-15+ years track record of building and launching consumer products on web and mobile platforms
-Deep knowledge and passion around emerging payments technologies and how they will change commerce and consumer experiences
-Ability to communicate with and inspire developers, business analysts and other team members and drive toward a product vision
-Highly polished presentation skills. Ability to effectively communicate with, influence, and motivate C-suite executives.
-High level of intellectual curiosity and are comfortable with ambiguity
-Ability to put team before self and are energetically collaborative
-Enjoy working with a fun team of richly creative and accomplished professionals
-Familiarity with all stages of the software development lifecycle, extensive experience with rapid prototyping and agile development
-Strong manager with excellent organization and people skills and the ability to set priorities, problem-solve, multi-task and work well in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment
-Payments and digital commerce experience a strong plus
-Ability to roll up your sleeves and directly apply your diverse knowledge set to solve complex technical and business related problems if required—we need more than pure “managers”