With their new concept, Clément, Hadrien, Benjamin, Sherkane, Léo and Jordan won the Open Innovation Challenge organized by Electrolux

Nothing can stop the students from Montpellier Business School. This year, Dr Nassim Belbaly, professor-researcher in innovation management, asked them to participate to a very specific business game in collaboration with Electrolux. That is how Clément, Hadrien, Benjamin, Sherkane, Léo and Jordan, six apprentice students in their last year of Master’s degree won the first « Open Innovation Challenge » by Electrolux thanks to their concept that mixes a colander and a pan.

« As part of my course “Advanced innovation management” for the second year Master students in apprenticeship, I work and grade my students on real business issues, » says Dr. Nassim Belbaly. « I invite the company in my course, they make a presentation in which they explain the problem, and ask students to come up with an innovation. The company Electrolux, which I know well, has asked my 165 students to participate in small groups to the Open Innovation Challenge ».

« Over thirty groups have therefore presented their projects to the Electrolux Group team composed of 10 people including Lucia Chierchia, Open Innovation Director, and Manuel Silva, Open Innovation Project Leader, who evaluated them according to their own criteria to choose the top three groups, » says Dr. Nassim Belbaly. « As part of my class, this project was evaluated through a comprehensive evaluation grid with many criterion related to creativity, the feasibility of the project, its consistency etc. In the end, without any consultation, we elected one single project! »

But what is this new concept that has captivated the Electrolux team and the teacher? The winning team presents his idea: « We had the simple but ingenious idea to create a pan with an integrated colander able to cook pasta and stain the water without the risk of burning. We studied all the criteria from consumer benefit to more strategic questions such as how to integrate our concept to the wide range of Electrolux products. We had to find the right words to show that our idea was realistic and that it met consumer needs. We also had to manage risk and we offered the most complete project with a lot of work on the deployment. »

Montpellier Business School thanks all the students who participated in this first innovative challenge and in particular the three teams that all won an Electrolux appliance!