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Spring Conference 2017: Leveraging Ecosystems, Investments, and Acquisitions to Keep an Innovative Edge

May 16, 2017

Tuesday, May 16 | 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM EDT

Wharton San Francisco Read a summary of this conference here.


Faced with shortening product life cycles, rapid technological change, and global competition, companies are increasingly turning to externally facing strategies – ecosystem, investment, and acquisition – to stay ahead and manage disruptions. Successful companies ranging from GE to Cisco to Google have long used these strategies to maintain a competitive advantage.

While powerful, these external approaches also pose tremendous risks. It’s essential that managers choose the appropriate mode, evaluate strategic fit and financial value, and properly implement these strategies to reap their rewards.

The Mack Institute’s Spring Conference 2017 will feature thought leadership from top academics in the field and best practices from companies who successfully execute these strategies.

We’ll focus on four key elements:

  1. Choosing the right strategy
  2. Building ecosystems
  3. Making corporate venture capital investments
  4. Managing technology acquisitions

The conference will also include an interactive exercise to help you work through these decisions and management approaches, providing key insights you can take back to your own firm.

Spring Conference 2017 Agenda

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. — Breakfast

9:00 a.m.–9:45 a.m. — Welcome

Saikat Chaudhuri
Executive Director, Mack Institute;
Adjunct Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Harbir Singh
Co-director, Mack Institute;
Vice Dean for Global Initiatives;
Mack Professor of Management, The Wharton School

9:45 a.m.–10:45 a.m. — Smart Emerging Technology Strategy

Ankur Jindal
Vice President, Strategy and External Innovation, TATA Communications

Ron Bodkin
Vice President and General Manager, Artificial Intelligence, Teradata

10:45 a.m.–11:00 a.m. — Break

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. — Building Ecosystems: Innovation Networks, Partnerships, and Investments

Niki Manby
Managing Director & Global Head, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Citi Ventures

Louis Toth
Comcast Strategic Development

12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. — Lunch and Networking

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. — Organic and Inorganic Strategies for Innovation

Rama Naageswaran
Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Cisco

Chris Phillips
Chief Product Officer, Pandora

2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. — Workshop: Creative Qualities, Measuring Innovation

David Aycan
Product Lead, New Ventures, IDEO San Francisco

Maggie Howekamp
Director, Design for Change, IDEO San Francisco

3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. — Closing Remarks

Harbir Singh

Saikat Chaudhuri


  • Date: Tuesday, May 16
  • Time: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM EDT

Event Organizers

  • Harbir Singh
  • Saikat Chaudhuri