thepodcasts

Episode 22 – We Just Need to Do and Show – Marianna Bonanome – Head of Education Outreach – SandboxAQ

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 22 - We Just Need to Do and Show - Marianna Bonanome - Head of Education Outreach - SandboxAQ
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Quantum computing is a revolutionary approach that speeds up solutions to complex and previously unsolvable problems faster and more accurately. According to McKinsey & Company, industries like life sciences, chemicals, automotive, and financial services will potentially gain $1,3 trillion in value by 2023 with the help of quantum.

Renu and Michael dove into the fascinating futuristic world of quantum computing with Marianna, who succinctly summarises the three verticals at SandboxAQ and why they matter. You will also be inspired to explore the details of quantum resistance, simulation, optimization, navigation, cryptography, and many other things this immense technology offers.

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Exploring ways to shore up existing security protocols to make them quantum resistant
  2. Talent: Pull in the brightest, the best, and the brightest from across multi-disciplines together
  3. Education: Setting up a minor degree program in quantum engineering
  4. Working with the US AirForce
  5. Diversity tipping point for Quantum and the opportunities it presents

Other titles we considered:

  1. That’s Just One Piece of What We Do, a Tiny Piece
  2. The Education Vertical:  It Underpins Everything
  3. We Need to Kind of Bring the World Along With Us
  4. We Need to Build the Skill Set for the Future Workforce
  5. We See the Fruits, It’s Blossoming

This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

Episode 21 – Uniting People for Success – Dominique Reese – Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Plug and Play Tech Center & Laura Miller- VP of Customer Success & Voxel 

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 21 - Uniting People for Success - Dominique Reese - Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Plug and Play Tech Center & Laura Miller- VP of Customer Success & Voxel 
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According to Pew Research Center, most of the ethnic workforce other than Asians are underrepresented in the STEM industries, except for Asians. The share of Black employees in tech industries was 9%, and Hispanics were at  8%. Gender inequality also persists even among white workers. White females annually earn $30 000 less than their male peers.

Renu and Michael discovered from Dominique and Laura how Plug and Play Tech Center navigates this lack of representation. One of the ways of being proactive in correcting these inequalities is their DE&II-focused initiative, DRIVE, which stands for Diversity, Respect, Inclusion, Visibility, and Equity. You will also know about the story behind the founding of Plug and Play, the life journey of its founder Saeed Amidi and why the organization has expanded so rapidly. 

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. The Power of the Plug and Play Platform
  2. Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  3. Ensuring diversity through the hiring process
  4. Introducing DRIVE outside of the US
  5. Connecting people to succeed

Other titles we considered:

  1. It’s Broader Than the Words Say Within Itself
  2. We’re Growing by the Day
  3. What Brings People in Is Just Having That Hunger Not to Give Up
  4. The Key Is Listening to What the Ask Is So That We Can Fulfil It
  5. We Want to Build a Community

This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

Episode 20 – It Is Not a Claim, It Is a Crisis- Deborah Watkins- Founder & CEO – CareBridge

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 20 - It Is Not a Claim, It Is a Crisis- Deborah Watkins- Founder & CEO - CareBridge
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In the US, healthcare expenses represent 17.6% of national GDP, which is $600 billion more than expected for a country of that size and wealth.  According to McKinsey & Company, this number can be significantly reduced by $300 to $450 billion, only by implementing data intelligence.

Renu and Michael discussed with Deborah all the benefits and pitfalls of bringing data intelligence to the health care and insurance industries and how it influences the various stakeholders, such as physicians, patients, or claim adjusters. You will also learn how Deborah combines her nursing background with data science to form a valuable business. And even more, the answer to the question “Will AI replace your job?”  is also covered in this episode.

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Acceptance and an excitement around data analytics in Insurance
  2. The importance of educating the insurance market
  3. How data intelligence can be used to give the patients more choices, more autonomy around their own health experience
  4. What it takes to build a business from scratch
  5. The impact of GPT-3 and Large Language Models for the insurance claims process

Other titles we considered:

1. We Respect the Expert’s Opinion, but the Data Says a Different Story

2. Making The Machine and Human Work Together for Better Results

3. It’s the Most Exciting Thing and the Most Terrifying Thing I’ve Ever Done

4. I Look at It and Say, That Makes Sense

5.That’s How We’re Made. We’re Made to Be Connected


This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

Episode 19 – Opportunity Should Be There for Everybody – James Sanders – Ecosystem Developer  – Baloise Group

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 19 - Opportunity Should Be There for Everybody - James Sanders - Ecosystem Developer  - Baloise Group
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According to the United Nations, 258  million children and youth were out of school because of poverty, discrimination, and lack of resources.  Education and equality are one of the leverages and aspects of democracy. At the same time, equity is the primary tool for equality. It provides access to the same opportunities by distributing the resources to those who need them most, thus equalling the playing field. It promotes fairness, social mobility, economic growth, diversity, and inclusion. On the contrary, equal distribution of resources only maintains inequality. 

Renu and Michael defined with James the differences between these concepts agreeing that “Opportunity should be there for everybody.” James also reflected on how being the son of high-ranked military parents, coaching baseball, and living in various places such as Australia to Switzerland influenced his vision of both genders, business, and life. He also shares some valuable insights into how Baloise has been diversifying their core business in the recent past.

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Being around powerful women from childhood and how that has impacted his life
  2. Experiences living and working in California, Australia, and Switzerland
  3. Comparing being a baseball coach in Australia and Switzerland to building startup ecosystems
  4. Assessing the successes of startups
  5. How learning about new things is the best part of his role in Baloise

Other titles we considered:

  1. Hey, You Take It, You Learn From It, and Move On to the Next Thing
  2. I Was Made in Japan, but I Was Born in California
  3. Everyone Can Bring Something to the Table
  4. You Can Always Find Value in Everything
  5. I Don’t Think I’ve Been the Smartest Person in the Room, Since Maybe Kindergarten

This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

Episode 16 – Innovation Will Always Be Reactive to a Certain Extent – Daniela Bar-Gera – Head of Basel Office – Plug and Play Tech Center

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 16 - Innovation Will Always Be Reactive to a Certain Extent - Daniela Bar-Gera - Head of Basel Office - Plug and Play Tech Center
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Israel, also called “The Startup Nation” is a global leader when it comes to tech startup companies per capita. 2000 start-ups were founded in the last decade and raised $4.8 billion from investors only in 2016. Flourishing venture capital markets and flexible, creative economy industries are the main fuel for developing innovation there.

Renu and Michael enjoyed chatting with Daniela about the innovation landscape of Switzerland and Israel. Primarily, we discussed the motivation behind such developments in both countries and why the mature Swiss market should find the urge to grow. It was fascinating to hear it from Daniela, as she has an entrepreneurship DNA in her veins from her cyber security expert mom and entrepreneur dad.

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Having Israeli parents and being raised in Switzerland
  2. Innovation being a necessity in Israel
  3. Her experiences working as a construction engineer, consultant, and innovation leader
  4. Diversity in the VC and executive network, but not in startup founders in Switzerland
  5. Comparing the insurance and banking industries in Germany and Switzerland 

Other titles we considered:

  • I Am Who I Am Today Because of My Parents
  • First of All, I Really Like to Work
  • We Need to Evolve to Be Able to Survive
  • We’ve Learned That We Need to Educate Them a Lot
  • Everyone Knows Everyone, and Everyone Helps Everyone 

 This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

Episode 17 – It’s All to Do With Co-creation – Ravina Mutha – Co-founder – Enterprise Bot

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 17 - It’s All to Do With Co-creation - Ravina Mutha - Co-founder - Enterprise Bot
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“Omnichannel experience is a requirement for survival” – that is how McKinsey & Company states it. According to  PWC, one in three customers will leave the brand after just one bad experience. That is where AI-powered bots are in handy, as they can significantly improve customer experience and reduce the chance of business failure.

Renu and Michael enjoyed talking to Ravina about the insights of running the omnichannel business, as Enterprise Bot has been developing AI-powered bots even before they became a buzzword. Being “a global entrepreneur, a mum of twins, and really into technology and business,” Ravina shared with us how she started her first business at 22 in India and continued her entrepreneurial path in Europe. Consequently, we also discussed the differences in business culture in Asia and Europe. 

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. How coming from a very strong entrepreneurial family influenced her own career
  2. How living abroad and becoming independent shaped her life
  3. Learning how to scale a business, remove founder dependencies and get investments 
  4. Running an omnichannel business before it became a buzzword
  5. Some of the differences between doing business in Europe and India

Other titles we considered:

  • In Short, I Am Kind of a Global Entrepreneur, a Mum of Twins, and Really Into Technology and Business
  • Moving to an Airbnb for 5 Days and Checking Out After 2 Years
  • You Don’t Need to Build Ten Ravinas. Ravina Doesn’t Have to Be Good at Everything
  • I’ve Just Not Seen It Another Way
  • The Problem of One Company Is Usually the Problem of All

 This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

Episode 18 – Empowering Female Voices in the Investment Revolution – Karen Wendt – President & Angel Investor – SwissFinTechLadies

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 18 - Empowering Female Voices in the Investment Revolution - Karen Wendt - President & Angel Investor - SwissFinTechLadies
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Globally, financial literacy is positively linked to income and wealth, and in Switzerland, while  62% of men could correctly answer finance-related questions, only  39% of women could do the same. Thus the importance of female education is evident as it significantly influences their long-term financial well-being. 

Renu and Michael were happy to talk with Karen, who actively creates the future with more women in power by delivering book and film series on sustainable finance, leading the SwissFinTechLadies, and promoting investment in Switzerland. Thanks to our versatile guest, in this episode, you will dive deep into the financial world, get inspired to invest, and discover Karen’s drivers and measures of success.

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Going from a financial expert to writing worldwide books about sustainable finance
  2. Comparing banking investments with investing own money 
  3. Directing films about blockchain, emotional intelligence, business ethics
  4. Crafting easy-to-digest content on complicated topics as part of the literacy journey
  5. Encouraging women to invest 

Other titles we considered:

  1. If You Are Not Out of Your Comfort Zone, You Are Not Fearless
  2. You Can Know Something and Do Nothing With It, or You Can Experiment With Your Knowledge
  3. We Are Not Trained to Make Financial Decisions
  4. I Decided That I Want to Learn It
  5. No Matter What, I Go and Get My Feet Wet

This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

Episode 14 – Curiosity Driven Innovation – Dr. Donnacha Daly – Head of AI & Machine Learning Studies at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 14 – Curiosity Driven Innovation – Dr. Donnacha Daly – Head of AI & Machine Learning Studies at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts
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Throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks! Dr.Donnacha Daly, Head of AI & Machine Learning Studies at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts, talks to Renu & Michael about his motto around driving innovation.

Dr. Daly, in this episode details his experiences in Artificial Intelligence as he spent his early years in Ireland studying the topic. He then moves onto discussing his various roles in corporate Switzerland, his hiring mantras, intense focus on teams as central to innovation. He offers a deep perspective on the two different learning systems in Switzerland and how they matter for driving a culture of change.

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Similarities between Ireland and Switzerland in living and startup culture
  2. His daily motivation and drive in being an educator
  3. Switzerland´s outlook towards failure in entrepreneurship
  4. His lifelong learnings in hiring talent
  5. The importance of working with SME´s

Other titles we considered:

  • Staying Connected to Your Roots and Culture
  • All About Educating and Nurturing Young Talents
  • You Cannot Separate a Person into a Checklist of Talents
  • You Got to Take the Time to Sit With the People
  • Encouraging People to Follow Their Curiosity

Episode 15 – Failure as Part of Company Culture Is Important – Jean-Luc Zehnder – Co-CEO & Founding Partner at Virtido 

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 15 – Failure as Part of Company Culture Is Important – Jean-Luc Zehnder – Co-CEO & Founding Partner at Virtido 
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Near-shoring is a trend expected to dominate in talent acquisition in the upcoming years, as it gives clients the benefits of outsourcing, avoiding many of its compromises, according to this report by Forbes.

Renu and Michael talked with Jean-Luc about his transition from working at one of the big four consulting firms in Zurich to working for a family office and to finally co-creating Virtido. We discuss the economics of near-shoring, especially in Eastern Europe, the key factors that companies look for while scouting for talent, and how to keep a remote workforce engaged. He emphasizes the importance of how important company culture is and how it can be maintained in a business model that is scalable.

Some of the topics we discussed:

  1. How he manages to be a parent while running a successful company
  2. His attitudes about risk-taking and what being an entrepreneur in Switzerland means
  3. The importance of leading by example to maintain consistency
  4. How has the innovation landscape in Switzerland has changed since the founding Virtido
  5. How to build and engage with near-shoring teams

Other titles we considered:

  • Talent Is Global
  • I Don´t Have a Masterplan for My Life
  • A Yes Is a Yes, a No Is a No, There’s No In-Between
  • It’s All About Availability
  • Once You Have the Personal Relationship, You Have the Trust

This episode was produced by Khrystyna Khmilovska.

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Episode 14 – Encouraging People to Follow Their Curiosity – Dr. Donnacha Daly – Head of AI & Machine Learning Studies at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts

Innovation Undercover
Innovation Undercover
Episode 14 – Encouraging People to Follow Their Curiosity – Dr. Donnacha Daly – Head of AI & Machine Learning Studies at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts



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