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Innovative effort at Fidelity Investments results in Harvard students presenting new business ideas

John Dix | Aug. 11, 2014
Fidelity Investments today hosted four teams of Harvard students who demonstrated new products that Fidelity can bring to market, the culmination of a program the investment giant put together to collect innovative ideas from new sources.

The team quickly realized that the tool not only had to wow the client, but also had to help simplify the way Fidelity employees collect and present reams of relevant data.   As such, the data visualization team strived to deliver a tool with "stunning visuals" and interactive features that would enable relationship managers to engage clients in a discussion about desired outcomes and how to possibly achieve them.

The result is Looking Glass, a modeling tool that is fully customizable and, on the fly, can let Fidelity representatives work with clients on various "what-if" scenarios.

The team showed a prototype and suggested that, with an investment of $196,000, they could deliver a working model in six months.

After the presentations the teams manned booths and Fidelity employees were able to get hands-on demonstrations and talk in more depth with the respective team members.

Belka says the next step is to filter these final ideas through the firm's standard incubation process to see which, if any, of the ideas to act on.

Asked if the program was a success, Belka said it exceeded everyone's expectations and they will likely pursue similar efforts in the future.


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