A Path to Growth – Vanessa Collela & Hugh Molotsi – Lean Startup Week 2017


A Path to Growth: Discovering Solutions with Exponential Impact for Citi’s Clients & Customers

Vanessa Colella, Head of Citi Ventures and Chief Innovation of Citi, will talk to us about their new structured model to create a rich portfolio of validated growth concepts across Citi’s businesses. Grounded in the disciplines of venture capital and Lean Startup methodology, the model enables employees to have the opportunity to test new ideas and approaches in a low-risk way. She will reveal details of the program, including how and why Citi Ventures has infused the skills and mindset of entrepreneurship deeply in the fabric of Citi to solve critical pain points for clients and customers.

Vanessa Colella is the Head of Citi Ventures and Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer, focused on driving growth and innovation across the company. Deeply integrated with Citi’s businesses, Citi Ventures champions bold exploration through venture investing, innovation and lab networks, strategic partnerships, and Lean Startup-based initiatives. Before assuming the role of CIO, Vanessa led venture investing and strategic growth initiatives for Citi Ventures, and previously ran marketing for Citi’s North American Consumer Bank. She joined Citibank in 2010 from U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), where she was an entrepreneur-in-residence. Prior to USVP, Vanessa was Head of NA Marketing and then SVP of Insights at Yahoo, where she was responsible for developing and executing the company’s consumer data strategy. She was previously a Partner at McKinsey & Company. She was recognized as a Global Corporate Venturing Rising Star in 2016 (#3) and was named to Institutional Investor’s Fintech Finance 35 list in both 2015 and 2016. Her work conceiving and launching CitiBike led Citi to win Advertising Age’s 2013 Creativity Award and the Gold Pencil in 2014. Vanessa received her masters’ degrees from Columbia University and M.I.T. as well as a Ph.D. from M.I.T.’s Media Lab. A charter member of Teach for America, she is a published author and lecturer, taught courses at the Santa Fe Institute, and previously served as a research fellow at Rockefeller University. She holds an S.B. degree in molecular biology from M.I.T. and currently serves as a member of the Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the Media Lab.

Hugh Molotsi is a Senior Faculty member with Lean Startup Co. Corporate Education Program. He spent 22 years at Intuit, and in his last position was Engineering Fellow and Vice President and ran the Intuit Labs Incubator. Hugh advises and invests in startups and is an active practitioner and teacher of Lean Startup methodologies. During his Intuit tenure, he was a “serial innovator” and worked on QuickBooks and several other small business offerings, including the launch of Intuit Payments. He is passionate about grassroots innovation and “giving voice to good ideas” wherever those ideas may come from. Outside work, he’s committed to helping underserved youth. Hugh serves on the board of All Star Code, a prep program connecting young men of color to the tech industry. He is also the past president of the board of directors of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a nonprofit agency that runs programs for at-risk youth. He holds a Master of Science degree in computer engineering from Santa Clara University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering technology from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is married and is the proud father of two daughters.

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