INDUSTRY event to champion 'disruptive' innovation

Disruptive innovation describes a product or service that changes an existing market while serving as a guiding star for innovation-driven growth.
This powerful way of doing business will be the focus of INDUSTRY, a conference aimed at the innovators who build and launch products. This fast-rising community of pacesetters is set to meet September 15-16 at Music Box Supper Club in the Flats to discuss the "disruptive" creation techniques that help larger corporations behave like startups.
Spearheaded by Paul McAvinchey and Mike Belsito, founders of the Product Collective media group,  the event brings together leaders from industries such as software, consumer packaged goods and healthcare. Speakers will include Google Ventures' Ken Norton and ESPN’s Ryan Spoon. Meanwhile, working sessions are expected to explore engaging ways to deliver digital and physical goods in the same nimble way as a new company.
Paul McAvinchey"Larger companies are looking at smaller businesses for new methods to ship products," says McAvinchey, founder of the TechPint networking event and director of North American client services for DXY, which designs corporate mobile solutions. "They're driving products forward based on what they hear from customers."
Product managers are leading these efforts, driving goods forward based on customer feedback. Food manufacturer General Mills is one example of a multinational company bringing products to market more quickly via interviews with consumers about various cereals on the market.

McAvinchey also points to local firms like OnShift and CoverMyMeds that employ managers to guide new offerings through development. McAvinchey adds that several large Cleveland-area consumer product businesses actively disrupt their own m.o. by employing internal teams to unearth new market opportunities.
"These companies are fast-moving and startup-focused," he says. "That's who (this event) is going to appeal to. A product formed by one leader and a large team is more likely to be fine-tuned and usable."
McAvinchey expects 350 attendees at this year's INDUSTRY get-together, with over 90 percent of them hailing from outside Northeast Ohio. Cleveland's gradual emergence as an innovation hub is a draw for industry officials who view disruption as a positive.
"In the startup world there's a term called 'get out of the building,' where a team is ready to release a (product)  and literally gets out of the building to talk to customers,"McAvinchey says. "It's a hands-on approach that lets companies understand how customers want to interact with those products."

Read more articles by Douglas J. Guth.

Douglas J. Guth is a Cleveland Heights-based freelance writer and journalist. In addition to Fresh Water, his work has been published by Midwest Energy News, Kaleidoscope Magazine and Think, the alumni publication of Case Western Reserve University. A die-hard Cleveland sports fan, he also writes for the cynically named (yet humorously written) blog Cleveland Sports Torture.   
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