Way back in 2017, Mitrais hit upon an idea. Instead of just realising great ideas that our clients brought to the table, why not harness the creativity and innovation that existed within our team? And why not spice it up by adding a healthy dose of competition between the best of Mitrais minds?
So, the annual Mitrais Innovathon was born. Mitrais staff were invited to form teams, and to develop and pitch their most innovative ideas to a Dragon’s Den-style panel. The pitches include videos of the idea, and culminate in presenting live to the “Dragons” and all Mitrais staff. And true to their name (just like in the TV show), the Dragons always have some very challenging questions for the team presenters. The Dragons aim to drill down into the ideas that are being presented by the team spokesperson, and to discover just how thoroughly the team has thought their solution through. Dragons represent a lot of real-world experience, and not only in Software Engineering. They often come from other complimentary disciplines, and will assess the ideas presented from business, finance and marketing standpoints, as well as the technical side. Their questions are sometimes uncomfortable for the team members, but always thought-provoking and entertaining.
It’s no surprise that, with the admiration of their fellow staff (not to mention millions of Rp in prize money) at stake, there is no shortage of Mitrais minds ready to step up to the plate with their killer ideas! This is not just a theoretical exercise, though. One of the first winning ideas was for an employee reward system call “Carrots”, where supervisors could grant “Carrots” to staff who delivered added value in their work within a certain period. This could be great client work, contributing to Mitrais colleagues, or even helping with social tasks that make Mitrais a great place to work. In their presentation the team suggested that Carrots could then be redeemed in some sort of marketplace for gift items, clothing or tickets to events. This idea was so well regarded by the Dragons, that today the Mitrais Carrots system is well in place and rewarding enterprising staff every month.
Over 100 staff members presented 62 ideas and 41 great video presentations in the lead up to the 2019 Innovathon. This was a new record for the number of ideas in the running – the previous best was 38 in 2017.
This years winning ideas included:
SmartCheck – A social media scanning program for employment candidates
Seek & Share – a platform for sharing and upcycling used goods between members. And
NoMaksis – an application to redistribute left-over food, eliminating waste
The breadth and quality of the ideas presented has once again highlighted to everyone at Mitrais the value of the Innovathon concept, and reinforced our commitment to continue it well into the future.
Congratulations to all who contributed to the 2019 Innovathon, and in particular to the team members involved with the winning entries! Who knows – we may seem them in production before you know. Even better, all of the contributors to this year’s Innovathon received Carrots as well!
And Mitrais developers know that now is a great time to be coming up with their next great idea for the 2020 Innovathon! No doubt they will bring their best concepts, and join in the fun!