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How to Overcome Challenges in Building a Successful Innovation Incubator

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Session Description:

An innovator’s journey often begins with optimism weighed down by the realization that making a decision is the heaviest object carried in the pack. And while there may be a road map to a desired outcome, like most journeys, you’ll experience pitfalls and miracles along the way. What Cory Christensen of Corteva Agriscience learned from his innovation trek is how to build a disruptive innovation competency within an established, multi-national business with history spanning a century.

This presentation covers the following topics…

  • The importance of setting up a disciplined and accountable structure that is separate but intimately linked to the core business
  • The challenge of building trust and credibility
  • The challenge of focusing on critical assumptions
  • The challenge of developing reliable information
  • The challenge of building the right portfolio

… And concludes with how meeting these four core challenges in a structured environment sets you up for winning at innovation.

Cory A. Christensen

About Cory A. Christensen

Corn and Genome Editing Global Technical Program Leader,
Seed Global Business Platform
Corteva Agriscience™

In his Global Technical Program Leader role, Cory has strategic accountability for early corn trait product development using core technologies and for the use of novel technologies, such as genome editing (CRISPR), to create new products across crops. In addition, he serves on the Disruptive Business Innovation Portfolio governance teams, which oversee investment in disruptive new technologies across Corteva.

Before joining Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience) in 2010, Cory worked for two startup functional genomics companies—first at Paradigm Genetics, Inc. (later Icoria) in North Carolina and later at Ceres, Inc. in California. Most of his roles have been managing R&D departments involved in the discovery and development of biotech traits for crops. While at Ceres, he transitioned into a newly formed commercial development team where he served as the Director of Product Management with responsibility for Ceres’ perennial energy crops portfolio. It was in this role that he discovered his interest in operating at the interface of scientific research and the business and a passion for making high quality investment decisions.

Ralph Morales III


Ralph Morales III
Head of Innovation Practice


1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114 USA
tel: 1-651-290-6280
fax: 1-651-290-2266

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