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Entrepreneurs and innovators currently work in an environment where they do not notice the common cognitive biases, blindspots, and errors that so often result in startup failure, corporate and educational innovation non-success. Could innovation be done with less risk? At the Center for Deliberate Innovation, we have developed an innovation process built on proven principles from Nobel-Prize winning research in behavioral economics, developmental and social psychology and combining it with a logical framework applied to innovation.

The novelty of this approach lies in its ability to create a deliberate culture that cultivates artificial instincts through behavioral habit interventions, making it possible for entrepreneurs to rely on the process to establish safeguards while exposing mistakes and blindspots. Our belief is that this process and these principles can enable startup founders and innovation leaders in educational institutions and large enterprises to recognize and avoid roads to failure, thereby making it possible to innovate with much less risk.

What started as an organizational experiment in 2011 towards advancing Georgia Tech's strategic goals around innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship has now stabilized into a Center for Deliberate Innovation (formerly Center for Startup Engineering), on campus, in partnership with Flashpoint Management Company, a university spinout. Clients of FMC include startup founders with dreams of for-profit and not-for-profit companies and large corporations.

To date, the Center has worked with eight cohorts, five from FMC. The first five-year numbers are promising. Founders have raised north of $300 million from leading venture capital firms, and their startups have a market value of over $1.2 billion. Less than $2 million of local angel money was invested to achieve these results. The work also led corporate teams to have products in the market, Sleep Water for Coke in Japan, and to pull a product from market, when a Canadian multinational sold assets as a result of discovering there would be no market demand.

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