On Monday 25th September, the CW Team welcomed 13 technology teams into the Bradfield Centre, Cambridge for a day of inspired pitching to revolutionise the Costa Coffee customer experience.
To give you a brief background to this event; CW were approached by Mags Dixon, who heads up Costa Coffee marketing in international markets. Mags and her ‘Store of the Future’ colleagues are passionate about improving their customer experience in-store and out. To drive this, they want to engage with technology companies with innovative solutions and asked whether CW could partner with them to deliver an Ideation pitch day. Obviously, the CW team said YES!
We promoted the event through our usual marketing channels and were delighted with the quality and mix of applications received. As mentioned, we hosted 13 teams at the pitch day along with some expert sound-boards in the form of Costa Coffee execs and technology mentors.
Team members in the kick-off session
Andy Smith, Sales Manager at GeoSpock introducing themselves during the kick-off meeting
With the introductions and scene setting over, the teams had a few hours to refine their pitch with the help of the mentors before final pitching took place in the afternoon. Teams were judged on whether their solution was futuristic, had ‘talkability’ and importantly; commercial viability. Although the ‘store of the future’ concept encouraged futuristic technology applications; the ideation was date stamped 2025 to accommodate realistic scale.
Jeremy Yates, Senior Business Development Manager for Zappar (pictured below right) commented:
It was fantastic to be at an event with such a range of innovative companies. An exciting opportunity and a great way to open a dialogue with Costa Coffee.
Zappar team mates refining their pitch
Teams had access to an illustrator to help bring their vision to life where needed and received tailored feedback following a practise pitch to further refine the final presentations.
Lucy Woods, Head of Marketing, said:
A first in CW history; an ideation pitch event delivered for a global, B2C brand! It was great to work with Mags and the Costa team to deliver on a hot topic with some fascinating tech ideas presented. Looking forward to the next one already. Watch this space.
The illustrator in action Can Avundunk, Google Judge
Chris Jones, Novalia
Chris Jones of Novalia reported back:
It was a tremendously fast-paced, intensive day. Great to meet the Costa team, the judges and indeed the other companies in a forum to be able to share ideas and steer perspectives.
A big thank you to the Costa Coffee team for sharing their ambitious plans for Costa Coffee: Stores of the Future but a special thanks to the judges and mentors for their invaluable advice:
- Paul Armstron - Amazon (AWS)
- Rabih Arzouni - Fujitsu
- Can Avunduk - Google
- Cesar Lastra - Cambridge Design Partnership
- Matt Saltzstein - Iotic Labs
- Geoff McCormick - Akendi
- Chris Coleridge - Cambridge Judge Business School
- Charles Quinn - Intel
Geoff McCormick shared his insight after the event:
It is can sometimes be challenging for technology companies to express their new ideas and solutions to potential customers, so the Costa Coffee Shop of the Future event was a great opportunity for them to refine their innovations into something that would improve the customer experience. It was a busy day, with 12 teams rapidly developing a story around their technology, and I think, produced some really interesting ideas that will help Costa to create environments, services and experiences that will appeal to us all in the next 5-10 years.
So, what was the outcome?
Three companies won the opportunity to pitch their concept to senior Costa Coffee board execs on Tuesday 19th September at Whitbread HQ in Holborn, London. Congratualtions to Pavegen, MAKERScafe and Conigital for impressing the judges! Conversations are already opening doors, not just for the shortlisted ‘winners’ but pitching teams too. The CW team will endeavor to share upates from this event as and when we can!
Soner, Founder of makersCAFE, pictured with Mags above (second from the right) said:
It was great to be part of the demo day. Given the short notice/timeframe on the day, teams worked really hard and managed to put together impressive presentations. We really enjoyed the day and are looking forward to our ongoing relationship with Costa, as well as CW.
Laurence Kemball-Cook, founder and CEO, Pavegen:
Costa's Coffee Shop of the Future event was spot-on for us. It can sometimes take months to reach relevant people in major brands but Cambridge Wireless network's excellent set-up meant that everyone involved was working to a tight brief, completely focused on meeting the clients' needs and, crucially, presenting to an audience of decision makers. We'd definitely be up for more of these.
Tom Robinson from Conigital says:
We really appreciate the opportunity to meet with senior COSTA staff and discuss how Connected Automated Vehicles could play an important role in COSTA's future. Being selected to progress to the next stage was a fantastic endorsement of our concept!
Will CW be running another event like this anytime soon?
Having absorbed the feedback from everyone involved on the day; it’s clear the next ideation day will have clearer application guidelines and a longer lead time for teams to prepare! Anyone that has attended a CW event before, knows an event is (normally) promoted some 2-3 months in advance. This was launched, promoted and executed in under 3 weeks.
Vikki Barcroft, Senior Events and Marketing Manager for The Bradfield Centre:
It was a crazy 3 weeks but completely worth all the hard work to see an event like this come to life. There was such a great buzz here at the Bradfield Centre…watch this space for future events!