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Citi Ventures launches Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery

By David Schwartz
Published: January 23rd, 2018

Citi Ventures is touting the success of Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (CUPID), a new program that embeds students from leading universities in innovation efforts across the financial services giant. Currently, more than 80 students from 12 U.S. universities are receiving course credit for their work in semester-long projects focused on emerging technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and big data analytics. CUPID leverages talent from beyond business graduate programs to include individuals studying design, engineering and public policy.

“We are diligently working to create a fabric of innovation across Citi, and an important part of that is interacting with a wide array of diverse and emerging talent,” said Vanessa Colella, head of Citi Ventures and Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer. “While our employees continue to test and validate new solutions that help our clients, we want to also create a platform in partnership with leading academic institutions where new ideas can percolate. The energy and creativity of the students is palpable, and it’s been incredible to work alongside them.”

The students are matched based on their interests and skills with internal Citi initiatives including projects within Citi’s D10X program, an internal strategic growth model managed by Citi Ventures that enables employees to take new business ideas from concept to launch. There are currently have more than 200 employee founders actively working on nearly 100 internal D10X start-up ideas, and over 1,500 employees have been involved in D10X since it was introduced two years ago by Citi Ventures.

CUPID builds on existing efforts including hackathons and design sprints to create, test and prototype new ideas aimed at improving Citi’s client offerings.

New York University’s Stern School of Business is one of the program’s university partners. “NYU Stern students are really responding to the opportunity to work on these types of real-world innovation projects, and doing so at a global bank will not only help them hone their skills in strategy and technical product development, but also expand their awareness of future career opportunities at Citi and beyond,” said Jamie Tobias, assistant dean of the Stern School, who also oversees its Stern Solutions experiential learning projects.

Other participating universities include Cornell Tech, Columbia University Business School, Georgetown University, Parsons School of Design at The New School University, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and University of Texas at Austin.

The program will continue and expand into 2018 through new partnerships with additional universities.

Source: Business Wire

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