Consortium for Corporate Entrepreneurship
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Wesley J. Howe School of Technology
  Stevens Institute of Technology
Our Mission

To significantly increase the number, speed and success probability of highly profitable products and services entering development.

What is Front End of Innovation (FEI) ?

frontend Front End of Innovation is defined by:
Activities that come before the "formal and well structured" New Product Development (NPD) Portion.

We do not use term "Fuzzy Front End" since it implies that the FEI is mysterious, uncontrollable and cannot be managed. Click here for more information on Front End of Innovation.


Dr. Peter KoenDr. Koen chairs Boston conference, "The Front End of Innovation", May 22-24, 2006

Dr. Peter Koen was chairman of the Front End of Innovation (FEI) conference in Boston in May 2006 for the fourth time on a row. This year he was also awarded for that by IIR.

The FEI-conference is a three-day conference with an impressive program focusing on issues of the compelling topic “the front end of innovation”. It is the only conference worldwide that concentrates solely on the front end of innovation, despite its importance perceived by practitioners and academics.

On the pre-conference day, attendees had a choice out of four half-day workshops or two full-day symposiums. One of the symposiums was hosted by Peter Koen. He presented us the latest on his research in the Front End of Innovation (FEI). This was followed by presentations of “The Best of the Best”, companies that outperform on certain aspects of the front end of innovation following dr. Koen’s research team (i.e. they are top quartile performers compared to 180 US SBU’s). John Leikhim from Proctor & Gamble, Charles Craig from Corning, Inc and Chuck House from Intel Corporation shared their insights and experiences with us. The symposium ended with a presentation by Nancy Eickman from Honeywell & Kathy Harold-Marlowe from Marlowe & Associates about “How to use the FEI tool to set the stage for change”. Our kick-off keynote speaker on Monday evening was nobody less than Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO. Tom Kelley’s presentation turned out to be very fruitful for a creative first evening in Boston.

Peter Koen
Tom Kelley


Tuesday followed with presentations of the “Michelangelo’s” of Innovation Management like Renee Mauborgne from INSEAD, Claudio Kotchka from Proctor and Gamble, Terry Jones from Travelocity and Clayton Christensen from Harvard. During lunch, Gary Erickson from the Clif Bar entertained us with his entrepreneurial story. The afternoon followed with four concurrent tracks, each with a diverse focus. The special keynote at dinner, this year by Miha Pogacnik, was enjoyable and refreshing as “usual”. Miha Pogacnik gave us his view on how to understand innovation through his music and energetic drawings and managed to get the whole room of attendees singing with him...



Wednesday was “seeded” with most interesting keynotes from e.g. Burt Rutan; an inspiring person known from SpaceShipOne ( i.e. the first private manned space flight, flew in 2004) amongst other projects. Further, we had an inventor’s forum featuring the same Burt Rutan and Rodney Brooks from iRobot Corp. The next keynoter was Eric von Hippel, well-known for his lead user research, with a fascinating talk. And than, most admirable, a CTO forum with CTO’s from Motorola, Dow Corning, Inc, DuPont and Xerox, with not less than three out of four women… Michael Treacy helped us to digest our lunch on the second day while explaining “How to bring innovation to the product development process”. The afternoon offered again four concurrent tracks.

Burt Rutan and Rodney Brooks
Eric von Hippel
CTO Forum


More information can be viewed on The conference is sponsored by the Product Development and Management Association and the Institute for International Research. You can view or download the conference presentations here.

Travel Scholarship Awards
Conference Team
Preconference Pipecleaner Award

Developed with the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) the NCD model for establishing a common language and terminology for the Front End.
Beginning to be accepted as THE Front End model.


Recent Events

Virtual Team Conference

For the members of the consortium of corporate entrepreneurship, dr. Koen organized a conference concerning virtual teams. There was a very impressive group of academic speakers including Julia Gluesing, who has written 3 books on the topic and has a NSF grant to study this area, Eduardo Salas, who is renowned expert in teams, and Max von Zedtwitz, who has done extensive work on R&D teams. There were also key executives from IBM, HP and Intel to discuss their current and future approaches to virtual teams in their companies and a consultant from Forrester Group.

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