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CNBC reports on a new innovation facility at Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters, named the Tryer Center, that is designed to create a start-up vibe within a company that is seeing its business model mature.

According to the story, “At Tryer, employees are testing out new combinations for cold beverages, using rapid prototyping via 3D printer and even trying out delivery mechanisms for the company’s new partnership with UberEats for delivery. They’re surrounded by walls filled with sticky notes, and functional mock stores built on wheels, so they can be deconstructed and remodeled quickly. The facility is where new projects, generated by employees — known as ‘partners’ at Starbucks — across the company’s headquarters, are being put to the test, going from idea to action in 100 days.”

CNBC writes that “since launching some six months ago, 133 unique projects have been tested, and more than 1,500 partners have come through to see what is being worked on or to participate themselves.” Some 40 projects have made it to store-level testing in some form.

“We now have 30,000 stores around the world serving 100 million customers a week, and with scale and complexity, it can become the enemy of speed. This is all about how we transform the way we work at Starbucks, so that we can accelerate the velocity of innovation,” says Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.
KC's View:
I love this … especially because Starbucks is using its greatest resource, the people on its front lines, to help drive its innovation initiatives. That means that it is far more likely that innovations will be connected to real needs, resonant and relevant to shoppers.