Innovation is a key part of PwC Luxembourg’s culture, which is why Stéphane Rinkin, Tax Partner and Innovation Leader at PwC Luxembourg recently led an initiative called ‘Dragon’s Den’ that focused on using intrapreneurship and innovation to enhance the firm’s service offerings.
The initiative began when Stéphane’s team launched a platform internally that encourages employees to submit ideas on how they could create more value to their clients. “We received a lot of great suggestions. Together with a committee, we chose the top five ideas and invited those employees to participate in an innovation competition.” explains Stéphane.
In order to bring an external perspective into the PwC ecosystem, the committee matched each team with a Luxembourg-based startup. From the moment the teams were formed, they had a month and a half to build out their idea and prepare their pitch for competition day.
On the day of the competition in January 2022, each of the teams had five minutes to pitch their idea and seven minutes to answer questions from a panel of judges. Alongside Stéphane, the panel, also known as ‘The Dragons’, included François Mousel (Clients & Markets Leader, PwC Luxembourg), Marie-Elisa Roussel-Alenda (Audit & Assurance Leader, PwC Luxembourg), Vincent Lebrun (Alternatives Leader, PwC Luxembourg) and Alex Panican (Head of Partnerships and Ecosystem, The LHoFT).
The purpose of the competition was to select the idea that would add the most value to PwC Luxembourg’s clients. The winning team would be given support to bring the idea to life.
“We had more than 500 employees tune in, and many employees reached out to us to say how much they enjoyed watching the competition.”
“We saw a broad spectrum of ideas. Some were very disruptive –blockchain or new tech based, while others were add-ons to services we’re already providing.” When it came to the quality of the ideas and how they were delivered, Stéphane says, “it was trully exceptional, and way above our expectations.”
Competition winner and PwC Luxembourg Associate, Ana Rousseau, says that her and her team member Petra “spent hundreds of hours preparing” outside of their full-time jobs. Although it was a lot of work, she says “the whole experience was incredible. I never imagined that I’d be presenting an idea to PwC Leadership.” After their idea was selected as the winner, Ana stated “it felt like a huge achievement, and all the hard work and passion had paid off.”
When asked where the winning idea is up to, Ana says “We’re currently in discussions about the types of resources we need to successfully build this out. From developers and UX designers to managers and subject-matter-experts, it’s exciting to know that there are more members joining the project soon.”
The marking of a successful event
Hosting an event virtually can at times lead to lower engagement – but this was not the case for this competition. Stéphane says “We had more than 500 employees tune in, and many employees reached out to us to say how much they enjoyed watching the competition.”
Stéphane also explained that while Ana and Petra’s idea was the winner, he also believes “all of the competition ideas will create value to our clients” and expects each of the five ideas to be given support to be rolled out globally.
Evolving the competition
Thinking ahead for the next event, Stéphane says “It needs to be even bigger. I think the next one should involve our clients in some capacity. By slightly changing up the dynamics of the event, it keeps it fresh and exciting for participants.”