BIF Featured in Providence Business News
Celebrating the success of BIF's eleventh summit and commemorating our tenth year as an organization, the November issue of the Providence Business News featured a look back at the past ten years of innovation the Business Innovation Factory has churned out.
The article written by Providence Business News reporter Eli Sherman, begins by painting a picture of BIF2015 in the excerpt found below, followed by an interview with BIF's Founder and Chief Catalyst Saul Kaplan on the past present and future of BIF. To read the full story click here!
Simon Majumdar bounces onto stage at Trinity Repertory Co. with vigor, passing waist-high, orange-yellow letters that spell "BIF." With an English accent he begins to tell his story to a rapt audience.
"I became suicidal – absolutely the darkest time of my life," Majumdar says, remembering back to 2006 when his mother died of leukemia and his then-successful London publishing company began to deteriorate.
"I was standing on my balcony on the fourth floor getting ready to jump and was very fortunate that the people below started cooking," Majumdar continues. "The smell of the food started wafting up and [it] saved my life because I got more hungry than suicidal."
The crowd's breathless silence turns to laughter as Majumdar – now a food and travel writer, author and judge on The Food Network's famed TV show "Iron Chef" – launches into how he now spends his life cooking and eating and exploring new ways to relish food.
Exploring new business ideas and ways to bring them to life are at the core of what the Business Innovation Factory has done for the past decade. The Providence nonprofit's much-anticipated, annual two-day summit, which Majumdar spoke at in September, attracts more than 500 people from around the world. Attendees, dubbed "innovation junkies," come together to meet, tell stories and re-imagine the status quo.
This year marks the organization's 10th anniversary. While its focus has broadened considerably beyond Rhode Island, its mission to advocate for business-model innovation remains the same. It's a mantra that's become almost synonymous with growth for companies big and small, one reason BIF's annual summits draw innovators from around the country.