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NOV 06, 2012

IE Business School alumnae win the Whirlpool Innovation Challenge of 2012

Bernadette Aguirre and Arti Sinha, international MBA graduates at IE Business School, have won for Health Smart Energy Neutral in the 2012 Innovation Challenge, an international competition sponsored by Whirlpool and organized by Skild.

This is the second team from IE Business School to win the Innovation Challenge competition, after having won back in 2004 this international competition which aims to enhance the role of innovation in the corporate world. The competition comes with a prize of $7.500.

The two winners graduated from IE Business School in 2012. Arti Sinha has a background in Bio-Technology, she then transferred to business and began working with a management consulting firm in Toronto, where she worked in marketing and business development roles. Bernadette Aguirre´s expertise lies in marketing, business development and project management. She has experience working for the City of New York’s marketing, partnership and tourism organization, NYC & Company.

Being the world’s largest and most established MBA innovation competition, the Innovation Challenge is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Within the past ten years the Innovation Challenge has been matching the brightest and most creative students from the world´s best schools with leading brands in an experience designed to address the most prestigious business and social Innovation Challenges.  

“Working for the Whirlpool brand sounded really exciting as it is a major company with many product extensions, and having the chance to help them with their strategy was a great opportunity,” says Aguirre. “We applied a model learned at IE, called Design Thinking, which offers a different perspective to how to approach issues, focusing on who your customer is and getting to the heart of what they are facing.”

Both winners encourage future students to participate in the Innovation Challenge. “It gives you the opportunity to learn about companies you wouldn’t otherwise, because you are trying to think for them, the challenges they face and how to go forward.” says Arti Sinha. “It is definitely a great opportunity to put your ideas out there and to get to know new talents. The brains, the experience and the excitement of hundreds of people brought together, to bring something new to a company and to a brand.”

Watch an interview with Arti and Bernadette hosted by Christopher Marshall, director of the Innovation Challenge, on their thoughts about the competition here: