At the end of July, Fidelity Labs hosted an Open House in our new collaboration space for alumni of the Fidelity Leap program from our Boston, Merrimack (NH) and Smithfield (RI) offices. Leap is a 17 week Fidelity-run training program that puts recent college graduates through immersive technology and business training and prepares them to be successful in our workplace. During the program, “Leapers” work on real projects that have company-wide impact, while receiving personal coaching and mentoring from successful senior Fidelity managers in their respective fields.
Fidelity Labs has always had a strong relationship with Leap, and many key members of our team are alumni of the program. So, it seemed like a natural fit to hold an open house for alumni and to share some of the exciting opportunities that we have to work in a startup environment without leaving the organization.
In planning the event, we wanted to highlight our working style, which is casual but collaborative and passionate about our work. So, the open house started with refreshments and informal networking, as the attendees were encouraged to check out our space and talk with the many members of the Labs team who stayed after work to support the event. Once everyone had a chance to get settled, Sean Belka, the head of Fidelity Labs spoke about our mission to create new businesses that drive growth and better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve.
Then each of the internal startups presented their “lightning pitch,” their individual missions and their go to market plans. The presenters included both business and technology team members to highlight our different perspectives and backgrounds. After the presentations, we fielded questions from the Leapers, then continued socializing before wrapping up for the night.
The event was a positive experience not only for the Leap alumni, but also for the Fidelity Labs team. For us, it was energizing to share our story and show off our work to a very interested audience. For the attendees, it was eye-opening to learn about a new business incubator within Fidelity where challenging the status quo is the expectation. Other attendees talked about how much they appreciated our focus on improving the financial lives of customers and how we provide our startups with all of the tools and resources they need to succeed.
I joined Fidelity Labs earlier this year after spending many years leading engineering teams at startups in the Boston area. I love the laser focus that startups within Fidelity Labs have on solving problems where people are experiencing real issues and where we believe we can help. I also love the level of investment that Fidelity makes in their employees. The Leap program is a great example of that, as is the latitude that employees have to explore new opportunities to grow in their careers within the company.