eyes on ideation
Q&A: How this Houston-based studio is tackling billion-dollar problems with internal innovation
Across the energy transition, major corporations — within the energy sector or adjacently supporting it — are focusing on new ways to innovate solutions.
In 2021, KPMG, a New York-based global audit, accounting, and advisory service provider, formed a new entity to play in the innovation space. The Houston-based team finds innovative software that benefit KPMG's clients across industries.
"We're really focused on transformative businesses that we can offer our clients in the next three to five years to solve fairly large problems," Anu Puvvada, KPMG Studio leader, shares with InnovationMap earlier this year.
In an interview with InnovationMap, Puvvada shares more about the program and why she's passionate about leading this initiative from Houston. Check out the shortened Q&A below and head to InnovationMap for the full conversation.
InnovationMap: Tell me about KPMG Studio's structure and your overall goal with the program.
Anu Puvvada: I like to think about it more around framing. We frame the studio around three pillars: incubate, accelerate and amplify. We take in a lot of ideas that come from the business and from our clients and we incubate and see which of them are really high growth solving like a very large problem across verticals and horizontals. When I say a big problem — it's got to be a $1 billion-plus problem.
IM: Seems like a mutually beneficial relationship between KPMG and these innovators, right?
AP: I would say it's good for KPMG because it allows us to innovate differently and innovate with agility. My group actually operates as a startup within a large organization. And then we create this ecosystem around startups inside KPMG, so when it exits, it's got the basis to run on its own. That's important for us because it gives us agility, it lets us really capitalize on our brand. It's not just what it brings us, but also what it brings our clients.
There's a big competitive advantage to innovating inside KPMG. These innovators get to work inside our walls protected by the infrastructure of KPMG. They, they get a technology team to help them build the idea. And they get to use their brand of KPMG, use our marketing engine, our comms engine, like everything that's behind us. A startup outside, it doesn't get any of that. So, it almost like accelerates them into market when the spin out happens. We use the differentiators and the competitive advantage of KPMG in order to amplify the story of that startup and their value proposition in the market.
IM: Is the studio operating completely in Houston?
AP: We source our ideas from all over nationally. I'm in Houston and a lot of my support team is actually in Houston as well. And I work with a lot of the Houston ecosystem around innovation. I really see Houston as a big future market. We are at the center of climate and ESG, the space economy, and medicine. Those are three big like curves that are going to be hitting in the next five years. So, it is integral for studio to be integrated into that ecosystem to position KPMG for the future.
This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity. A version of this article originally ran on InnovationMap.