Dedicated innovation centers have become a go-to way for incumbents to galvanize creativity, agility, and ambitious projects in emerging areas like Web3 or the metaverse.
$548 billion-asset Truist just announced a new stand-alone innovation group called Foundry, which will work across the bank to build new products and features. The unit aims to operate like a startup within the bank.
“The decisions that banks make over the next two to three years from a technology perspective are going to define who wins over the next decade,” Truist’s head of strategic initiatives, Christina Russ, said.
Such dedicated initiatives are meant to create room for experimentation at-speed – though the model doesn’t always work. For example, ING overhauled its dedicated innovation program earlier this year, citing the need for sharpened focus.
Foundry pulled about a fourth of its 45 workers from The Long Game, a financial games app the bank acquired in May. Buying fast-moving startups and then integrating their employees into new product lines can give big banks a culture jolt that breeds innovation.