WeInnovate! is an exclusive opportunity for WBENC-Certified WBEs to pitch their company's innovative product or solution to representatives from some of the nation’s largest corporations, WBENC Corporate Members. Offered twice each year at WBENC’s signature events, WeInnovate! not only provides WBEs access to potential buyers and supply chain professionals and the opportunity to pitch their business, but it allows corporations to discover innovative products or services specifically relevant to their business needs.
To provide more insight on the Corporate Member perspective on WeInnovate!, we turned to Heather Herndon Wright, Director of Supply Chain Diversity at Vistra Energy. Read our Q&A with Heather on why participating in WeInnovate! is so important and some of her tips for WBEs considering applying.
Q&A with Heather Herndon Wright, Vistra Energy
What motivated you to participate in WeInnovate! and how would you describe your experience?
It was a great opportunity to bring not only my supply chain professionals, but two of my Technology Services business owners to see the type of products and services innovative WBEs provide.
As a WBENC Corporate Member, what’s the most valuable part of participating in WeInnovate?
The identification of products and services to fill current needs in our supply chain, and that we might not even know to look for or ask about.
What advice would you give WBEs considering applying to pitch their innovative business or solution at WeInnovate?
DATA, DATA, DATA – anytime you can provide factual evidence of need and/or success (i.e. savings, revenue enablers, time to market, etc. for your potential customers) it arms us with information we can take back to justify next steps for engagement.
Why do you think it’s important for Corporate Members to participate in WeInnovate?
The beauty of INNOVATION is that sometimes we don’t even know what specifically to ask for. Attending these events allows us to take back new ideas that we can introduce to the business that drives high value.
What advice would you give to WBEs that want do business with Vistra?
Once certified as a WBE through WBENC, understand our industry, know our specific business and provide a targeted capability statement along with a list of current/recent contracts that we can forward onto decision makers within the organization. Then follow up with a phone call and request the opportunity to present your capabilities. Participate on the WBE Forum and serve on WBENC Committees - focus on relationship building with the Corporate Members so we can better advocate on your behalf internally.
How has being a Corporate Member helped Vistra and/or your procurement department?
WBENCLink2.0 is invaluable as a sourcing tool – by providing access to all our sourcing professionals and having the ability to track who has accessed it and when, we can ensure our Policy and Procedure of including “At Least One” WBE on all sourcing events is met!
Participate in WeInnovate!
Applications are now for WeInnovate! at Summit & Salute, March 11-13, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
If you are WBE with an innovative business or product, we encourage you to apply!
Prepare a one-minute video pitch of your innovative solution.
Apply now! Applications are due by January 25.
Find more information, including eligibility, key dates, and frequently asked questions at summit.wbenc.org/weinnovate