NTT Data Pushes Dallas-Fort Worth Startups to Enter Open Innovation Contest

CTO Kris Fitzgerald thinks of Dallas as having "pragmatic innovation." NTT DATA wants to tap into that.

NTT DATA’s North American headquarters is in Plano, yet its Open Innovation contests have been held on the West and East Coasts since the contests started in 2014. Many of its entrants were concentrated on those coasts as well.

Enter COVID-19. This year’s contest has gone completely virtual, and NTT DATA is pushing for more entries from the Dallas Region, and other parts of the country.

“I always think of Dallas as having … pragmatic innovation,” said Kris Fitzgerald, CTO at NTT DATA Services. “I think you get a lot of good stuff in Dallas, they’re driving market needs. They’re laying very good foundations, and that’s part of what I think we’re looking forward to leveraging. This year’s contest is focused on driving those pragmatic innovations that we can take to our clients now.”

An NTT DATA representative will speak more about the Open Innovation contest during an “Ask Me Anything” session from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, as part of Dallas Startup Week. (To read more about the panel and to register at no cost, click here.)

In short, the contest invites startups to compete in a sort of hackathon, working with NTT DATA and its clients to build data-driven solutions. Yet where most hackathons have one challenge constrained by certain solutions, the contest features 15 to 20 challenges – in areas including smart city, to health care to exponential technology – with virtually any solution entrants can use. Specific challenges for this year’s contest will be released by NTT DATA soon.

According to information provided by Mary Leos — NTT DATA Senior Director of Customer Experience and Go-To-Market Strategy — regional qualifying events will be held around the world, with the winners of these contests participating in the grand finale event to be held in January 2021. The contest is intended to generate new business through cooperation with NTT DATA.

To learn more or to enter the NTT DATA Open Innovation Contest 11, click here. To learn more about Dallas Startup Week, click here.

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