Innovation execs need to be the ‘human API’ for employers

andypalmerAre you a human API?

That’s Andy Palmer’s intriguing description of one essential role that innovation executives at established companies must learn to play: the point of contact that helps startups plug in and interact with their employers, perhaps as pilot customers, collaborators, distributors, investors, or eventual acquirers.

We interviewed Palmer for our latest report on “Working with Startups.” He runs a Cambridge, Massachusetts shared office space for startups called Koa Labs; serves as a board member, investor, and advisor to more than half a dozen startups; and spent four years at Novartis’ Cambridge R&D facility as global head of software and data engineering.

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