Tapping into the Brain of Generation Y

Tapping into the Brain of Generation Y

By Emily Crawford

BrainReactions proves that innovation, as a unique discipline, should not be under-leveraged.

If innovation and invention are the
lifeblood of successful companies, from garage start-ups to global
corporations, why not employ the brightest minds of the young
generation to feed it?

BrainReactions,
a Wisconsin-based start-up, is proving that innovation, as a unique
discipline, should not be under-leveraged or underestimated. The
company is building a reputation by selling professional brainstorming,
featuring the creativity and quickness of Generation Y.

For entrepreneurs with stellar technology but a misguided market
plan, or an established company with a product but no packaging—
professional brainstorming injects what Larry Greenberg, director of
business development, calls "outside insight."

The idea is based on the simple premise that often those with the
best ideas are those who are not already entrenched in an idea or
concept.

"We need to get out of our own customary way of thinking, which is
constrained in many ways by culture, hierarchies and inertia,"
Greenberg said. BrainReactions has taken the typical method of internal
brainstorming within a company and have expanded upon it to "change and
improve in it the sheer number of ideas that are generated. The greater
the number, the greater the number of good ideas," he said.

BrainReactions provides teams of trained, Generation Y idea-makers,
generally between the ages of 18-30, who are trained professionals in
structured brainstorming sessions that on average provide 700 ideas per
two-hour session, or an idea every 15 seconds.

The company, which is self-financed and currently running off its
earnings, employs 10 people and names Bank of America, BMW and the U.S.
Peace Corps as clients. The company was founded in 2004 by Anand
Chhatpar, himself of Generation Y, who started the company in his
senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Many of BrainReaction’s clients come to the company for the
Generation Y perspective, to learn what is hot (or not), who have their
fingers, or mouse, more likely, on the pulse of popular culture and are
not weighed down by practicality or failure.

The idea specialists, most of whom are in college or are recent
graduates are aware of "the latest in unconventional thinking compared
to folks like me who have been in business for 30 years," Greenberg
said. "The kids are not worried about the strings. Their mode of
thinking is that there are no strings. They have not been beaten down
by life yet."

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