Company: Affinnova, Inc., Waltham, MA
Company Description: Affinnova is an high-growth software and services firm that enables companies to drive better ideas to market faster by helping them develop better performing products, messaging and package designs through evolutionary technology. Founded in 2000 by two PhDs from MIT, Affinnova is one of the 10 fastest growing research technology firms in the US, and in 2011 was named to the Honomichl Top 50.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Company of the Year - Up to 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: Affinnova, Inc.
Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Affinnova, Inc. is a software and services firm that is revolutionizing how companies innovate, enabling them to find the ideas that resonate the most with consumers from a huge range of options. The company provides concept optimization and benchmarking solutions to assist clients in developing better performing products, brand messaging and package designs.
Waleed Al-Atraqchi, the company’s CEO, leads the company with a focus on what Affinnova does best: innovation optimization through evolutionary algorithms, for new products, advertising and design. Realizing the company had an opportunity to move from research services into software, Al-Atraqchi has invested in standardization and automation to improve the quality and reliability of Affinnova’s solutions. In January 2012, Affinnova began the transition to Software-as-a-Service, introducing Affinnova Concept Studio, an online application for concept collaboration.
Today, Affinnova’s innovation platform supports concept collaboration, optimization and testing. The three main solutions in the platform are Affinnova Concept Studio, Affinnova IDDEA and Affinnova 2D Measurement.
Affinnova is being adopted as a crucial step in the innovation process throughout the consumer-packaged goods industry and has expanded into several additional verticals, including life sciences, retail, financial services and design. Using Affinnova’s technology, companies have seen dramatic increases in the success of new products. In fact, a study of over 100 projects using Affinnova’s innovation platform shows that optimization improves concept performance by 60% on average. A census of all traceable new product initiatives optimized by Affinnova found that optimization doubles the likelihood of launch, almost doubles in-market success (defined as 2 years of distribution after launch, with $500k in sales during the last 8 weeks) and almost triples revenue.
And Affinnova practices what it preaches. Innovation absolutely drives the long-term success of the firm. Over a third of the company – between analytics, algorithms, statistics, user experience and software development – is working on improvements and innovations in their disciplines. In 2011, the company opened offices in France, England and the Netherlands, and hired 75 new employees in the US and Europe. Affinnova recently completed a study identifying the nine hallmarks of collaborative innovation: those characteristics of company culture, networks and technology that lead to breakthrough innovation.
Affinnova has grown rapidly due to high repeat business rates from its customers. Global Fortune 500 companies and their partners use Affinnova for optimizing new products, advertising and design. Customers re-purchase from Affinnova after experiencing the highe launch rates, in-market success rates and faster time to market made possible by concept optimization. Affinnova is one of the 10 fastest growing research technology firms in the United States, and in 2011 was named to the prestigious Honomichl Top 50 list of leading U.S. market research companies. Affinnova is becoming one of the select Boston companies that helps its customers move into “FutureM”, the Future of Marketing.
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Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:
Waleed Al-Atraqchi has served as President and CEO of Affinnova since 2005. Prior to joining Affinnova, he was President of Imagitas, where he grew the company from $50M to $125M in less than four years before it was acquired by Pitney Bowes. Prior to Imagitas, he was Senior Vice President of Sales at Catalina Marketing. Previously, Al-Atraqchi worked in brand management and new product development at GlaxoSmithKline. Al-Atraqchi holds a BS from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon where he graduated in the Top 10 of his class.