Spark Tank Challenge

In 2017, AEP challenged its nearly 18,000 employees to collaborate, amplify and implement their innovative ideas as products or services that customers will want today or in the future. The plan was to develop these ideas into revenue streams for AEP that bring value to those we serve. To ignite thought, creativity, collaboration and customer focus, AEP launched its first enterprise-wide Spark Tank Challenge.

To ignite thought, creativity, collaboration and customer focus, AEP launched its first enterprise-wide Spark Tank Challenge for employees to share innovative ideas that could be developed into revenue streams.

As technologies advance at an unprecedented pace, our customers want us to use innovation and technology to move us into the future – and they want to take the journey with us. The Spark Tank Challenge gave us a mechanism to engage employees and establish an enterprise-wide innovation and technology focus. Approximately 600 employees submitted nearly 400 ideas; eight employee teams were invited to pitch their ideas to the AEP Spark Tank judges. The ideas were evaluated by AEP’s Enterprise Technology Council before being presented to a panel of internal and external judges. A handful of ideas made it to the last round, some were reserved for future development, and others offered continuous improvement value.

The winning entry was “AEP SMART Buildings, a five-star concierge service for energy management.” The onsite energy management program would target municipal, university, school and hospital customers, who want these types of personalized services from AEP because they trust us and know we can deliver results.

A second proposal, “AEP Plus Consumer Resilience,” aims to install a customer-centric network of energy storage devices to provide customers with greater resilience and potentially lower the cost of service for their neighbors.

A third proposal, “Customer Connectivity,” also earned special recognition. AEP will further develop this proposal which calls for delivering fast, reliable internet service to customers over fiber-optic wires because information is now a fundamental building block for modern living. Although it is not core to our traditional business model, ideas like this reflect new opportunities to serve our customers’ needs.