Nigel Smith is the Director of AARP Innovation Labs. AARP’s inaugural innovation lab is the Hatchery – a 10,000+ square foot structure in the heart of Washington DC, where breakthrough innovation is fostered, incubated and accelerated. In this role, Nigel is responsible for developing a pipeline of start-ups with transformational solutions that help 50+ consumers live their best lives. He is responsible for managing Hatchery Ventures, a first-of-its-kind platform for AARP where high potential disruptive start-ups are invited to co-create scalable solutions for the 50+ consumer with AARP. Nigel also fosters relationships with academic institutions, incubators, accelerators, and start-up communities in targeted geographies throughout the USA, and manages the day-to-day operations of the Hatchery.
Leading-up to this role, Nigel developed innovation platforms, processes, and models that supported systemic innovation throughout AARP, provided strategy development counsel to business leaders, and consulted with a variety of internal clients on the execution of innovation.
Nigel is also the President of Zurena LLC, a company that produces, markets and distributes different drinks and drink mixes. It’s flagship product – Zurena Premium Drink Mixer – is available on Amazon and in 50 locations in Washington DC and Maryland.
Prior to AARP, Nigel was the Director of Product Innovation for Visa USA, where he developed corporate strategies and drove new product innovation for Visa’s healthcare and remittance platforms. Other professional experiences include roles with McKinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs Group, and KPMG.
Nigel is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Maryland and holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Stanford University, a Certification in Leading Innovation Change from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelors in Business Administration degree from Howard University.