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Northwestern Mutual has opened an innovation lab at its Downtown headquarters. (PHOTO: Northwestern Mutual)

Northwestern Mutual unveils Downtown innovation lab

This week, Northwestern Mutual launched Cream City Labs, a collaborative innovation lab at the company's Downtown headquarters that is open not only to employees, but also to students and teachers taking part in the company's Data Science Institute.

The 17,000-square foot space at Van Buren and Mason Streets includes a collaborative team space, innovation events and training space, an interactive LCD wall, personal lockers and a makerspace with augmented reality, virtual reality, a 3-D printer and prototyping equipment.

There is also space dedicated to mentoring and design thinking, as well as for STEM programming, workshops, meetups and hackathons.

Oh, and there's also shuffleboard, comfy couches and cold brew coffee.

According to NM, the goal of the lab is to "advance innovation, ideation and experimentation for employees and community partners, including local startups" and to "encourage new ways of thinking to deliver a leading digital experience for the company's clients and financial advisors."

The company also has had a digital innovation program for nearly a decade that it says has generated more than $100 million in business value.

"Cream City Labs demonstrates our commitment to providing our employees with skills, opportunities and space to innovate and embrace an entrepreneurial mindset as we work to transform how people experience financial security," said Karl Gouverneur, vice president of digital workplace, corporate solutions and head of digital innovation at Northwestern Mutual.

"The lab enables our employees to connect with digital innovators and creative thinkers both within and outside of the organization, driving innovation forward both in our company and our community."

For more on the new lab, visit


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