VentureFuel’s Contest Celebrates Innovation and New Technology

NEW YORK CITY (February 28, 2018) – VentureFuel, the company that accelerates the growth of new technology by unlocking innovation for Global 2000 companies, announced today that 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. CEO Chris McCann was voted its annual Visionary of the Year.

The Visionary of the Year is voted on by advertising and marketing peers to determine which executive is the most innovative and who best embraces new technologies to solve real business challenges. Thousands voted for the field of Visionary finalists that included executives from Microsoft, Beam Suntory, Estee Lauder, Sony Pictures, Annapurna Pictures, as well as several top advertising agency leaders.

Chris McCann, President and Chief Executive Officer, of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. is responsible for the company’s operations and strategic processes across all of its brands and businesses. Chris has played a pivotal role in helping the company build a reputation as one of the leading e-commerce and multi-channel retailers in the country. He is well-known for embracing technology innovations that enhance customer engagement particularly in areas of social and mobile commerce and the fast-emerging area of conversational commerce driven by artificial intelligence, voice and bot technologies.  Voters took notice as 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.  launched Gwyn®, its own AI-powered online gift concierge built on IBM’s Watson capabilities as well as being one of the first retailers on with bots for Facebook Messenger and Google Assistant and voice skill on Amazon Alexa platform.

“1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. has always embraced emerging technologies that help shape consumer behavior. Our strategy is to engage early, learn along with our customers, adapt and commercialize.  As a company, we look for team members who thrive in a culture of innovation – intellectually curious, willing to experiment, and not afraid to fail.” said McCann. “It is truly an honor to be recognized by VentureFuel as the Visionary of the Year.”

“I met Chris on a panel I moderated at SxSw last year where we talked about voice assistants and how 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. was out in front embracing this new opportunity. I spoke with Chris in the green room before hand and was just floored by his depth of knowledge across AI, AR/VR and a host of other cutting-edge technologies,” said Fred Schonenberg, Founder of VentureFuel. “It’s rare to have someone of Chris’ stature be so engaged in the intricacies of new technology and so willing to find new ways to move their business forward. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. has always been an early adopter of emerging technology organization and I learned why in that first meeting. Innovation starts from the top at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. I wasn’t remotely surprised when I learned Chris had been voted the Visionary of the Year by his peers in the industry.”  

For more background on the VentureFuel Visionaries, visit:

  1. Chris McCann, President and CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.
  2. Andrea Javor, Sr. Director Global Connections Planning, Beam Suntory
  3. Hilary Batsel, Marcom Media Director, Microsoft,
  4. Regan Przybyl, SVP Digital Media, Annapurna Pictures
  5. Brynn Nakamoto, Global Digital Marketing, Smashbox Cosmetics of the Estee Lauder
  6. Jane Mohon, SVP Media and Digital Marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  7. Sean Corcoran, EVP Executive Director, MullenLowe Mediahub
  8. Mara Golden, SVP of Strategy, Zenith Media
  9. Jeremy Hull, VP of Innovation, iProspect
  10. Benjamin Lord, Global Director, Kinetic (WPP)
  11. Corbin Brown, Director of Strategy, Giant Spoon
  12. Bethany Ford, Content Marketing Manager, SITO


About VentureFuel

VentureFuel is a full-service innovation consultancy, servicing Global 2000 clients. Our Global Innovation Network of Founders, Research Labs, VCs, Incubators, Accelerators, and Innovation Scouts allows brands to connect with consumers in new ways via breakthrough technologies and emerging opportunities. From the Museum of Ice Cream to AI, AR, VR, and Big Data – we deliver business results for our clients through innovation.


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