Atlassian opens doors for FedEx Day

Australian software company Atlassian is encouraging start-ups to apply for its “FedEx Day”, with the winner gaining access to a 24-hour innovation event hosted by Atlassian engineers.


Atlassian hosts a FedEx Day every quarter, giving employees 24 hours to develop a working prototype that “scratches an itch” around an area related to their personal or team operations.


Introduced by Atlassian in 2005, FedEx Days are inspired by the FedEx Corporation’s commitment to “ship in a day”, which is why participants are only given 24 hours.


The competition is fuelled by pizza and beer, and concludes with a “show and tell” whereby employees vote for a winner, who receives a trophy in addition to company-wide recognition.


The concept has influenced the likes of Ennova and Yahoo! to encourage employees to step out of their day-to-day mindset, think creatively about their business and deliver a solution.


Now Atlassian has extended the competition to participants outside its workforce, inviting companies across the globe to “share their story” by detailing a problem they would like to solve.


“We’re announcing a month-long campaign to hear stories from organisations like yours to learn why you need the FedEx Day spark,” Atlassian demand generation manager Joe Lambe says.


“For one lucky organisation, we’ll ship our seasoned crew of ‘FedExperts’ to your organisation and run one for your team – beer, trophies and all the other goodies.”


A selection of Atlassian’s expert engineers will be shipped to the winner’s offices to lead the 24-hour innovation day, document the event, and provide pizza and beer for the participants.


Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes says while Atlassian wants to “give something back from an altruistic point of view,” the company also benefits.


“We benefit from a vibrant community around us and anything we can do to aid that is a pretty easy choice,” he says.


“This innovation idea is open to anyone, whatever the size. It has been well received so far. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes.”


Participating companies are encouraged to provide text, video and photos to support their entry. Companies must submit their entries by December 21, with the winner announced in January.


According to Atlassian president Jay Simons, FedEx Days are “simply an incredible day of ideas, innovation and fun”.


“It’s amazing to see what creativity people can produce overnight, and we’re excited to help kick-start that opportunity with other companies,” Simons said in a statement.


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