Innovator in Residence: James Altamirano

Innovators in Residence

James Altamirano

Innovator in Residence, Professional Practices Coaching Project

Resident Intrapreneur, Human-Centered Innovation Leader

James Altamirano is an entrepreneur turned intrapreneur at Principal Financial Group, where he has helped develop Principal’s human-centered design practice and is an avid champion for how large organizations might reimagine and overcome barriers to driving impactful innovation.

His work is currently influencing Principal’s enterprise innovation strategy with the formation of the company’s first enterprise team focused exclusively on transformational innovation, as well as workforce & culture initiatives around the innovation mindset, and how to reimagine an ecosystem for co-design and co-creation between corporations, startups, and academia.

Prior to Principal, James joined multiple startups to lead go-to-market strategies from early-stage through successful exits, or growth; founded a non-profit, and consulted small to mid-size business clients. He earned his BA and MBA from Georgia State University and continued to hone his human-centered design craft by working with thought leaders like IDEO, IBM, IPSOS, and others over the years.

As an avid supporter of Iowa State, James has served as a mentor for student startups in the CyStarter program, led a design thinking workshop at the (d)school, and is an active member of the Student Innovation Advisory Council.