If you Google Eron Bucciarelli, you’ll see that he was the original drummer for Hawthorne Heights, a rock band formed in Dayton, OH. The band’s 2004 release, The Silence in Black and White, and its 2006 album, If Only You Were Lonely, both achieved Gold certification.
You’ll also see that he is an entrepreneur, with a couple of startups in his resume (Soundstr and Tixxy). Today, Bucciarelli is the senior manager of product at the E-Comm Accelerator at Kroger.
Cincinnati Future spoke with him about his path from band to corporation and why the processes behind the two might not be that different.
Let’s start with the band.
Bucciarelli: I was drummer for Hawthorne Heights for 10 years. I eventually left the band to found a music startup because I was looking for an excuse to get off the road after 10 years of constantly touring. That startup, called Soundstr, uses technology to create transparency around real-world music use.
I raised venture capital and then eventually sold the company. As I was selling it, I landed at P&G’s innovation group called Alchemy. I was there about a year and then transitioned over to Kroger to lead the instore technology space. Now I’m in the innovation group.
What do you do at E-Comm Accelerator at Kroger?
Bucciarelli: My day job is senior manager of product within Kroger’s economic accelerator group. It’s our own internal venture studio and innovation group where we work on new and innovative business concepts and technology that we may not see come to fruition for another 5-7 years.
We are self-sustainable; we have our own developers, marketing people, branding people, strategy people, operation people, etc., so we’re able to quickly go out there and test new concepts. We then figure out whether to bring those concepts back into the broader organization. We’re also looking at how we can spin some of these things out on their own.
I work with business partners on the strategy, figuring out what problems we’re going to go after and doing the research about how we’re going to go about solving those problems.
Anyone can bring these ideas to the table and we have a process for vetting them—does it make sense for Kroger? What are the business expectations?