The latest Triangle-based start-up turns corporate consulting inside out. Founder and CEO K. Melissa Kennedy invited business and media leaders to the Google Patio atop Durham’s downtown American Underground Tuesday for the official kickoff of 48 Innovate.

In a 60-second pitch, Kennedy name-checked Steve Case, gave away a pound of bacon and outlined the new venture and its successes. She left it up to a 48 Innovate client, Cisco Director of Sales Strategy and Planning Annette Blum, to share the concrete steps of her team’s 48 Innovate experience, then called on members of the audience to pitch their passions – and three women jumped at the opportunity.

Kennedy pointed to $200 million in revenue generated by 48 Innovate clients based on projects and products that emerged from her two-day challenge.

Blum described the group of 30 from Cisco who participated in the process as diverse in authority and experience. “They self-formed teams,” she said. “Some people ended up leading those who would usually outrank them.”

48 Innovate assembles a company’s existing talent to tap ideas to meet their biggest challenges, Kennedy said. They brainstorm, plan, pitch to executives and get buy-in within two days.

“It’s a proven process that empowers the team in place,” Kennedy said.

48 Innovate follows up with 90 days of encouragement and exercises to keep the entreprenuerial spirit alive.

At Cisco, of five plans, one was implemented and two others are in the works, Blum said.

Then Kennedy turned over the microphone to the audience.

The three impromptu pitches that followed were by reps for Marcey Rader Lifestyle Coaching, Creative Countdown Calendars and My Family Cloud.

Rader, who has coached individuals and corporate teams, links physical health to work productivity. “I believe you can’t have one without the other,” she said.

Amy Gamber said Creative Countdown is a planning tool unlike any other. Users enter a goal, such as a family vacation, wedding or work deadline, pick a design and select from interim steps to create their custom calendar. Creative Countdown’s biggest seller in 2014, Gamber said, was Christmas presents from parents to children that let them anticipate a trip to Disney World.

My Family Cloud is a joint project of Kerri Patterson and Teri Brigham designed to marshal the many reminders, calendar entries and to-dos that a family shares all on a single digital dashboard.

Each pitch received what Kennedy described as “the rockstar roar.”

For these small companies, her own venture and her corporate clients, Kennedy said, “The stakes are real.

“We use the companies own challenges and opportunities, position their employees to be the guest experts, build confidence and come away with actionable ideas, all in a fun environment.”