Why CIOs Should Look to Startups

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There are two types of people at a startup technology vendor -- the promise-makers and the promise-keepers.

Chris Laping has little appetite for the cold-calling salespeople who fall into the first category. Yet as senior vice president of business transformation and CIO for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, he's hungry for the next source of advantage in a hyper-competitive industry -- whether it's a menu change, a new market or an emerging technology.

When Laping got the opportunity to meet with well-known venture capital firms and the CEOs of their portfolio companies -- the promise-keepers -- he leapt at it. "As a CIO, I want to pull back the curtain and understand what innovations they can bring to our business," he says.

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