The Atlantic Lottery Corp. will soon pilot a new product that came into being because it placed a bunch of geeks at the heart of Halifax’s innovation Hub.

The lottery organization, which is owned by the four Atlantic Provinces, will begin a 1,500-person pilot project this month for its new product Winvelope. It is the first product to come out of the Crown corporation’s innovation outpost at Volta, the Halifax startup house.

Last summer, Atlantic Lotto opened an innovation outpost in Volta with the goal of bringing out new products to help the business. Led by tech entrepreneur Scott Burke, the outpost group decided to play on the current craze of subscription boxes and devise a lottery product people receive regularly in the mail.

“People like to get a physical product, and when everything is online, getting a physical product is a novelty,” said Burke in an interview. “They like the unboxing experience. This is something that tests well with younger people, the 19 to 34 year olds.”

With Winevelope, people will be able to subscribe to the program, and receive lottery tickets or other products mailed to them on a regular basis, probably once a month. Other entrepreneurs have had great success with these so-called subscription boxes, receiving recurring revenue in exchange for regularly mailing out toothbrushes, razors or special gifts.

Burke admits that it’s surprising that a group of tech enthusiasts would choose a mail-based subscription model for their first product, but it made sense to produce a something that could come to market quickly.

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The idea of an innovation outpost is for traditional corporations to place a few tech-savvy employees in an innovation hub to bring about new products. Young entrepreneurs in these hubs benefit from exposure to traditional businesses, and the corporations gain new insights into current trends of development.

“We asked ourselves, if a lottery corporation was a startup, what kind of products would we build and bring to market?” said Burke. “The whole idea is to essentially disrupt ourselves …  before we get disrupted by someone else. We were tasked with making exciting products that will delight Atlantic Canadians.”

Volta hopes the Lottery Corp. is just the first to establish an innovation outpost in Halifax.

“We have seen serious interest from other large corporations who are interested in taking advantage of the unique start up environment at Volta,” said Volta CEO Jesse Rogers in an email. “Our goal is to have a cluster of innovation outpost labs here at Volta as we grow and continue to be a leader in bringing together corporations and innovators.”

Burke said his team has gained from interacting with entrepreneurs, and from hosting a hackathon to share ideas with the community.

“We’re here at Volta for the hallway conversations and to get out of head office and start with a clean blackboard and see what we can come up with.”