Today's blog post was contributed by InnoCentive Marketing Manager Tim O'Brien.
If you've visited InnoCentive.com in the past week, you probably noticed that nearly every Challenge now has a referral award in addition to a Challenge award. This referral award is paid out to InnoCentive users who play a key role in the Challenge-solving process by exposing the Challenge to the person who is ultimately motivated and able to solve it.
At InnoCentive, we believe that diversity of experience can overcome the toughest Challenges. Time and time again, winning Solvers hail from backgrounds outside of the domain of the Challenges they solve. But for Seekers, lack of diversity is a serious limiting factor of innovation; after all, every organization is limited by the number of employees and contractors that it's able to employ.
We address the diversity constraint by identifying problems that matter within Seeker organizations, formulating them as discrete Challenges, and then broadcasting those Challenges to the world. Yet, in a world of billions of internet-connected individuals, posting a Challenge on InnoCentive.com is not always sufficient for reaching the individual with the right set of experiences to develop a winning solution. Given that it's unrealistic to expect every potential Solver to read every Challenge, we've recognized and responded to the need for a new role in the InnoCentive community: the Connector.
A Connector acts as an innovation catalyst, reading Challenges and then intelligently broadcasting them to potentially interested and capable audiences. By acting as a Connector, you play a vital role in the innovation process whenever you refer a Challenge to the person who ultimately solves it. Here's how it works: Visit the Challenge Center or a Challenge summary or details page of almost any Challenge to generate and share a unique referral link to that Challenge; if you refer the winner to the Challenge with your referral link, you'll receive a referral award in recognition of your crucial role in motivating the winning Solver to read that Challenge and submit a solution. In addition, if you introduce new Solvers to InnoCentive by referring them to Challenges before they've registered accounts on InnoCentive.com, you'll earn an award for each one who wins any Challenge within a year.
One major benefit of the Challenge Referral Program is the enhanced relevance of every Challenge. Even if you're sure you can't solve a given Challenge on your own, it's still worth reading the overview or details and thinking "who might be able to Solve this Challenge." If you refer the Challenge to the right person, you'll receive a referral award of up to $10,000 USD. Who knows, maybe just reading and considering the Challenge will prompt an unexpected 'eureka.' Either way, there's never been a better time to get serious about following Challenges. To help you keep an eye on and share the latest Challenges as easily as possible, we've just released InnoCentive Anywhere, a free mobile app for iPhone and Android devices.
InnoCentive community members aren't the only ones excited about this new program: “Life Technologies is very excited to be participating in InnoCentive’s referral program,” says Nigel Beard, Head of Scientific Operations of Life Technologies. “This program is designed to extend the reach of Challenges by tapping into the intellectual networks of the existing Solver community. Not only does this provide the potential to increase the number of active Solvers, but more importantly, it allows us to get these complex research Challenges in front of the best minds with the highest probability of solving them." By referring Challenges such as "Life Grand Challenge: Twice the Accuracy of Genome Sequencing," you could play a vital role in advancing the next generation of DNA sequencing technologies!
To get started, visit the Challenge overview page of any Challenge with a referral award (nearly all Challenges have one!). On the page, you'll see a referral module which makes it easy to broadcast the Challenge to potential Solvers. For more information, visit Start Referring.
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