Imagine proposing a solution to how InnoCentive might facilitate Solver collaboration and teamwork.
Now, imagine having your solution selected from more than 100 others as one of the top three.
And imagine pitching your solution to a panel of experts in a ‘shark tank’ style conference call.
And, finally, imagine winning over the panel and being the one person who wins the Grand Prize.
In late 2013, InnoCentive launched just such a Challenge. Nearly a third of the 419 people who expressed interest in the Challenge submitted a solution. Of those 124 submissions, 3 were chosen to participate in the Shark Tank, and one Solver emerged as the Grand Prize winner.
Read on to discover more about the short-listed solutions and the eventual Grand Prize winner.
The structure of this Challenge was novel for a number of reasons, including its duration, evaluation and award structure.
- Duration: The Challenge ran for only 3 weeks, 30% shorter than a standard Ideation Challenge.
- Evaluation: The 3 Solvers proposing best in class solutions were selected for a $500 award and invited to a ‘Shark Tank’-style conference call to individually pitch their ideas and concepts to InnoCentive founder Dr. Alph Bingham and a team of 2 InnoCentive Executives.
- Award: The winner of the Shark Tank calls received an additional $1,500 award.
“The large number of proposals received within a short time was truly impressive, as was the range of approaches proposed. Solvers gave great insights into the perceived advantages and disadvantages of teamwork and collaboration as well as making very well balanced arguments regarding tools, incentive schemes and processes that could aid Solvers looking to collaborate with others in the InnoCentive network” Dr. Alph Bingham, InnoCentive Founder
Three finalists were selected from the 124 who made proposals – these were:
The Honorable Mention Award is a new non-monetary currency for Solvers that will recognize their submission of an excellent Solution, provide feedback, motivate Solvers to continue to participate in new Challenges and help prevent Solver burnout. The ‘Shark Tank’ conference call was an exhilarating experience and a lot of fun!
- Centralize access to all solver–related information.
- Facilitate sharing of solver details to encourage interaction and collaboration.
- Reward activities related to improving interaction and collaboration, and encouraging submission of solutions.
- Invite solver feedback.
The shark tank was a new and challenging experience, but not as scary as I feared!
As a solver, I often have ideas for solving challenges but get sidelined with unanswered questions falling outside my areas of expertise. I am very pleased that my solution proposing a simple way for solvers to post questions for other solvers to answer in exchange for an agreed upon percentage of the potential award was chosen.
Shark Tank Calls were held on the 12th and 13th December and each finalist had 5 minutes to pitch their proposal uninterrupted to the Sharks. A fifteen-minute Q and A session then followed with each finalist giving brief and insightful responses to questions.
All finalists did a great job of pitching their proposals and certainly gave both novel insights and also confirmed initiatives that InnoCentive is already putting in place. Selection of the winning proposal wasn’t easy, but within 2-days we identified a clear winner.
That winner is Mark Levitt - congratulations, Mark and thank you for your great insights!
“This challenge was hugely useful as it confirmed the interest of Solvers to collaborate more and also recommended concrete changes that we can make to our processes and platform. I continue to be amazed by the creativity and commitment Solvers bring to challenges every single day and would like to thank everyone who submitted proposals in response to this challenge – its vital that InnoCentive stays closely connected with Solvers so that we can create the best possible environment for Solving problems that matter. Thank you one and all!” Dr Alph Bingham