InnoCentive.com Essay

InnoCentive.com Essay

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InnoCentive.com (IC) is an innovation marketplace found in 2000 that was spun off from Eli Lilly and received seed funding from the Company’s new business model incubator. Bingham, who spearheaded the push for IC, recognized that firms tended to address the science problems by using a limited number of scientists in a single knowledge domain. This local search for solving problems by using local expertise, experience, knowledge and tools that have been effective in the in-house group in the past often leads to either problems not being solved and lying dormant or problems being resolved with a suboptimal solution due to limited and constrained thinking. The possible alternative approaches are ignored or not perceived. So, the need to solve these “inside” problems by utilizing the potential of the diverse “outside” talent led to the birth of IC. IC connects the firms (known as “Seekers”) posing scientific problems with the external talent (known as “Solvers”) who submit solutions. By the end of 2007, IC’s web-based marketplace had attracted more than 135,000 Solvers from 175 countries, with China, India and Russia being the front-runners.
IC’s Business Model
IC is the industry pioneer in open innovation, crowd sourcing and prize competitions. It has created a web-based open innovation marketplace business model where leading organizations partner with IC to harness the power of open innovation, crowd sourcing and prize competitions to solve problems and innovate faster, more cost effectively and with lesser risk than ever. Its business model is based on achieving solutions and to change the way innovation and problem solving have traditionally worked. IC aims to provide its customers with measurable innovation in the business out...


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...er a lot of potential to IC’s business but its implications need to be analyzed clearly. Collaboration is like upgrading the existing business model with new features which have the capability of offering higher potential. It will change a lot of things in the current business model like IP transfer and anonymity and how they will affect the Solvers and Seekers need to be deliberated. This new system will change IC’s structure and the way Solvers have been operating. All this will change the way the business was running till now. So, IC should go ahead with collaboration only when all the systems and processes for managing the Solver teams and roles of everyone are defined and other key issues related to IP transfer and how anonymity will work have been addressed. This will enable IC in a smooth transition from existing business model to the one with collaboration.

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