Corporate R&D or Startups: Who will lead the next innovation?

Image credit: digitaldjtips.com

Image credit: digitaldjtips.com

Today’s pace of innovation has been like never before. In the course of Crowd Product’s many a startup as well as corporate engagements, we have been privy to new solutions that leverage transformative technologies like Blockchain, IOT, AI-ML, Predictive Analytics, NLP & Text Analytics, AR-VR, Computer Vision and others, to realise goals. Alongside, there’s also been a raging debate in the innovation-led communities and among thought-leaders – on whether innovation happens at Corporate R&Ds or in the Startup community. The jury seems divided here.

In a recent tweet shared by YourStory media, India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu believes that R&D enters are not the only place where innovation happens, but innovation is led by startups today.

Several companies have R&D teams, where the best of talent are given the environment and resources to come up with new solutions. Organisations have also used creative techniques to ensure this talent is engaged productively. One example that comes to mind is the Internal Crowdfunding at IBM R&D. Here each of the 500 member were given US$100, and we asked to either propose an idea or use the money to contribute to projects of their colleges. This simple exercise brought out a micro-tasking site for the company.

TCS, which is among the world’s largest IT services brands and among the top 100 Most Innovative Companies in the world, has recently begun looking within for the next big technology solutionTCS NumbersEven as its closest Indian competitors, Infosys and Wipro, have invested in startups to unravel the next emerging technologies. As witnessed during the recent NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2018 conference, Corporate-Startup matchmaking has become a trend. During the event one witnessed several corporate leaders interact with trending startups and on latest technology solutions.

While today’s corporates are pursuing a smart strategy, as in taking advantage of their internal R&D teams as well as engaging with innovative startups, another opportunity and a massive one is being missed out on by most organisations. Very few corporates have been engaging their larger workforce on ideas and solutions effectively. Such engagements has not only the potential to bring out the next big idea, but can also serve to address corporate cultural issues and team morale, where employees and their ideas are taken note of.

Corporate innovation I believe, and with data to back the claim, should not be restricted to a few individuals or designated teams, but open to the collective – that is every member of the organisation (and society at large). We have a solution and format to enable you engage your large teams more productively and to realise goals. Email me on vinay@crowdnavigator.com to learn more.

Live Polls with Crowds at Events

Having been part of several events the last few months via Crowd Product, we’ve learnt crowds love been part of snap polls. I would recommend event organisers to keep their audiences engaged with polls and other compelling engagement option. However what I find even more exciting is the learnings from poll results.

eduthon17-coverHere I’m sharing with you some of the polls we had taken during recent events and their results. At the recently held TiE Bangalore’s EduThon 2017 event – where startups and ecosystem enablers shared their inputs on a set of questions.

Poll1-Eduthon

IOT India Congress Poll Results (Sample Size: 144 at IOT India Congress 2017)

PollQs-DailyShots

Q1 Which of these Industry 4.0 areas would you like to learn more about?
Additive Manufacturing 25.00%, Distributed Manufacturing 25.00%, Next Shoring 10.71%, Virtual Manufacturing 39.29%

Q2 Which of these areas of your living you feel more startups need to be in?
Smart Retail 6.90% Smart Homes 31.03% Smart Mobility 13.79% Smart Governance 48.28%

Q3 What are the challenges of IoT in the Telecom Sector?
Security 22.22%, Network Connectivity 55.56%, Standards 22.22%

Q4 Which of these sectors will help India leapfrog in 2018?
AgriTech 22.73%, HealthTech 18.18%, Robotics 22.73%, Digital Payments 36.36%

In the coming days and months, based on the crowd engagement, we will be sharing more learnings from our crowd engagement at events.

Conference Crowd Engagement – 5 Learnings to Consider

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In an earlier post I’d written about how corporates have leveraged crowdfunding. While corporates have been finding ways to engage with the innovation-led community online more productively, they somehow haven’t been able to engage effectively during offline events and conferences.

In a recent article I’d written on Entrepreneur Magazine, I share my experience on how conference organisers can offer much more to their delegates and partners. Inline with those shares, here I’m sharing how corporate brands can also prepare themselves to get the most out of their audience engagement. Some learnings:

a) Multitasking Galore
While the audience and crowd at event would also be multitasking, listening to sessions, attending workshops, visiting booths and networking, it’s essential to identify your target audience and also understand when and where to engage them during the conference. The best time would be during the conference breaks and when they’re on the move.

b) Better Connectivity
It be better to also not interrupt them and start demo-ing/selling and or just engaging with those at your stall, but to find it easy for the crowd to view and understand your product/offering without any human intervention. A good wireless connectivity platform or even a link/app can facilitate this.

c) Conferences for Learning
The question here is how do you enrich your audience even more, is there something new your can share with people around? Today’s event delegates, especially those from the millennial generation use events as a way to discover and learn new things. Look at the crowds at MakerFaire events, who are wow’ed with new discoveries.

d) Know Who are Attending
Half the job is taken care of, if one did a pre-event research on the profile of the audience attending the conference. Based on the attendee segments one could find their audience and reach out to them accordingly.

e) Share Expectations in Advance
It’s also useful to interact with the event stakeholders and organisers to understand and see what one could expect as takeaways from the event. This would be useful, especially if its the brand’s first time at the conference.

While brands continue engaging via online platforms, offline is a medium that could provide quality leads and a good ‘return on investment’ if one planned their offline engagement strategy well.

Sharing Economy vs Crowd Economy = Access vs Purpose

Image source: virgin.com

Image source: Virgin.com

From the times when large banks and the government machineries exuded trust and confidence in people to today’s era where renting homes and lending money to complete strangers – the trust economy has slowly but surely shifted to the side of the sharing economy.

While the likes of Uber and Airbnb are rendering ownership of objects obsolete, it’s the efforts behind the building of ‘trust’ that’s fuelling such lifestyle changes.

There’s a compelling TechCrunch article by Adriana Stan, which also mentions about the metric of trust and building up trust beyond just customer reviews. Everything about people will be measure, right from our influence, social following, work connections, etc, will also provide one with our ‘trust score’ – something like the ‘credit score’ that banks and traditional ‘trust’ institutes are built upon.

Inspired by the shares by Epi Ludvik Nekaj and his Crowdsourcing Week series where he elaborates on the 5 Ps (People, Purpose, Platform, Participation, Productivity) of the Crowd Economy.

In his piece he mentions about how the foray of the web and mobile networks, have facilitated increased collaboration and cooperation. Defining:

The crowd economy is a dynamic ecosystem of productive people who participate through a platform with a purpose to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Based on deep dives and experiences with both forms of economies (Sharing vs Crowd), here are conclusions in 3 points:

  1. The sharing economy’s foundation is ‘Trust‘, while in the crowd economy, it is ‘Collaboration‘.
  2. The key driver of the sharing economy is availability of ‘extra Resources‘, while in the crowd economy it is availability of ‘extra Knowledge‘ that’s fuelling its growth.
  3. Commerce‘ focused organisations have best leveraged the sharing economy, while ‘Impact‘ focused organisations have made change with the virtues of the crowd economy.

Rate Global CF Platforms

worldmap-cf
As part of a university thesis project and with feedback from crowdfunding experts, the Crowd Navigator team has been able to evaluate crowdfunding platforms. The parameters are:

Transparency
Transaction fee, investors, founding members and other pertinent project details.

Level of Activity
CF company and project updates on website, social media platforms and blogs.

Ease of Navigation
Website look and feel on different devices. Time taken to access useful information.

Information Availability
Availability of details like how the CF website works and other FAQs.

Innovation Index
Tracked based on latest technology used as well as uniqueness in business model.

Now now we would like crowdfunding users to be able to rate select platforms based on 1) Level of Activity, 2) Ease of Navigation, 3) Innovation Index. You can rate 7 platforms from US, Sweden, India, Singapore and Australia at the following link.

Reach us incase of any queries. We will announce the results in September 2016.

Time to Crowd Pitch

Crowd Pitch is a form of crowdsourcing like crowdfunding and other mass engagement activities, just that here one’s primary goal is to seek crowd validation. What crowd validation does for startups, especially B2C products, is that it ensures a transparent process and gives potential backers a better understanding of the kind of traction a product has/will receive.

While online platforms serve to validate ideas too, one cannot ignore offline showcases where ideas receive direct feedback. Crowd Product’s efforts on using online voting for offline events, makes the experience of validating startup pitches wholesome.

Why Pitch at Crowd Product?
Feedback from industry professionals & investors
Gauge the crowd and potential customers interest
Win cash prizes, co-working seats, invitations to investor meets, conference & much more

Why Attend Crowd Product Pitch?
Access to some of the most fresh product startups
Actively participate by voting on all startup pitches
An evening to network with entrepreneurs & investors

If you’re interested in creating or being part of a pitching event do write to us. Crowd Pitch puts power of achieving greatness (read investments & growth) in your hands!

CPP-collage

Popular Crowd Products from 2015

The year has seen some kickass products and prototypes get discovered and come to the fore, a large number of them through crowdfunding platforms. The success of these product augurs well for the future generation of hobbyists, creators and makers, who may be motivated to turn full-time entrepreneurs. Here’s a look at some of the products that caught the eye this year.

1) Lily Robotics Drone

This flying camera when tossed into the air, starts follows its owner around with the help of GPS and computer vision. Along the way this water-proof and ultra-compact device shoots HD pictures and videos.

2) Air 2 Wireless Floating Sound Bluetooth HD Speaker

The Air 2 bluetooth speakers by Coby Electronics has in-build magnets to help it mind-blowing levitate. These speakers can also be mounted on a wall.

3) Qwertywriter

This 84 keys, USB, Bluetooth enabled typewriter-inspired keyboard gives one the look and feel of a vintage typewriter. This classy keyboard design can be easily integrated with a wide range of tablet devices.

If you come across any other interesting products from 2015 via crowdfunding platforms or elsewhere do let us know with the name of the product and its link. We will be happy to showcase compelling products you refer.