Haas Open Innovation Challenge

Open innovation has a lot to do with breaking down silos and inviting outside knowledge for internal and external improvements. Unlike the closed innovation model,  open innovation broadens the idea funnel and allows an organization to go above and beyond the limits prescribed by traditional business structures.

An informal doodle on the difference between closed and open ideation
An informal doodle on the difference between closed and open ideation

Although closed business models are beginning to embrace the practice of generating ideas through outside sourcing, there remains a stark difference between crowdsourcing and open sourcing ideas. Whereas the former approach involves a closed ideation funnel, the latter one allows an organization to develop a community that shares, brainstorms, and co-creates thoughts, which would ultimately result to a larger and brighter idea that could not have been conceptualized via the closed ideation method.

Corporations are beginning to recognize the benefits of engaging its stakeholders in their innovation pursuits. While majority of large companies still struggle in their adoption of this process, many feel the need to tap it now and integrate it into their overall business and operations strategy.

Professor Solomon Darwin
Professor Solomon Darwin

The Open Innovation Challenge is hosted by Haas undergrads taking Prof. Solomon Darwin’s UGBA190T course this Fall 2013. Darwin is currently the associate director of the Garwood Center for Open Innovation at the Haas School of Business. He has expertise in Finance and Technology, and is well known for utilizing his rich experience in both fields to transform mature business models into something more open and innovative.

The class is representative of the Haas’s goal for implementing experiential learning into its various curricula. UGBA190T undergraduates consult for and work with a number of large companies who are members of this year’s Berkeley Innovation Forum to provide them with solutions to their unique concerns and challenges.

Technology Life Cycle
Technology Life Cycle

These companies acknowledge and respect the fresher perspectives that the 190T students have to offer, and know that if they do not revitalize their business models soon enough, they may be on the verge of declining.

Part of the student consultants’ projects and tasks is open sourcing prospective solutions to their challenge, in an attempt to access the “global brain”. To practice open innovation, the class wants to collect and merge as many crazy ideas possible, in order to develop jaw-dropping resolutions to incorporate into their final recommendations.

45553_384130321719457_336541606_nThose being said, all individuals and groups, UC Berkeley-affiliated or not, are welcome to participate in the innovation challenges (see below for links and contest prompts). The best three ideas and three most active participants in each of the platforms have the opportunity to win cash prizes, in addition to a prestigious UC Berkeley-sealed Innovation Achievement Award signed by Henry Chesbrough, the Father of Open Innovation, dean of the Haas Center of Open Innovation, and best selling author of the Open Innovation series.

Contest participants can register for all platforms and are encouraged to upload ideas as often as possible from October 18-20, 2013 to maximize their chances of winning the awards. The platforms all open at 5:00 A.M. PST on the 18th and close at 11:59 PST on the 20th.

Idea submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Award distribution applicable to all platforms are as follows:

Top three best ideas (most innovative ideas):

  • 1st place: $125
  • 2nd place: $75
  • 3rd place:  $50

Top three idea posters (the most active participants):

  • 1st place: $125
  • 2nd place: $75
  • 3rd place:  $50

Below are the prompts for the six different challenges:

Autodesk – https://nsf.brightidea.com/software

“What new products and business models can Autodesk create  for its cloud/social/mobile businesses?”

6a00d8341c4fe353ef017ee63dc204970d-800wiFinancial Institution – https://nsf.brightidea.com/financial

“What new and innovative financial service offerings can an online trading brokerage company provide to attract customers from the Millennial generation?”

160px-Lg_checker.svgNestle Purina – http://nsf.brightidea.com/NestlePurina

“What new and innovative concepts can Nestle Purina develop for eye-health of dogs and cats?”

StanCSC Bank – https://nsf.brightidea.com/standardchartered

“What new strategies can Standard Chartered Bank pursue to serve individual and business customers in middle to high income segments?”

Toyota Logo 1Toyota – https://nsf.brightidea.com/Toyota

“How can Toyota leverage 3D printing to pursue new services and business models for their parts and accessories business?”

11954221391976235078johnny_automatic_boy_playing_with_toy_truck.svg.medToy Distributor – https://nsf.brightidea.com/distribution

“What type of service offering or business model can a physical games (board game, card game) manufacturer adopt to distribute games created by outside inventors, while tapping into an ecosystem of developers, gamers, artists/creative? (think Steam or iTunes-type platforms but applied to physical games)”

Denice Sy
Class of 2014

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