San Francisco-based MindSumo provides a hosted and managed open innovation community that enables organisations to engage with university students through innovation challenges.
Former Stanford start-up MindSumo provides a hosted and managed open innovation community that enables organisations to engage with university students through innovation challenges.
What does it do?
Described by the company as “a millennial community for open innovation”, MindSumo helps organisations seeking to take a more outward-facing approach to innovation. It provides access to a ready-made community of enthusiastic participants who are invited to respond to specific innovation challenges, in return for monetary rewards, experience and career opportunities.
MindSumo’s offering comprises three parts:
- An innovation community comprising more than 250,000 registered members or “solvers”, all currently or recently at university and aged 18-30.
- An ideation technology platform, which supports the creation and hosting of innovation challenges through idea capture and selection.
- A managed service helping organisations to host challenges via the platform, providing an active challenge manager for each challenge.
The default length of a challenge hosted on MindSumo is six weeks – comprising four weeks for submissions and two weeks for judging – but this can be customised by the organisation owning the challenge. Once defined, the customer organisation delivers the challenge description to their challenge manager within the MindSumo team, who creates the challenge on the platform. The challenge is tagged by topic, and relevant members of the solver community will be notified about the challenge, and invited to submit an idea. Deliverables for idea submissions can include text, images, video and code, depending on the nature of the challenge. Once submission closes, the customer organisation is able to analyse the engagement data for the challenge, review and score the submissions via a dashboard within the platform, and select the concepts they wish to pursue. At this point, the rewards for the challenge are divided among the idea contributors, depending on their scores (which are made available to them). The prize structure and the participant pool can both be customised if required.