Business Innovation Challenge Invites Companies to Share their Stories

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Building on the concept of crowdsourcing,'s open innovation project will help businesses share and explore practical innovation ideas.

Business Innovation Challenge

Business Innovation Challenge

Information is meaningless unless it is transformed into knowledge that can be acted upon.

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In an era of crowdsourcing has launched an ‘open innovation project’, the Business Innovation Challenge, to help small and medium-sized businesses discover practical ways to innovate.

The idea behind the project is simple: Companies are asked to share practical things they have done that have improved the way they do business. Their stories will then be shared openly to help others explore and visualize ways they can improve their own companies.

“Many smaller businesses are reluctant to implement new ideas and innovations into their companies, because they have difficulty understanding how the pieces fit together and don’t have examples to follow,” says Julie King, co-founder and managing editor of “As a magazine we are limited to sharing a few ideas at a time. By creating this open innovation project, we are expanding the opportunities to develop a more robust knowledge-base.”

While an emphasis on technology is expected in submissions to the Business Innovation Challenge, the project is open to all ideas from organizations of all types and sizes.

“We expect that some business will share stories about how they have used technology to operate more efficiently, but we also want to hear about low-tech innovations as well,” says King. “For example, a Chinese restaurant that successfully transformed one third of its space to accommodate take-out customers with a luxurious waiting lounge would be a great example of customer-focused innovation.”

To participate in the Business Innovation Challenge, businesses can go to where they will be asked to fill out a short form that walks them through the process of sharing their stories. While spam will be removed from the system, businesses are invited to brag about their acts of innovation.

By sharing their stories, businesses will have the chance at national media exposure and they will also contribute to a knowledge-base that they can tap into as a creative font for new ideas.

The challenge will rely on self-policing through a ratings system to help the best ideas emerge. As stories are published, users will have the ability rate projects, which will also be tagged to make them easy to find as the number of projects increases.

“There has been a lot of hype about this being the information age, but information is meaningless unless it is transformed into knowledge that can be acted upon. With the Business Innovation Challenge we hope to contribute to the creation of knowledge for small and medium-sized companies,” says King.

The project will collect stories through the spring and summer and will start publishing them on an ongoing basis in the fall.

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Alexandra DeLory
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Julie King
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