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Have A Great Market Research Idea? Announcing The Insights Innovation Competition!

As part of the upcoming Festival of NewMR, we’re going to begin a new initiative to recognize innovation in the broad market research space and give budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to bring their visions to life.

Insights Innovation Competition - Win $20,000

For the past year I’ve pontificated about the need to drive innovation in market research, the need to unite our industry in a common vision for the future, and the imperative to move market research more into the realm of Business Intelligence in order to ensure we remain competitive. I certainly have not been alone in these views; many leaders in market research from both the client and supplier side have been saying the same things (often for far longer than me) and have had significant impact in shaping the collective dialogue that has firmly taken center stage at every conference, in every online forum, and in every form of media within our industry. It is now undeniable by any with eyes to see or ears to hear that market research simply must bridge the best of our history with the emerging new paradigm we find ourselves in.   Innovation of the insight generation space is not an option any more; it is an imperative.

All of that is well and good to say, but innovation doesn’t come through looking or acting differently: it comes by thinking differently. That means that we have to identify individuals or small firms that are approaching the issues the MR industry needs to solve in ways that many may not be thinking of. We need to identify innovators who may have the solution to our problems, whether they think of it as market research related or not.

It also doesn’t come without real costs to the innovators. As I know all too well, the combination of innovative thinking and the financial resources to bring that innovation to life can be hard to come by. For many, it can be darn near impossible. It is also vital that innovators have access to mentors that can share their experience and help them fully realize their vision while building successful businesses to support it’s future development.

So, we have an industry that is in desperate need of innovation. We need to identify people or firms that are thinking differently and have innovative solutions to the issues we’re trying to reconcile within the industry. We need to be able to fund these firms and give them access to experienced professionals that can help them be successful.  Those three factors have driven GreenBook and NewMR to create the Insight Innovation Competition. Read on to find out more, or you can cut to the chase by visiting the site here:

Here is the deal:

As part of the upcoming Festival of NewMR we’re going to begin a new initiative to recognize innovation in the broad market research space and give budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to bring their visions to life. We’re also going to try to make that fun, engaging, and collaborative.

On Friday, November 4th we’ll hold the first Insight Innovation Competition as one of the “Fringe” events associated with NewMR. This event will showcase new concepts and ideas in market research, business intelligence, and consumer insights. That is an important distinction; it may well be that participants have a new take on surveys or focus groups, but we want to hear about new ideas in social media analysis, text analytics, behavioral economics, gamification, mobile, “Big Data”, emotional measurement, crowdsourcing, competitive intelligence, secondary research, marketing analytics, influence measurement, predictive modeling, etc… It can also be a product, service, business process, technology platform, or some hybrid idea. If it pertains to enhancing how we communicate with, engage, analyze, or understand people then we want to hear about it.

The winner will get:

  1. At least $20,000 (we’re looking for more sponsors to grow that award)

  2. Great exposure to a broad global audience of potential clients and partners

  3. An opportunity to work with successful senior leaders within the market research space

  4. Invited to present at a TBD industry conference in 2012

  5. An interview by me here on GreenBook Blog

Here is how it works:

  • Thanks to one of the sponsors, Survey Analytics, we will use the IdeaScale ideation ratings platform to have participants submit their new product ideas and go through a crowdsourcing process where the industry will vote on which ideas have merit.
  • We will winnow the field down to 5 winning concepts.
  • On November 4th the finalists will present their concepts to a panel of judges comprised of sponsors of the competition in a live virtual event. Think an online version of  “Shark Tank” or “Dragon’s Den“.
  • Each presentation will last 15 minute: 10 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes for Q&A from the judges.
  • Using a 10 point scale for each category, judges rate each presentation on:
    • Originality of concept
    • Presentation quality
    • Market potential
    • Scalability
    • Ease of Implementation
  • After the presentations are complete, we’ll poll the audience on which pitch was best and factor the vote score into the judge scores.
  • The highest final score wins. The winner takes home the pot and chooses which of the judges they would like to engage with afterwards as a mentor.

Our confirmed judges and sponsors so far are:

Now, here are the 3 rules for submissions:

  1. The company presenting the idea must be in business and the concept must be within the public domain already. We don’t want any IP issues here. This must be something that you can share publicly; even if you have not made a dime from it yet, it’s out there and you’re trying to sell it.
  2. Your company must be majority privately held. Angel seed funding is OK, but if you’ve taken investment money and do not have a majority stake left, this isn’t for you.
  3. Your company can reside anywhere in the world, but it’s your responsibility to ensure that the legal and tax requirements of your home  country are met.

The website for both submitting ideas and voting for them is:

Submissions and voting are open now and will run through Monday, October 24th. We’ll notify the finalists and announce them that week.

I see this as the first step in what I hope will be a comprehensive program in 2012 to help support innovation in our space. There are a whole lot of other ideas being bandied about that the Insight Innovation initiative would be a part of, but it all starts with making this one a success. I hope you’ll join me, GreenBook, NewMR, Cint, Survey Analytics and Vision Critical in making this a huge success.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the Insight Innovation Competition shoot me an email at [email protected]

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10 responses to “Have A Great Market Research Idea? Announcing The Insights Innovation Competition!

  1. This is such a great idea! Wishing i had something that would even remotely qualify… I saw a paper on qualitative conjoint recently, and that interested me. Anyone who can offer some new ideas on small sample statistics would be a winner in my books — get the deep insights, and also get some hard data.
    will be watching with interest.

    1. Thanks Susan. Spread the word; it could be an innovation in a process, technique, technology application, analytical approach, recruiting, incentive system, etc… I bet you and others in QRCA are doing some coll things that could be built into a scalable product!

  2. I did not read anywhere at your site about how an idea or invention of someone will be
    protected for the inventor.

    1. Please check the submission site; that is covered there. The short answer is that of course it is protected and belongs to the submitter; no one else will have any claims on it. That said, one reason we insist that this be a public product is because we can’t control what others may do. I hope no one would be unethical, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Patents are the best way to protect IP, and even then it’s not fool proof (or Chinese law proof) protection.

  3. Fantastic initiative – its really a great idea. And the $20,000 would pretty much cover the IT required to develop my product further. However its a shame it is so public. Underdeveloped ideas/products (even in the commercial domain) are so easily copied by large companies with the resources to build them. Being judged is fine, but the crowd sourcing component kills putting up any big innovations for me. [But I’ve got some little process ones I might enter]

    1. Hi Christine. That is a sticky issue. We recognized that with a public competition there was no way to protect confidentiality so that is why we’re focusing on companies that have innovative offerings but are also currently in business, albeit perhaps in need of some extra cash to help them gain traction. This is an experiment and we’ll be looking at refining the model in 2012, but I still have a hard time figuring out how to keep the program public and visible while offering some type of IP protection; the two concerns seem mutually exclusive to me. I’m certainly open to suggestions if you have any thoughts!

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