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20 Companies That Are “…The Breakthroughs We Have Been Waiting For…”

Open voting for the Insight Innovation Competition has closed. There were 19 entrants this year, and the top five plus a wild card entrant chosen by the judges advance to the finals at Insights Innovation Exchange North America.

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The Insight Innovation Competition has been one of my absolute favorite initiatives since Ray Poynter and Pravin Shekar suggested it as part of the very first Festival of NewMR five years ago.  The idea of developing a research-centric innovation competition for young companies to gain exposure, support, and capital was something new for our space, but from it’s inception the response from the industry has been phenomenal. To date close to 100 companies have entered and 42 have made it to the final round, with 7 winners  going on to win the prize.  Many of the participating companies have received funding or been acquired, with even more going on to organic success through new clients and partners.

In short, the IIC is making a difference for all stakeholders in the marketing insights space, and that has always been the goal. We’re thrilled it continues to evolve and deliver on that promise!

In this most recent round, 19 companies officially threw their hats in the ring, and this may be the strongest group of participants ever. But don’t take my word on it. Long-time GreenBook Blog follower and one of my favorite contrarians,  industry veteran Christopher Noel Robinson, commented on LinkedIn:

Christopher Noel RobinsonLeonard I hate to admit it, but some of these are the breakthroughs we have been waiting for. Hats off to IIex!!

If you don’t know Christopher, believe me there is no higher praise! If he thinks we have some game changers in this wave, then we do indeed have some companies that might go on to great things!

Here are the final results from the open voting phase. Click here to go to the site and check out each of these great entrants!

 

Rank IDEA NAME AUTHOR VIEWS VOTES
OpinionsApp Adriana Rocha 4334 524
EyeSee, online eye tracking with emotion. Olivier Tilleuil 1505 416
SWAY George Dranovskiy 2051 407
Dataga.me, the self-service research gamification platform Jason Anderson 2292 391
Metametrix Mary Meehan 3024 366
Usenns: neurotechnology for non-conscious emotion detection in MRX studies Javier Minguez 2783 350
Upfront Analytics Upfront Analytics 1695 302
Affinio Inc. India White 1315 142
Market Research Cloud™ Josef Zankowicz 965 133
10º Thumb: Generating Insights about Millennials through Social Media App:… Sima Vasa 795 132
11º LeadSift Inc Pam McBride 1018 129
12º VoxPopMe Tom Higgins 1403 82
13º Fetch Rewards Anusha Sthanunathan 782 70
14º AnswerRocket – like Google™ for Customer Insights Pete Reilly 790 36
15º YouEye: Agile Experience Analytics Platform Collin Sebastian 763 25
16º Ditto Mary Tarczynski 469 23
17º BX Shaun Collett 80 14
18º Cool Tool Dmitry Gaiduk 364 12
19º Impact Groups Kip Creel 116 3

 

The crowd voting is just the first part though. 5 finalists and 1 wildcard will now go on to the Judging round at IIeX in Atlanta, and here is what they are competing for:

WINNER PRIZE
  • $25,000 cash award.
  • Opportunity to be evaluated for inclusion in the Lowe’s Innovation Lab Accelerator located at the Singularity University Campus at NASA Ames Research Center in San Francisco.
  • Exposure to large international audience of potential prospects, funding partners, venture capitalist and angel investors.
  • An invitation to present at the next Insight Innovation eXchange
  • An interview to be posted on the GreenBook Blog, viewed by 36,000+ industry professionals per month
  • An opportunity to work with successful senior leaders within the market research space

The Insight Innovation Competition is collaborating with the Lowe’s Innovation Lab to help competition entrants gain awareness within a broad consortium of global brands.

All participating companies will be vetted for inclusion in the Lowe’s Innovation Lab program. Selected participants will gain guaranteed organic funding through pilot programs with program partner companies, as well as access to acceleration resources for marketing, strategy, finance, and business development.

In addition, all companies will be vetted for inclusion in the Ricoh Innovation Accelerator, an investment and business accelerator program focused on developing new technology solutions that can be applied to a host of business issues, including marketing insights.

So what happens now?

The companies that will go on to the Judging Round and their chance to win $25k and all of the other benefits of making it to the finals are:

  1. OpinionsApp
  2. EyeSee, online eye tracking with emotion.
  3. SWAY
  4. Dataga.me, the self-service research gamification platform
  5. Metametrix

And the Wildcard entrant being added to the mix is Fetch Rewards. 

On June 15, 2015, as part of Insight Innovation eXchange North America 2015, the finalists will present their concepts to a panel of judges comprised of sponsors of the competition in a live event. Each presentation will last 10 minutes: 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes for Q&A from the judges. The panel of judges will be moderated by Gregg Archibald, Senior Partner at Gen2 Advisors.

Using a 10-point scale for each category, judges rate each presentation on:

  • Originality of concept
  • Presentation quality
  • Market potential
  • Scalability
  • Ease of Implementation

On June 17, 2015 we’ll reveal the 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.

A BIG thanks needs to go out to our IIC sponsors who fund the prize:

competitionsponsors

The judges have their work cut out for them. Each of these entrants have immense potential, and any of them could easily take home the prize! But, there can be only one who will take their spot along past winners of the IIC:

IICWinners (2)

The other five will be in good company as well and will join the 35 other finalists who have gone to great success even though they did not win the competition:

 

IIC competition_winners_finalists (2)

 

Just as the entrants are particularly impressive this round, we also have an incredibly strong panel of judges comprised of clients and investors who will conduct their own version of “Shark Tank” on stage. We’re privileged to have such an esteemed group putting these companies through their paces!

COMPETITION JUDGES

Keiko (Kay) Iwaisako
US Lead
Ricoh Ventures

​Kay manages investment and business development operations in US for Ricoh Ventures. She was previously Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Macromill, an online marketing research technology and service firm. Prior to that, Kay spent over a decade as a venture capitalist at Entrepia Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based technology VC firm. She served as a board/observer member at World Wide Packets (acquired by Ciena), ArchPro Design Automation (acquired by Synopsys), HelloSoft (acquired by Imagination Technologies), MagSil and others.

Jonathan Ewert
President
Placeable

Jonathan Ewert has 25 years of experience leading public and private companies in tech-enabled sectors, including research and advisory, Internet hosting, interactive media networks, SaaS, e-commerce, and social networks. Prior to Placeable, Jonathan served in a variety of management and Board roles for several portfolio companies of Catalyst Investors, a growth equity firm with $600 million under management across three funds. Before that, Jonathan served as SVP of Corporate Development for LookSmart, where he led the turnaround of the media business. Previously, he was CEO of ePALS until selling the company in 2007, and a Vice President at Modem Media, where he led the preparation for its successful IPO in 1999. Jonathan currently serves on the Boards of Alert Solutions, Codero Hosting, Reputation Institute, and Audience Fuel. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of Google Consumer Surveys and Kinetic Analysis Corporation. He earned his B.A. in Political Science in 1986 from the College of the Holy Cross.

Scott Miller
CEO
Vision Critical

Scott Miller is the CEO and a board member of Vision Critical. In this capacity, Miller focuses on developing and leading the execution of Vision Critical’s strategy including strengthening relationships with customers and partners, driving innovation and growth across all markets and ensuring operational excellence across the company. Scott joined Vision Critical after 12 years at Synovate. Most recently, Scott had been the CEO of Synovate North America, where he led the business to industry-leading growth by re-aligning all 1,000 employees on client sales and delivery. Scott also led the rebuilding of Synovate’s advanced analytics business: MMA. His leadership successes can be attributed to alignment of the complete organization around a common vision, clarity and passion in communication and empowering others to contribute at their absolute best. Prior to his North American CEO role, Scott held positions as Head of Global Client Relationships, Head of Synovate’s Research Reinvented (advanced technology) Initiative and CEO of its Global Motoresearch practice. But, Scott was not always a “big company” leader. For the 12 years before Motoresearch was acquired by Aegis/Synovate, he was a partner at the company where he led international development, including the creation of a substantial presence in Latin America. Scott is the Vision Critical management representative on the Vision Critical Board of Directors.

Tanya Franklin
Director, Trends and Brand Health
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Jonathan Ewert has 25 years of experience leading public and private companies in tech-enabled sectors, including research and advisory, Internet hosting, interactive media networks, SaaS, e-commerce, and social networks. Prior to Placeable, Jonathan served in a variety of management and Board roles for several portfolio companies of Catalyst Investors, a growth equity firm with $600 million under management across three funds. Before that, Jonathan served as SVP of Corporate Development for LookSmart, where he led the turnaround of the media business. Previously, he was CEO of ePALS until selling the company in 2007, and a Vice President at Modem Media, where he led the preparation for its successful IPO in 1999. Jonathan currently serves on the Boards of Alert Solutions, Codero Hosting, Reputation Institute, and Audience Fuel. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of Google Consumer Surveys and Kinetic Analysis Corporation. He earned his B.A. in Political Science in 1986 from the College of the Holy Cross.

Jeff Krentz 
Executive Vice President
WPP

Jeff Krentz is Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy for Kantar, WPP’s Consumer Insight division. In this capacity he has oversight over Kantar mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate investments as well as general corporate strategy. Jeff started his career as a management consultant at Bain & Company and Price Waterhouse advising Fortune 500 companies on corporate strategy. Jeff has principal investing experience having raised, managed and invested a $40 million investment pool dedicated to emerging growth companies through the Small Business Administration’s SBIC program. Jeff received his BA in Political Science from Duke University and his MBA and Certificate in Public Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ryan Patel
Vice President, Global Development
Pinkberry Ventures, Inc

Ryan Patel serves as the Vice President of Global Business & Real Estate Development for Pinkberry, one of the fastest growing retail brands globally. Since commencing at Pinkberry in 2011, the company has gone from less than 95 locations to over 260 stores in 21 countries and continuing to expand. An expert in growing brands, he has worked for publicly traded to private companies, and has helped build corporate to franchise stores throughout the retail to food segments, both domestically and internationally. Patel has been vital in providing valuable strategy and leadership in developing international growth plans across multi-cultural and cross functional teams. He has been a key player at some of the world’s most innovative companies including Pinkberry, Wet Seal Retail, Inc (Arden B and West Seal), Jamba Juice, BJ’s Restaurants, Inc and Panda Express. Patel is a frequent speaker at conferences and company meetings in the United States and around the globe, from college students to CEOs of organizations. He has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped companies grow into world-renowned brands. He received his Bachelors from University of California, Berkeley and received his MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine.

 

Although the other 13 companies that entered won’t get a chance to present to the judges and win the prize, since we believe everyone deserves as much attention as possible and should still have a chance to network with the potential clients, partners, and investors at the event we’re going to ensure they all get a spot on stage at the conference!

Several of them had previously been given stand-alone speaking opportunities, so these companies will still be presenting their solutions in those agenda spots:

  • Usenns: neurotechnology for non-conscious emotion detection in MRX studies
  • Upfront Analytics
  • Affinio Inc.
  • AnswerRocket – like Google™ for Customer Insights
  • YouEye Agile Experience Analytics Platform
  • Ditto
  • KnowledgeHound (An entrant from the Amsterdam IIC who could not make it there)

We’re working on creating some additional “Fast Pitch” session space in the agenda right now where the remainder (as well as a few other companies who wanted to enter the competition at the last minute but we convinced not to due to time constraints) will have an opportunity to make 10 minute presentations on their capabilities and business use cases to attendees. Those companies include:

  • Market Research Cloud™
  • LeadSift Inc
  • VoxPopMe
  • BX
  • Cool Tool
  • Impact Groups
  • Thumb
  • AXIL Engage (last minute pre-entrant)
  • Consensus Point (last minute pre-entrant)

One of the benefits of winning the competition is to also present at future IIeX events, so 4 of our past winners will also be presenting at IIeX to demonstrate to the industry their progress in making a difference in the creating business impact for their clients and helping to drive innovation across the board. Look for sessions with these folks at the conference:

  • Dalia
  • Decooda
  • Glimpzit
  • Zappistore

And if all of that isn’t enough, we have another Baker’s Dozen of young companies presenting throughout the event (some are past IIC finalists as well!), many of which are from outside of the research space and are coming through our relationship with the ATDC incubator in Atlanta.

  • Autocruitment
  • FieldStack
  • GoAnimate
  • Merlin
  • OfficeReports
  • Pointivo
  • Predikto
  • Protobrand
  • Sayroom
  • Sideqik
  • Survata
  • Survmetrics
  • Vehcon

It’s not too late to grab your ticket to IIeX so you can experience these (and many more!) great innovative companies first hand. Don’t be left out from meeting “The Breakthroughs We Have Been Waiting For” and exploring how they can work with your organization to deliver insight innovation and impact!

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