In the ongoing open innovation experiment called Venture2, we're planning another 'Speed-dating for Innovation' event for early August. It is focused on connecting large consumer health companies with some very innovative technologies and businesses in health monitoring and therapy. We hope that connecting these big ideas with brands and distribution strength, that they can be scaled into big businesses. You can learn more at www.speeddatingforinnovation.com.
I'm a believer in open innovation and in connecting large companies with externally developed sources of technologies. I'm also a believer that it's about more than transacting technologies. It needs to be about developing ongoing relationships between corporate leaders and serial entrepreneurs. And that's where speed-dating comes in. It's a format that allows corporate leaders to sit across the table from a wide spectrum of entrepreneurs, and hopefully develop some relationships that turn into ongoing networks of innovation. Companies typically sign up with two or three technologies of interest as their motivation... but there almost always surprised by a few others as well, in a good way. Not just because of the technologies or business propositions. But also because they see first hand some of the talented minds behind these inventions and the opportunity to leverage that entrepreneurial spirit into their own companies.
So, the experiment continues. We're certainly not the first to apply the speed-dating concept to busines or entrepreneurship... but we might be the first applying it to open innovation (connecting large companies and start-ups). I'm hopeful that these types of events will move the needle in a small way toward creating more of these relationships. I'll let you know how it goes!