5 Most Common Mistakes Innovators Make When Submitting To Innovation Competitions? S12 Ep29

Why Innovation Competitions Are A Great Way To Monetize Your Ideas

Winning innovation competitions or innovation awards can be a major achievement and proof of you and your teams ability to innovate. Which innovation competitions or awards should you submit to? Are there any downsides to submitting and winning a competiton or an award?

In this weeks show, we discuss the structures and thinking behind innovation competitions and innovations awards and I share the 5 most common mistakes I've experienced as a judge.

Innovation Awards

  • A special guest, Tom Kuczmarski, shared an update on the Chicago Innovation Awards.
  • This award is now in its 15th year.
  • Of the ~200 awards given in the past, 100% of the companies and organizations are still around.
  • This year they will give out 10 awards including some new ones such as; Social Innovation, Peoples Choice Awards and Neighborhood Awards.
  • Criteria they use to select the winner of the Chicago Innovation Award?
    • What was the customer need the innovation addressed?
    • What was the impact from the innovation?
    • Was their a competitive response? (indication of impact since others attempt to copy)
    • Did the innovation create a new category?

Innovation Competitions

  • What are the different type of innovation competitions?
    • Solution search like Idea Connection
    • Broad new ideas
    • Narrow/focused new ideas
  • Approaches to applying to a competition
    • Forward approach: Read the competition and solve for the ask proposed in competition material
    • Backward approach: Take an idea you already have and find a competition where it can be applied

5 Most Common Mistakes

  1. Not doing sufficient research on the space to fully understand the problem/ask beyond what was presented in the competition material.
  2. Not fully reading/understand the ask. Make sure you don't inject assumptions and bias into crafting your solution to a misunderstood ask.
  3. Not following the guidelines on submissions. Understand what/how/format of the submission.
  4. Submitting an weak/shallow submission. Apply some deep thinking (go beyond the obvious) and create a killer presentation/pitch. Don't short change it.
  5. Not understanding the IP (intellectual property) rules for the competition.

Show Links:

Zoom - Video Collaboration That Doesn't Suck  - Is a sponsor of the Killer Innovations Show
Win a guest appearance on The Killer Innovations Show

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