Prepare to Salute and Celebrate the BOLDest

Prepare to Salute and Celebrate the BOLDest

The 2020 BOLD Awards, created by Crowdsourcing Week, will build on 2019’s inaugural event to bring together the cream of the crowd economy sector to celebrate the achievements of some of its finest exponents and champions.

About the event

The black-tie Gala Dinner award ceremony represents the Oscars for industries such as the crowdsourcing, open innovation and related tech communities.  

As well as celebrating the breakthrough winners of 12 diverse categories it will be an evening of unparalleled top class industry networking.

If you’re here you will be alongside the industry’s finest.

2020’s glittering event will be held once again at the campus of H-Farm, the innovation platform that supports the creation of new business models and the digital transformation and education of young people and Italian companies. They are just outside Venice, Italy.

Prepare to Salute and Celebrate the BOLDestThe date to put in your diary is Friday March 27th when the evening will begin with a drinks reception, followed by a three-course meal and the annual BOLD Awards 2020 ceremony.

The Official Drink of BOLD Awards 2020 is Valdo Prosecco.

Entering the BOLD Awards

Entry submissions for the BOLD Awards 2020 are now open and the closing deadline for all entries is December 31, 2019. Entry is fee-based, currently it is just €7 though will rise in stages as we near the closing deadline.

After this deadline, a period of public voting will commence January 6th, 2020, followed by an assessment of the resulting shortlist of entries by an international panel of judges.

Entry in any of the 12 categories can be made here. In 2020 there are some new categories, including Boldest Travel Blogger/Influencer, Boldest Augmented & Virtual Reality, Boldest Marketplace and Boldest AgroTech.

How You Can Be Involved

Seats at BOLD Awards 2020 are going to be evenly divided between Nominees, Event Partners and Sponsors, Special Guests, and people who are BOLD enough to request an invitation to attend this unique event.

To start the process of attending as a Nominee, select a category here (though you may enter more than one) and begin your submission. Please ensure you check here the key criteria that will be used to assess each one.

Prepare to Salute and Celebrate the BOLDest

Prepare to Salute and Celebrate the BOLDest

If you’re bold enough to want a place at the crowdsourcing industry’s Oscars evening in the company of global sector leaders, then request an invitation. The attendance fee is €875.

BOLD Awards is aiming to engage more than 3,000 submissions from the public and private sector, with only the Top 50 being selected to join us in Venice, Italy, on March 27th 2020. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be BOLD, you can complete your details here -> http://bold-awards.com/submit-your-project.

Tipalti Launch NetNow Service to Incentivise Invoice Early Payment – What Does This Mean for Marketplace Platforms?

Tipalti Launch NetNow Service to Incentivise Invoice Early Payment – What Does This Mean for Marketplace Platforms?

The banking and financial services sector is becoming more strategically focused and technologically advanced. It has to respond to growing consumer expectations while trying to defend market share against an increasing array of competitors who are each trying to eat their lunch through targeting a single specialist area of the wide banking services.

Tipalti Launch NetNow Service to Incentivise Invoice Early Payment - What Does This Mean for Marketplace Platforms?One such specialist service provider in the automated payments sector is Tipalti. Their service is particularly well recognized as an efficient method for organizations of all sizes to pay a growing crowd of freelance and gig-economy workers, including providers of open innovation challenge solutions, on time, with the right amount, and in the right currency without onerous exchange fees for either party.

Tipalti’s streamlined and automated payables process helps clients of all sizes increase profit by reducing payment errors and automating the process of large transactions; it prevents fraud; and helps to meet international regulatory compliances effectively.

Cash flow issues for startups and small businesses

And now they have introduced a new faster payment service called NetNow. Smaller and new businesses are particularly prone to cash flow issues, simply due to the money coming in and the bills that need to be paid not yet stabilizing in to any sort of a regular pattern. Slow payment from clients or unexpected bills may require a sudden and short-term cash injection. Or maybe an unforeseen business opportunity looks too good to miss, or let be snapped up by a rival.

Either way, a new startup business is unlikely to have built up a satisfactory track record and credit rating to qualify for support from a bank.

Late payment is a particularly big problem for smaller businesses. According to The Entrepreneur in 2017, US small businesses were owed $825 billion in unpaid invoices. It stated: “If SMBs were paid on time, they could hire an additional 2.1 million employees — and reduce U.S. unemployment by 27%.” Alternatively, startup entrepreneurs could  invest more in plant and equipment; take on more speculative business; boost their marketing; build up a larger stock of inventory; or even pay themselves a bit more as a reward for their risk-taking.

In the UK late payments by large businesses are also a major issue for SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Recent research by Dun and Bradstreet revealed that “nearly half (48%) say late payments put their business at risk of failure” according to its recent report: ‘UK SMEs: Brexit and Beyond.’ The SMEs questioned in the research had seen the average amount owed to them rise by almost a quarter from £64,000 in 2017 to £80,000 in 2018, impacting cash flow and future growth. 

Tipalti’s NetNow service enables any client to accelerate payment of an invoice, to receive some needed cash quickly, through rewarding the payee with a reduction off the amount. The example given by Tipalti is for a supplier invoice of $2000, the supplier can receive $1950 if they choose to be paid early.

What makes NetNow unique

This in itself is not new, but usually requires the payer and the payee to agree a long-term arrangement that will apply to every invoice. NetNow is flexible enough, and so seamlessly built in to Tipalti’s systems, to apply to individual invoices, one at a time.

Tipalti Launch NetNow Service to Incentivise Invoice Early Payment – What Does This Mean for Marketplace Platforms?Chen Amit, Tipalti CEO and co-founder commented: “At Tipalti, we understand that supply chain health is incredibly important for companies to maintain competitiveness, as it impacts their ability to execute on business plans. Supply chain financing is not a new concept. However, the frictionless way we have enabled it is. We are proud to be the only accounts payables automation vendor who offers this program embedded directly within its platform for easy payer and payee adoption.”

What it means for marketplace platforms

Marketplace platforms are two-sided networks where the supply chain (vendors contributing content, for example) are also revenue drivers, said Todd McGuire, general manager of supplier success at Tipalti. Many of the smaller firms – if able to receive payments 40 days earlier (while accepting a small discount on net amounts paid out) than might be seen with, say, 45-day terms – could take that accelerated funding and re-invest it into their operations to fund growth. It gives them a new funding source, he added.

Crowdsourcing Engineering Solutions Through Open Innovation Challenges

Crowdsourcing Engineering Solutions Through Open Innovation Challenges

Surcle.io is a global crowd-engineering platform enabling corporations, SMEs, and start-ups to scale resources and tackle engineering and hardware challenges within their organizations and product life cycle. It was launched by the online electrical hardware components supply chain provider Sourceability in 2018. It gives their existing clients, plus other new users, opportunities to source not only components but to also crowdsource engineering-related ideas and solutions from either an open or a curated network of sector specialists.

The democratic basis of crowdsourcing through open innovation means that as well as established professionals and businesses, freelance engineers and newcomer engineering students or recent engineering graduates who are looking for projects that will help them hone their skills can enter a range of incentivized challenges. This could definitely give their career a boost if they can contribute to an appropriate breakthrough.

Surcle has a short video that shows both sides of the benefits for anyone either setting a challenge or working to resolve one.

If you’re majoring in engineering or have recently graduated, and you’re looking for a novel way to launch a career in engineering, then you can sign up here as a Solution Provider in Surcle’s crowd-engineering network and start entering incentivized engineering-based competitions. If you’re an existing business, think of this as an addititon to your new business pipeline.

If you want to launch a challenge, which can also put you in touch with some manufacturers to speed up bringing your product to market as well as with solution providers, you can register here.

What sort of competitions?
Here are two that have recently closed.

Crowdsourcing Engineering Solutions Through ChallengesUkaton was seeking help to shrink a PCB layout to fit inside a shoe to help millions of people improve their posture. SmartShoe Insoles will have three primary functions: a) provide posture analysis and input for VR/AR/XR, b) function as a real-time gait analyzer, and c) serve as a passive and continuous body-weight scale. Submissions needed to be field tested by the deadline for entries of 15 August 2019, though a prize amount had not been set as the startup Ukaton was seeking support from a more-established partner.

Zollner Elektronik AG has launched The Protocol Converter Challenge. It seeks an IoT software solution for a messaging server to deliver seamless communication between any industrial machine and software interface. The goal is to create a middleware IoT device that enables interoperability of various industrial machines, equipment, and workstations on a manufacturing shop floor to support industry’s move towards a “smart factory.”

After consulting its network of solution providers, Surcle received bids from three reputable engineering firms to take on the project. Furthermore, the competitors estimated they could complete the challenge for anywhere between $20,000 to $35,000.

After an initial two-week software programming phase, the three engineering firms developed 13 software solutions. Surcle ensured they developed their IT protocol converter software with the appropriate discretion via non-disclosure agreements.

The three competitors then spent three weeks developing working prototypes of their machine interoperability systems, and presented the results to Surcle. One didn’t make it further, and Surcle presented Zollner with two IoT protocol converter designs to review.

Challenge Outcome

Zollner Elektronik naturally selected the system that best suited the needs of its 19 international worksites. Although it was also the highest priced solution, it was $10,000 under the budget Zollner had initially allocated and it still represented a saving.

Through partnering with Surcle, the German EMS Zollner no longer has to waste valuable time translating data between its equipment. Also, because it is now using a customized solution, it doesn’t have to pay licensing fees for a generic third-party product.

New development

In the meantime, Surcle continues to innovate with further developments. One is the launch of its Engineer Matchmaking Feature. This matchmaking service matches Design and Engineering projects with a curated network of firms and professionals possessing appropriate levels of expertise, financial backup, and other key resources required to deliver the envisioned solution within a specified time frame.

Larger projects may be broken down and compartmentalized in an effort to maintain efficiency, while simultaneously decreasing the risk of complications that may prolong delivery time.

Milestones within this service include at least engineering specifications, product wireframes, functional and engineering prototypes, and firmware. Firms and professionals matched to these projects include the expected engineering firms, original design manufacturers, design firms and electronic manufacturing services, though operators in other sectors could also be considered.

You Can Count on Mathesia to Improve Innovation

You Can Count on Mathesia to Improve Innovation

Mathesia is a global crowdsourcing-based innovation platform based in Italy, that brings together a highly specialised crowd of around 3,000 vetted mathematicians and data scientists from around the world. Since it launched in 2014, Mathesia’s focus has been to help clients solve problems through generating prize challenges to tackle from a mathematical perspective. This doesn’t mean they solve mathematical problems, their crowd of solution providers solve real-life problems using math.

It is a great example of the type of highly curated on-demand talent network that is available through a variety of crowdsourced open innovation platforms, and represents the future development of how innovative startups will increasingly work: access to specialist and expert skills and knowledge when any business may have need of it without the burden of an expensive payroll to fund a fulltime team.

The benefits for the network  of experts (dubbed ‘Brainies’) who subscribe to Mathesia include opportunities to gain and enhance a personal reputation, grow in rank and earn money through their effort spent on Mathesia projects.

You Can Count on Mathesia to Improve InnovationA New Development
The original, or ‘standard format’ of such platforms is to act as an interface between the challenge providers and the platform’s network of would-be solution providers. Though through launching its Connected Innovation Hub, Mathesia has taken this to a next stage. In effect it is a white-label service within their platform which can be fully branded in the corporate image of any challenge provider who is then able to interact directly with selected members of Mathesia’s crowd of solution providers, the ‘Brainies.’ And while this goes on, Mathesia’s team remains available as trusted partners to advise and provide help at any stage of the process.

The Idea Garden is a forum to interact with Brainies to raise questions, topics and touch points to source feedback at an early stage of ideation before innovation projects are more fully formed. As much as this can be very useful to short-list the ideas to take forward, it can also swiftly identify the ones that are not going to excite the crowd.

Through a Co-Lab Tech Scouting feature it’s possible for challenge providers to identify both new startups and more established organisations operating in any particular field as potential longer-term collaborators, if that’s what they wish.

The final stage of refining a project through ideation to execution, and identifying collaborators, is then for a challenge provider to launch it in their self-branded environment in the Project Centre to provide the Brainies with a unique and stimulating environment.

Targeting the US Market
A second development at Mathesia since we last updated you about them is they have become a Member of The Collective, a wide member-based community of platforms and innovators, both corporate and academic, dedicated to advancing the dynamic You Can Count on Mathesia to Improve Innovationof open work strategies, crowd-based innovation and practical collaboration. It was launched by Open Assembly, an organization created in 2017 with the purpose of thinking on the future and the significant changes of the working-world. Its members include some of the most relevant key-players in the USA, like NASA, Deloitte, General Electric and Microsoft.

A key aim of Matehsia’s collaboration within The Collective is to extend their expertise to the best organisations and firms on the US market, and make real partnerships with companies, influencers and academic institutions working on the concept of innovation. Mathesia will actively contribute by developing new open innovation solutions, and work with fellow members to define best practices in the world of advanced crowdsourcing.

Prominent Challenge Partners
I’ll close with a mention of a couple of Mathesia’s current and recent challenge partners. The platform is working with Eni, an Italian multinational oil and gas company, in the Safety Pre-sense project where their network of experts has been tasked with the creation of a data-driven framework capable of identifying the most relevant and repeating causes and factors of incidence concerning safety. Eni’s ultimate goal is to build a system able to support and guide their Health, Safety and Environment experts in making faster, more aware and more focused decisions.”

A recently completed Mathesia project was with Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., commonly known more simply as Generali, an Italian insurance company which is the largest in Italy and third in the world. The project goal was to assess what is the best methodology, and the most promising variable among all the possible external factors, to build a prediction model for foreign exchange rates. 63 “Brainies” worked on the project, aiming to earn a prize of up to €60,000, and Generali received six submissions. Needless to say, their content remains confidential.

Crowdsourcing the Diagnosis of Incurable Diseases Through AI

Crowdsourcing the Diagnosis of Incurable Diseases Through AI

We are now quite used to seeing the disruption that’s taking place in many marketplaces due to the combination of new technology and mass connectivity in the hands of visionary startups, unencumbered by the ‘rules’ of established business models. Though how about when a global corporation is bold enough to disrupt itself? This is what some think the Philip Morris International tobacco company did when it set out to create a smoke-free future through the development of Reduced Risk Products (RRPs). And the organization they founded to do this now brings together scientists from all over the world to address some of humanity’s greatest challenges, including irritable bowel disease.

As part of their process to develop smoke-free products in a way that would be robust enough to withstand intense scientific scrutiny, PMI launched sbv IMPROVER as an industry initiative to harness the wisdom of the crowd in global science. The purpose was to provide a measure of quality control through gaining external third-party validation of the methodologies used. sbv IMPROVER stands for Systems Biology Verification combined with Industrial Methodology for Process Verification in Research.

It’s a platform that’s available to engage global scientists in non-PMI challenges, and 2019’s major challenge is “Metagenomics for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diagnosis.”  Inflammatory bowel disease(IBD) is a term mainly used to describe two conditions: Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Harnessing AI to Crowdsource the Diagnosis of Incurable Diseases

Image source: World IBD Day

An estimated 1.3m IBD sufferers in the US alone, and approximately 5 million worldwide, are divided equally by gender. There is no available cure, and treatment for the many varied symptoms includes specific diets, lifestyle changes, medicines and surgery. The aim of the challenge is to design AI tools for more accurate and faster diagnosis.

Opening in August and lasting until November, the new sbv IMPROVER challenge will address fundamental questions regarding the function and composition of the microbiome, and aims at investigating the diagnostic potential of metagenomics data to discriminate patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) – including Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease – from non-IBD subjects.

Harnessing AI to Crowdsource the Diagnosis of Incurable Diseases

Image source: sbv IMPROVER

The challenge brings together two large, publicly available datasets, which participants will use to train their machine learning algorithms, and a third PMI dataset, obtained from an independent study, which will be used for testing the algorithms. The participants will evaluate whether metagenomics data collected from stool samples are sufficiently informative to be leveraged as a diagnostic tool for IBD, and determine which computational methods are best suited for this task.

The outcome of the challenge will represent a step forward to providing healthcare professionals with tools based on Artificial Intelligence intended to speed up the diagnosis, replace invasive medical procedures, and lower the costs in the healthcare system.

There are numerous benefits of developing crowd-based solutions as opposed to smaller teams of scientists working ‘behind closed doors.’ Groups of established scientists have reputations to maintain, and are more likely to want to make public only what they perceive to be their best and most soundly based solution.  This can lead to incremental improvements, but seldomly a major transformative breakthrough.

Whereas people making up a larger crowd, communicating through channels visible to rest of the crowd, are often more likely to mentally prod and poke each other with a wider scope of considerations and “what ifs?” to prompt contributions from participants.

Larger challenges can be broken down and different experts can tackle different parts of it. Participants can use different methods and submit different solutions from starting with the same data, and a combination of submissions often outperforms the best individual ones. This is the phenomenon referred to as the “Wisdom of the Crowds” that can establish state-of-the-art technology in a field, and identify complementary methods to solve a problem.

At the conclusion of sbv IMPROVER challenges, results are made public through publishing papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Crowd-related breakthroughs and the positive disruption they can cause will be the subject of sector-leading speaker sessions and panel discussions at our next international conference, CSW Global 2019, running September 12-13 in San Francisco. Registration is open, you can reserve your place now.