A while back I was excited to discover Innocentive, an online platform to match scientists around the world with people who needed a problem solved. One of the greatest things about it was the high proportion of solutions that were submitted (and accepted) from Brazil, Russia and other emerging economies. They have since developed to become more of an open innovation platform. Whereas their challenges used to be exclusively in the hard sciences, there are now a few business challenges, searches for suppliers etc. There are also "Ideation" challenges that require less technical know-how. They have an entire section on developing country problems now, too.

Hypios is taking the same idea in a slightly different direction. They have a similar platform, but they extend it to include advertising, marketing, social sciences, humanities etc. They also include a social networking angle and the opportunity to solve problems as a team, not just individually. Right now they're in beta and still setting up the site. They're using their own problems to demonstrate how the platform might work to source algorithms or marketing materials. It will be interesting to see how they do - and how they compete with Innocentive. A comparison of both companies' IP approaches might be interesting too.

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