It doesn’t matter if a company actively decides to make changes or if external conditions require adjustments – the decision for change is followed by the question for the How.

The scientific workshop „Platform Economy & Business Models“ at the i-KNOW 2017 was focusing on the how. Because not every business model fits to every company just like not every car fits to every person, Jos Verstegen from the Dutch Wageningen University compares.

Reinhard Willfort, founder of the innovation factory ISN (Innovation Service Network) and partner of the Know-Center even starts a step earlier and together with companies he considers how new ideas can be created in the first place. Many companies have employees that bother themselves about change offside their job description. Exactly these people have to be gotten on board. Innovation management originates from the power of the mass. Innovation is not decided in a meeting room, it develops best in networking structures. And the network is made up of employees, external experts, customers, start-ups etc.

„We build the future from ideas“

Crowdsourcing – the intelligence of the mass

In order to use the particular network as productively as possible, Willfort and his team provide the infrastructure on the platform . Here the network – or the crowd – is defined, pooled and a question is formulated for them. The framework conditions are set, for example the duration of the so-called challenge and which incentive is given for getting to ideas, and the complete process is moderated. Via a voting from all ideas those are selected, for which a business case is created.

Crowdfunding – the immediate reality check

In order to submit a business case, a new product or a new service to an immediate reality check, Willfort transitions into the crowdfunding phase. While the development of new products was bearing a substantial risk, crowdfunding can reduce this risk. Also it can be directly evaluated, if it appeals to customers and stakeholders and if the idea works out. Side benefit: This phase becomes faster and more efficient on the whole, because it can be integrated directly into the process of innovation management.

Crowdbusiness – the next step

Once the process has started, it drags along plenty of effort. The campaign of the innovation project, the business model, the crowdsourcing initiatives are developed. But once everything is finished, there is nothing wrong with re-using the framework conditions again and again and to draw on the same crowd. The winter sports resort Gastein poses a good example. What started with a crowdfunding project, became a crowdbusiness after two successful campaigns: Almost 800 faithful fans considered possibilities for summer sports at the location in Salzburg and bought goods and services in advance for the following years. With this basis the mountain cableways of Gastein can head towards an interactive future.