The contest methodology offers a financial award to a single winner. It is used to attract solutions to well-defined problems where it is obvious how to evaluate one submission versus another.
The most famous crowd-solved contest was the “Netflix Prize” which awarded $1,000,000 for the best collaborative filtering algorithm to predict user ratings for films, based on previous ratings, but without any other information about the users or films.
The competition methodology provides either a funding award and/or other benefits to one or more winners. Competitions can be used for simple ideation. Or, they can help you implement your existing ideas in a practical way – to the level of MVP or some other proof-of-concept. Another option would be to generate proposals from existing technology companies for fresh solutions to existing problems by applying existing technology to the problem from a new perspective.
A famous example of a crowd-solved competition is run by Bell Labs (Nokia) in what is now called The Nokia Open Innovation Challenge. This annual event receives over 200 submissions for different themes every year. In 2018, the 1st place prize was $100,000, with 2nd place of $50,000 and 3rd place of $25,000.
The incubator methodology invites teams to come to the SeaFreight Labs offices in Newark NJ for a 10-12 week experience to help develop an idea into a small company. This tool would be used to solve problems that require industry neutrality and are best solved outside of a single industry company.
In an incubator, SeaFreight Labs provides access to skilled resources, such as legal, accounting, marketing, etc. and coaching for the startup’s leadership team. We also provide a meaningful equity investment in the winning company or companies to accelerate their ability to provide the solution.