The Nexus of Forces in Action – Use-Case 22: Open Innovation, Crowd-Sourcing, and Crowd-Funding



Use of external innovation sourcing for product and market development and the integration with crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding to facilitate bringing ideas to market.

Primary Industry Sectors

Consumer goods

Business Value

Improved funding and cash flow control of ideas, improved efficiency of market testing feedback of ideas before full trial and production, better filtering of ideas in crowd premarket conditions for selection for taking to trialing.

Key Business Functions

Research and development crowd-sourcing of ideas, crowd-funding of prototype ideas, collaborative sourcing of ideas, new product development, market brand and co-brand development

Primary Actors

Product development, inventor, consumer, test market segment

Secondary Actors

Community broker management, angel investor, market and product portfolio management

Machine Actors

Social network platform, group messaging event, collaborative platform

Key Technologies

Social networks, collaboration crowd-sourcing market platform (e.g., Kickstarter), crowd-funding platform, messaging and service account subscription management, intellectual property management, secure community access and identity management

Main Scenario

Companies use crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding to bring new products to market.

Key Data

Master Data

Product category ideas, source of ideas, shared project development tracking

Current Observations Data

Status of ideas, community feedback responses

Historical Data

Success rate of ideas in trials and to market launch, time and cost of developing ideas

Query Data

Request crowd-sourced ideas, feedback on ideas

Action Taken Data

Product or service redesign features to meet consumer requests, new product or service trial/launch

Real Business Examples

Procter & Gamble and CircleUp Partnership

The mission of Procter & Gamble (P&G) includes to source 50% ideas from open innovation crowd-sourcing. This is called the Connect and Develop (C&D) strategy. It has been further enhanced with crowd-funding. Open innovation is all about finding the best solutions available, wherever they might come from – and P&G is partnering with CircleUp to gain exposure to early stage technologies that could match P&G innovation needs.

CircleUp brings together start-ups looking for funding with investors who are searching for new entrepreneurial enterprises. By partnering with CircleUp, P&G is able to access a network of new companies and technologies that have already been through a vetting process.

See the P&G Connect and Develop website, the P&G and CircleUp Partnership articleon that website, and Mike Addison’s article: P&G Connect and Develop – An Innovation Strategy that is Here to Stay on the P&G website.

eYeka and Unilever – Crowd-Sourcing Marketing Campaign Testing

“New Unilever partnership with creative crowd-sourcing community eYeka stretches across the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company's brands in multiple territories including Asia-Pacific. Unilever has struck a partnership with crowd-sourcing portal, eYeka, to tap into its global creative community to up the ante across its marketing and communication activities. The partnership kicked off officially on June 1 and covers Unilever’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Russia and South African market operations. eYeka will work across the FMCG company’s entire brand portfolio, which includes Clear, Close Up, Cornetto, Lipton, Lux, Pond’s, and Comfort.”

(Source: the CMO article: Unilever Taps into Creative Crowd-Sourcing to up Marketing Ante.)

Additional Considerations

Existing Interoperability Standards

APIs for social networks (vendor standards)

Comments on Context

Intellectual property standards management is needed.

This is a convergence of crowd resources and sharing of revenue and intellectual property management issues.


  • Process for managing equity of intellectual property from crowd-sourced ideas
  • Process for consensus-making of ideas from crowd and company sources