Winning innovation competitions or innovation awards can be a major achievement and proof of you and your teams ability to innovate. Which innovation competitions or awards should you submit to? Are there any downsides to submitting and winning a competition or an award?
In this weeks show of Killer Innovations, we discuss the structures and thinking behind innovation competitions and innovations awards and I share the 5 most common mistakes I’ve experienced as a judge.
- A special guest, Tom Kuczmarski, shared an update on the Chicago Innovation Awards.
- This award is now in its 15th year.
- Of the ~200 awards given in the past, 100% of the companies and organizations are still around.
- This year they will give out 10 awards including some new ones such as; Social Innovation, Peoples Choice Awards and Neighborhood Awards.
- Criteria they use to select the winner of the Chicago Innovation Award?
- What was the customer need the innovation addressed?
- What was the impact from the innovation?
- Was their a competitive response? (indication of impact since others attempt to copy)
- Did the innovation create a new category?
- What are the different type of innovation competitions?
- Solution search like Idea Connection
- Broad new ideas
- Narrow/focused new ideas
- Approaches to applying to a competition
- Forward approach: Read the competition and solve for the ask proposed in competition material
- Backward approach: Take an idea you already have and find a competition where it can be applied
5 Most Common Mistakes
- Not doing sufficient research on the space to fully understand the problem/ask beyond what was presented in the competition material.
- Not fully reading/understand the ask. Make sure you don’t inject assumptions and bias into crafting your solution to a misunderstood ask.
- Not following the guidelines on submissions. Understand what/how/format of the submission.
- Submitting an weak/shallow submission. Apply some deep thinking (go beyond the obvious) and create a killer presentation/pitch. Don’t short change it.
- Not understanding the IP (intellectual property) rules for the competition.