EarlyBirds Open Innovation Ecosystem
EarlyBirds is an open innovation ecosystem that connects organisations - Innovators, Early Adopters and Subject Matter Experts - to accelerate capacity, speed, and culture to innovate and solve business and technical challenges.
About our team
Why (Purpose) : Engaging Society in Actionable Innovation!
The EarlyBirds Story
Every great organisation has a great story behind its origin. The idea for EarlyBirds was created when Kris Poria, one of our cofounders, was working for a large systems integrator on a significant project that needed a solution to manage a multi-cloud environment.
The company, Jeff Penrose our other cofounders, was working with, at the time, had a multi cloud management solution that was fit for purpose. Following a number of positive meetings with Kris’ tech team, Architects and other stakeholders it all looked positive, but they could not get approval from their Head Office.
The System Integrator, Kris was working for, decided to build a solution in-house and not use the Startup’s disruptive off the shelf solution. In the end, there were no winners, the customer got a bespoke solution probably with more risk and cost. The System Integrator missed the opportunity to provide a prompt, value for money solution to the customer. While the local Startup missed a great opportunity to gain a customer reference, build skills and create employment.
Kris and Jeff then got together as they thought something should be done about this situation. Initially, they considered providing business development and sales as a service to six to eight local startups and scaleups. However, the more they researched tech innovators and early adopters they realised this approach would not scale as the problem was much larger. In fact, it is a global problem.
Kris and Jeff then decided to build a platform to link Tech Innovators, Startups and Scaleups with Early Adopter customers private and public sector organisations. As part of the platform, Innovators can list their offering with a price, upload collateral and use the online sales contract if they do not have one. Early Adopters can list a challenge and publish their Innovation business and technical requirements.
In the early stages, the Cofounders spent a lot of time interacting with many tech Incubators and Accelerators in Australia and globally. They found the EarlyBirds business model and platform to be highly complementary to the excellent work Accelerators undertake with Innovators.
EarlyBirds Platform Launched in Sept 2019.
Whilst market testing the business model and platform during late 2019, some Early Adopters advised they could not list their challenges due to commercial sensitivities or security concerns. To overcome this, the cofounders, in consultation with potential customers, created a third pillar to the EarlyBirds platform. This is a services component with Subject Matter Expert (SME) independent consultants who are available to work with Early Adopters to define and resolve their business challenges. They also created two programs called Explorer and Challenger.
The Explorer program is designed for businesses needing Innovation as a Service to supplement existing innovation programs or to conduct innovation projects as required. The Challenger program is designed to solve one Early Adopter business challenge at a time then search for relevant Innovators that meet the business, technical, commercial and business risk requirements. The Early Adopter can evaluate the selected Innovators then an agreed roadmap is published for the way forward.
These programs dramatically shorten the innovation life cycle where organisations in the past might be creating solutions and be unaware as to what is available in the market. Now, with the EarlyBirds platform, organisations can find and engage with Innovators that already have potential solutions to their business challenges.
EarlyBirds Marketplace turned into an Open Innovation Ecosystem - with three key pillars:
After launching the platform in Sept 2019, the rest is the history as EarlyBirds started getting traction in the market, SMEs started joining, the Big Data pool has provided access to over a million Innovators and our Executives and Advisory Board team started to expand.
Please check the latest statistics about EarlyBirds on the platform.