Crowd sourcing innovation

Ideapoke enables technology scouting on a single platform


A screen grab of Ideapoke website.
A screen grab of Ideapoke website.

New Delhi: Research and development is a costly affair, which often kills innovations in a nascent stage. Moreover, intellectual property (IP) adds to researching woes. What if this technology came as open source?

At a time technology is hard to be kept confined to their silos, two Indian childhood friends—Anup Sahoo and Sanjay Kumar Sahoo—have raised a platform to crowdsource innovation.

The Sahoos’ Ideapoke, a website-cum-mobile application, is an interesting initiative where technology scouting is organized on a single platform. It helps source funding as well as partnerships. It also enables organisations to solve business problems by identifying new technologies, experts and start-ups that provide economical and faster solutions. They capture and share ideas via videos, voice and text through any device using analytics.

With a network of over 76,000 global companies, 1,900 universities and 1 million technology listings, Ideapoke helps big global organisations across the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), manufacturing, automobile, consumer electronics, chemicals, food and beverage and packaging sectors. In a short span of one-and-a-half years its clientèle includes the department of science and technology, GRASIM, Reliance, CEAT, Britania, Unilever, and Haier. They call their business the “Google for technology information”.

With a growth rate of almost 30% month-over-month, Ideapoke is looking to capture 20-25% of the estimated $1.5 billion market for open innovation in India over the next four-five years. The global market is estimated at $7.3 billion.

“At a time when new technology is released almost every day and when each new product or device launched is packed with the latest ground-breaking technology, ‘Innovation’ has emerged to become a need that has both businesses and consumers alike reach for their wallets. Today, the world’s leading corporations, governments, investors and leading technology companies value an idea against its potential for commercialization in the market and recognize that a number of such ideas can emerge only from co-creation and collaboration,” says Anup Sahoo, explaining the market opportunity.

Sanjay Sahoo adds, “It wasn’t so easy. We wanted to do something new and as usual parents were not supportive. However, we were determined and decided to be a little patient and it helped us.”

With an annual turnover of Rs.1.5 to Rs.2 crore, Ideapoke at the moment makes money pricing the customers. But with an increase in traffic and clientèle, the duo plan to start a subscription for those entering partnerships through the platform. They say diversifying technology is going to be a big market in the coming years.