Open Innovation Basics: The Student Opportunity

By Catalina Gomez

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Changing the world, one idea at a time has to start somewhere. Even the organizations that regularly bring about revolutionary change had a first step to take on their journey. In the Innovation Basics series, we focus exclusively on what that first step could look like for newcomers to the innovation world. This series of Innovation Basics focuses on Open Innovation. Follow this guidance to achieve faster, better innovation.

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, innovation is the name of the game. Companies are constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas, new perspectives, and innovative solutions to stay ahead in the competitive market.

Enter Open Innovation: a collaborative approach that invites external individuals, including students, to contribute their expertise and creativity to tackle complex problems. This approach not only benefits companies but also presents an exciting opportunity for students to get involved in real-world innovation.

The Student Opportunity

From a student’s perspective, Open Innovation offers a unique chance to bridge the gap between academia and industry. Here are a few ways in which students can benefit:

Hands-On Experience: Open Innovation allows students to work on actual business Challenges. It’s a chance to apply classroom knowledge to real-world problems, gaining valuable hands-on experience that can’t be replicated in the classroom.

Networking Opportunities: Students participating in Open Innovation projects often collaborate with professionals from diverse backgrounds. This provides an excellent networking opportunity, enabling students to build connections that can be instrumental in their future careers.

Resume Enhancement: Involvement in Open Innovation demonstrates to potential employers that students are proactive, innovative, and capable of working in a team. It’s a standout addition to any resume.

Mentorship: Many Open Innovation programs offer mentorship opportunities, allowing students to learn from experienced industry experts. This mentorship can provide valuable insights and guidance for future career choices.

The Business Opportunity

Now, let’s consider the company perspective:

Access to Fresh Ideas: Companies benefit immensely from tapping into the creative minds of students. Students often approach problems with a fresh perspective, generating innovative solutions that may not have occurred to internal teams.

Cost-Effective Solutions: Open Innovation can be a cost-effective way for companies to address challenges. Instead of hiring additional staff or consultants, they can leverage the skills and talents of students who are eager to contribute.

Diversity of Thought: Students come from diverse academic backgrounds, bringing a variety of skills and perspectives to the table. This diversity of thought can lead to more comprehensive and creative solutions.

Talent Pipeline: Open Innovation initiatives can serve as a talent pipeline for companies. They can identify and recruit promising students for internships or future employment, saving time and resources on recruitment.

In conclusion, Open Innovation is a win-win for both students and companies. It empowers students to apply their knowledge, build valuable connections, and enhance their resumes while offering companies a fresh perspective, cost-effective solutions, and access to a talented pool of potential future employees. It’s a partnership that fuels innovation and fosters growth in today’s dynamic business world, making it an opportunity that no student or company should overlook.

Read the full Open Innovation Basics series

What do we mean by Open Innovation?

Behind the scenes of our Open Innovation process

Reframing problems to generate solutions

Understanding the power of the Crowd

The post-award timeline

Giving your solutions the best chance of success

The student opportunity

By Catalina Gomez

Catalina manages the experience of Wazoku's global crowd of 700,000+ problem solvers. Away from her desk, she's an incredible artist, regularly producing cartoons and illustrations for her friends and family.