The Economist and InnoCentive announce Challenge to create a new business plan for Disruptive Innovation

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New York, NY– November 1, 2010 — The Economist and InnoCentive, Inc. today announced the third Challenge in The Economist’s Ideas Economy Conference Series. The latest Challenge asks participants to create new and original business models that embody the theme of Innovation, the focus of the next Ideas Economy conference on March 23-24th in Berkeley, CA. In addition to a financial award of $5,000 USD, the winning Solver will be also be invited to participate in the March event.

A special prize will also be given for the best submission by any student or team enrolled in an accredited MBA program anywhere in the world. The Challenge, which runs from October 22nd through December 2nd, is open to The Economist’s global community of readers, InnoCentive’s Open Innovation community, and the rest of the world.

“We are living in a moment of constant disruption. New ideas from anywhere in the world can overtake established companies in record time,” said Vijay Vaitheeswaran, global correspondent for The Economist. “This Challenge aims to uncover innovative new business plans with the potential to reinvent business and life for the twenty-first century.”

“This Challenge is intended to push the boundaries of innovation,” said InnoCentive CEO Dwayne Spradlin. “The idea of completely new business models that defy the establishment is very exciting – imagine a plan for the next Netflix or receiving funding because of the exposure received by this Challenge. The opportunity for the right solution is limitless.”

The Challenge is modeled after many business plan competitions held by MBA programs around the world. Solvers are asked to submit a plan for a new business or a new model or approach to a current business that embodies disruptive innovation. Plans will be judged on the following dimensions: (1) degree of innovation and disruption, (2) viability of the plan to succeed, (3) opportunity for scalability of the plan and (4) overall impact of successfully launching and operating this business. Recognizing that often times those four elements can be contradictory; a good business plan will balance all four elements.

About The Economist (

Edited in London since 1843, The Economist is a weekly international news and business publication offering clear reporting, commentary and analysis on world politics, business, finance, science, technology, culture, society, media and the arts. The Economist has a North American circulation of 813,000, a global circulation of more than 1.4 million and 4 million monthly unique visitors at The Economist online. Because of its international editorial perspective, it is read by more of the world’s political and business leaders than any other magazine.

About the Ideas Economy Event Series

New in 2010 is the Ideas Economy event series. It will bring together journalists from The Economist with top thinkers from around the world to discuss and debate the most important ideas of our time; Innovation, Intelligent Infrastructure and Human Potential, and other issues. The inaugural event, “Innovation: Fresh thinking for the ideas economy,” was held in Berkeley, Calif. on March 23 and 24, 2010.

About InnoCentive, Inc.

Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through crowdsourcing, strategic consulting services and internal Software-as-a-Service offerings. The company built the first global Web community for open innovation where organizations or “Seekers” submit complex problems or “Challenges” for resolution to a “Solver” community of more than 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 200 countries. Prizes for winning solutions are financial awards up to US $1,000,000. Committed to unleashing diverse thinking, InnoCentive continues to introduce new products and services exemplifying a new corporate model where return to investors and individual passion go hand in hand with solving mankind’s most pressing problems.

For more information contact:
Amy Jaick
Communications Manager, The Economist

Connie French
InnoCentive Marketing Director

By Wazoku

Wazoku is an innovation SaaS business that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations to innovate at scale. Whether it’s making the most of your employee's ideas, identifying new partners to collaborate with, or exploring the boundless potential of open innovation – or all three! – Wazoku makes innovation happen.