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Michael Docherty, CEO of open innovation services firm Venture2, created the innovation speed dating approach to help fill the voracious innovation needs of large companies by connecting them with inventors, while, in turn, giving entrepreneurs hard-to-come-by access to corporate decision makers.
Docherty said he experienced the creative chasm that exists for large companies when he led product development for Sunbeam. And multi-national corporations need to innovate to keep up with the rapid pace of changing technology and changing consumer demands.
Since then, speed dating has spread across the globe.
Most speed-dating events specify a certain cultural background, religion, or age group as a requirement to participate.
"But so far it has been very effective in identifying opportunities that we might not uncover otherwise.
Speed dating helps us start relationships with entrepreneurs that may well grow into licensing agreements and new products." Other leading companies such as Glaxo Smith Kline and Kimberly-Clark have also benefited from this unique approach.
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Innovation Speed Dating benefits both leading companies and entrepreneurs.
However, instead of trying to match romance-minded partners, innovation speed dating events bring together large companies, and/or their partners, (the innovation seekers) to meet with a group of entrepreneurs (the innovation providers) to see what opportunities exist and what business relationships might develop.
"I will admit that of all the ways we connect and develop, speed dating may be the most unusual," said Tom Cripe, P&G's associate director of external business development.
Click to download the white paper, "Lessons Learned from Innovation Speed Dating".
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