Competing for Collaborators

Competing for collaborators is the new normal in a highly interconnected, innovation-driven global economy.

Especially, when it comes to winning the hearts and minds of faculty and students to build startups on industry platforms.

Platforms (sometimes referred to as solution stacks, or HW/SW stacks) include Apple iPhone and Google Android.    IBM has platforms as well – including Watson, Big Data Analytics, and Smarter Planet platforms.  In the case of Watson, IBM is eager to encourage university start ups to compete to build “Cogs” (cognitive assistants with question answering abilities) on the Watson Developer Cloud, and join the Watson Ecosystem (see, as well as

Startups are key to regional economic development, and industry platforms can provide both a starting point and foundation for startups.

Industry is looking for top academic brand partners with courses that are reaching millions of entrepreneurial minded faculty and students globally with research based curriculum.  Industry would like one or two lectures in those courses to be geared towards teaching local/regional faculty and student teams about industry platforms, how to be certified as a developer on those platforms, how to develop business plans for startups that build on those platforms, etc.

The easy integration of industry content with globally available top academic brand partners’ courses is what is key.

The KPI from industry perspective is revenue and profit growth driven by successful startups reaching customers with valuable new offerings (in many cases service innovations – hence the connection to ISSIP, the International Society of Service Innovation).   The sustainable and viable business model is based on a small percentage of profits going to the cost of including the industry content in the global courses, and helping the newly minted startups be successful.

Competing for collaborators is the new normal, and easy integration of industry content into global available courses is key.

Leave a Reply