Innovation Exchange

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Not to be confused with InnovationXchange.
Innovation Exchange Inc.
Type Private
Industry Open innovation services
Founded 2006
Headquarters Toronto, Canada
Key people Stephen Benson - CEO
Mark Hadfield - CTO
Brynly Hawkins - COO

Innovation Exchange Inc. (IX) is an open innovation vendor. IX operates a website which acts as a platform for companies and non-profit organizations to present innovation challenges to a community of innovators. This community is constituted of individuals as well as small and midsize businesses. In contrast to vendors focused primarily on innovation in the physical sciences, Innovation Exchange fosters product, service, process and business model development.[1][2][3][4]

IX’s business model takes its inspiration from the work on open innovation and crowdsourcing performed by John Seely Brown (who sits on IX’s advisory board), John Hagel III, Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke, Joel West and Scott E. Page. Open innovation is increasingly seen as a key mechanism for developing innovations.[5][6]

IX acts as an “innovation intermediary”, meaning that it functions to match organizations seeking innovative products, services, processes or business models (“sponsors”) with individuals and organizations offering such innovations (“innovators”).

The mechanism for this intermediation is a "challenge brief", a short document, typically three to five pages, which provides background information about the innovation being sought and enumerates the elements that a response must include. IX provides consulting services which aid client companies to understand the nature of the innovation being sought, and to articulate that innovation challenge to the community in the form of the challenge brief.


Competitors offering similar services include NineSigma, MillionBrains, Fellowforce, Innocentive, IdeaConnection,, and YourEncore


  1. ^ A Better Moustrap Canadian Business Online, September 29, 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  2. ^ Innovation Exchange = Crowdsourcing + Collaboration + Business Innovation Open, June 4, 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  3. ^ User Generated Intelligence...Innovation Exchange Passage Communications, May 20, 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  4. ^ What Low-Cost Innovation Techniques Should You Be Using RIGHT NOW?? Patty Seybold's Outside Innovation Blog, July 29, 2008.
  5. ^ Big Firms Eye 'Open Innovation' for Ideas, 27 May 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
  6. ^ The Love-in Economist, 11 October 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2008.

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