This blog is by Kanika Atri from Nokia Networks.
On April 10th, Nokia Networks launched the Silicon Valley Open Innovation Challenge to seek transformational ideas around Telco Cloud and Big Data Analytics. Here are some statistics that describe what happened after our launch!
- 90 submissions were received
- 40% of those were on Telco Cloud, 40% on Big Data Analytics, 20% on other topics
- 50% were from Silicon Valley, 50% from the rest of the world
- 75 members on the jury (representing Nokia, VCs, operators, consultants, innovation experts)
- 500 hours of intensive voting resulted in the Top 20 companies + 5 wildcards
- 20+5 companies gave 10 min. elevator pitches + 20 min. Q&A to 30 jurors in round 2
- 7 finalists + 11 demo spot winners were selected and invited to the grand finale event
The big day
July 2nd, the grand finale of the challenge, was a big day for Nokia Networks. 125+ leaders from the telecommunications industry including operators, Venture Capitalists (VCs), CEOs of startups, partners, innovation experts and consultants joined the grand finale event and gave a big thumbs up to Nokia for walking the talk of open innovation. Above all, they were mighty impressed with the caliber and innovation demonstrated by the finalists and demo spot winners.
Hossein Moiin, EVP, CTO of Nokia Networks and host of the event, opened the day by sharing Nokia’s open innovation approach of POP, Platform-Orchestration-Partnerships. He said, “It’s our responsibility to accelerate the best innovations on the market – by creating technology platforms, orchestrating the ecosystem and building partnerships. The time is now. The place is here. Let’s make it happen together!”
The 7 finalists made power-packed presentations and all finalists and demo spot winners also had demo tables which remained abuzz with discussions all day. Larry Keeley, CEO of Doblin Consulting, gave a very honest and inspiring keynote speech. And a pretty candid panel discussion on ‘Disruptive versus Incremental Innovation’ highlighted why open innovation matters even more in big corporations.
Everyone is a winner
From Nokia’s perspective, it’s not cliché to say that all 7 finalists are the winners of this challenge. Recounting the follow through of the 2013 Israel Innovation competition, Nokia is meaningfully engaged with 3 out of 5 finalists – and this year will be no different!
At the grand finale event, Irad Ben-Gal, Founder of C-B4 and winner of “Most Promising Startup 2013”, said, “C-B4 participated in many competitions, but only Nokia was fast and open enough to jointly innovate with us and introduce a new solution to the market,” referring to the launch of Predictive Operations at MWC 2014. And NICE Optimizer, another finalist of the 2013 Israel Open Innovation competition, was recently acquired by Nokia (see press release: Nokia Networks invests in mobile network multivendor optimization; buys a 3-D geolocation solution from NICE Systems).
A special congratulation goes to this year’s finalists and winners:
- Grand prize winner (Telco Cloud): Midokura for ‘MidoNet’, a complete overlay networking virtualization solution that redefines SDN for telco clouds
- Grand prize winner (Big Data Analytics): ParStream for its disruptive database technology that accelerates big data analytics by processing extreme volumes and velocity of big data much faster and much more efficiently with its unique approach to indexing
- “Most Promising Startup”: StreetLight Data, a company which uses anonymized telco archival data to figure out how people move and then pinpoint where businesses should follow them
- Finalist: Jolata for it’s virtually zero footprint software probe which can be installed anywhere in the network to report end-to-end latency in unparalleled detail and accuracy at millisecond intervals
- Finalist: NetRounds for transforming the testing and measurement industry with its subscription- based network appliance that turns x86 hardware or virtual machines into professional test and measurement devices
- Danateq for LINK, a real-time, self-learning “cognitive” analytics platform that enables enterprises to implement continuously improving automated business processes through cognitive loops
- NetNumber for TITAN, the industry’s only common infrastructure that delivers real-time signaling control, policy enforcement and subscriber database services virtually to reduce signaling complexity and traffic by 50%
Companies that won the demo spots are Vitria, InMobly, PhoneNear (from IMobileMagic), APIMetrics, Cognia, OSISoft, KT-TECH and Metro-Tech.
Among the wildcards, three companies won the demo spots EmpowerYU, Bit6 and WhiteNoise Laboratories.
And now the journey begins!
July 2nd was just the beginning of the journey for both Nokia and the showcased companies. Our focus now is to drive more detailed engagements over the next few months to evaluate possible partnering, joint solutions, joint sales opportunities, investment or even Merger and Acquisition options. While there are no commitments to anyone yet, the important news is that the doors have been opened.
To help the finalists and winners through their journeys with Nokia, an ‘Innovation Champion’ has been assigned to each. The champions are some of our best and most experienced innovation leaders, and they have already started coaching, guiding and introducing the companies to relevant teams within Nokia and outside.
Nokia Growth Partners, Nokia’s investment arm and co-sponsor of the challenge have also started to reach out to all 7 finalists for further discussions.
The grand prize winners are now getting ready to go on a paid trip to Nokia’s headquarters in Europe for further meetings with senior management, and a lot of connections within Nokia are being made for all the finalists and demo spot winners.
Big thanks to Nokia Growth Partners and Telecom Council for supporting this challenge.
Stay tuned for more!
Check out this short video of highlights from the grand finale event.
To share your thoughts on the topic, join the discussion with @NSNtweets using #NetworksPerform #Innovation #mobilebroadband