A Cool Open Innovation Program: The Microsoft Kinect Accelerator


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For a while, Microsoft has been running an accelerator program with the aim of unleashing entrepreneurial innovation with startups that are building new businesses around Kinect.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, A New Game for Microsoft’s Kinect, I found this snippet to be quite interesting:

“The company gives each participating startup in the Seattle program $20,000 to create software that can be used with Kinect for Windows, but it is isn’t asking for any ownership stakes or intellectual property rights. Microsoft also doesn’t have any veto power over the ideas.

What Microsoft gets are developers around the world working on ideas that could potentially open up Kinect for Windows’ technology to new markets—and convince consumers and businesses to buy the company’s hardware and make use of the potential apps.”

I also found this quote by Craig Eisler, general manager of Kinect for Windows in another article: “We wanted to put some topspin on the entrepreneurial energy we’ve seen since the launch of Kinect for Windows. This was a way for us to help young companies push the envelope faster.

I like this open approach by Microsoft, which is in heavy contrast to the lawsuit threats they threw around when hackers rewired Kinect for other than gaming uses not long after the launch of the device. The Kinect was for gaming only.

Obviously, this has changed and now Microsoft has a good learning as well as a business opportunity based on open innovation and holistic innovation. The latter is about going beyond products and technologies. Think business model innovation meets open innovation. Such a mindset can definitely help many other corporate innovation teams.

Let me know what you think of this and please feel free to share other stories where companies open up their innovation efforts in similar ways.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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