Open innovation, co-creation and crowdsourcing are becoming trendier and trendier. They are often used as synonyms, in different context; therefore there is a need to define what lies behind these words.  Open innovation is a term defined by Henry Chesbrough, a professor and executive director at the Center for Open Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas in their strategy. It is often correlated to crowdsourcing your business ideas and co-create with your stakeholders (customers, suppliers, partners).

Several economists and successful entrepreneurs support the concept of sharing business ideas. For example, Nilofer Merchant in her article Harward Business review “Let your ideas go”, or Patrick Hull in Forbes Magazine “Talk about your idea, it won’t get stolen”. They strongly believe that ideas cannot be stolen, because the hardest task in creating a startup is not having the idea, but implementing it. Execution is essential to succeed.

A workshop in progress

A workshop in progress

I truly believe in that if people open up, collaborate and work together, they can achieve greater results than anyone working alone. This is why I have co-created Babele, an online crowdsourcing platform for business planning. Babele was thought to help entrepreneurs who wish to structure their ideas into a viable strategy while getting feedback from the community. Entrepreneurs follow a step-by-step methodology to easily convert their idea into a structured business map and receive support from the community of mentors and supporters. The platform is based on a crowdsourcing approach to innovation.

In order to validate this vision, I held together with the other co-founder, Manu, a series of workshops on collaborative business planning. During these events, called “Cook your startup“, participants learn about business best practices. They discover how openness and collaboration can help them accelerate the project execution.

We chose name “Cook your startup” because Manu is a passionate cook and during the lunch breaks, he engages the audience in the preparation of a collaborative pizza, as a team building exercise! The workshops became popular: first in France, then Italy and Romania, and now in other seven countries throughout Europe.

To date, more than 100 startups used the opportunity to share their business plan through this platform. Babele intends to offer these creative minds much more: the organization is forging collaborations and partnerships with universities and incubators, in order to grow the community and boost collaboration within the platform.

Everyone can be an active change-maker in this emerging paradigm of openness and collaboration in Business. You can make a difference: join the community, engage with different projects, and help the best initiatives come true: