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Competitions are the new innovation drivers. The world is full of ideas and we will help you find the best one. . What are the problems in the innovation eco-system?. SMEs are innovative, but hard to find and difficult to assess because of their uniqueness.

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Competitions are the new innovation drivers.

  • The world is full of ideas and we will help you find the best one.

what are the problems in the innovation eco system
What are the problems in the innovation eco-system?
  • SMEs are innovative, but hard to find and difficult to assess because of their uniqueness.
  • Academic research takes too long to get commercialized
  • Inventors mistrust large companies for fear of their ideas being stolen.
  • Researchers largely lack the business acumen to bring their invention to fruition.
  • Venture Capital in Europe is not as strong in seed-stage investing as in USA - making it less of a useful tool to find, filter and finance young ideas.
  • It is expensive and high-risk for companies to rely solely on internal R&D to stay innovative

- integrators

- government

- investors

SMEs -

researchers -

the power of open innovation and competitions can solve that problem
The power of open innovation and competitions can solve that problem

(more reasons about the power of competition: see Appendix 4)

why crowd source the solutions to your needs
Why crowd-source the solutions to your needs?

OmniCompete believes in the wisdom of the crowd


  • We enable innovators to build on each others’ ideas online
  • Cooperation within a competition leads to better results
  • We use crowd-sourcing tools to find and engage with innovators


  • We allow the public to co-sponsor competitions
  • This allows several people who care about the same problem to seek a cost-effective solution
  • ie. 50 people give $100 each to find the best public transit phone app


  • We believe in letting the informed public vote on submissions at the first stage of the competition.
  • The public vote should be balanced with the votes of selected judges
  • Informed crowd: practitioners, experts, advisors, academics
what is omnicompete
What is OmniCompete?

OmniCompete is a unique group of companies that has operated since 2006. We run competitions to:

  • Find solutions to problems
  • Stimulate and reward innovation
  • Gather investors, VCs and innovators in the same room

OmniCompete runs and owns many competitions, including the Global Security Challenge (GSC), our flagship project, and the Energy Storage Challenge, amongst others.

why work with omnicompete on a challenge
Why work with OmniCompete on a challenge?

Our platform, tools and networks:

  • 2,500 active problem solvers are part of our online platforms
  • 8,000 security professionals and inventors are part of our community
    • Extensive media relationships that have generated exposure in the Financial Times, BusinessWeek, Reuters, Washington Post, Guardian, Wall Street Journal and The Times (and many more)
    • A purpose-built proprietary online system for administrating competitions that can be white-labelled for external clients, if needed
    • An extensive design process that can be applied to the design phase and judging phase of every competition.
  • Our track record in competitions:
  • Founded 5 years ago, we have held 15 international competitions to date
  • Over $2.5M granted in prizes
  • Over $80M in fresh capital raised by our finalists
  • The European Commission asked OmniCompete to design a €3m competition in 2011
  • The UK Government commissioned a competition in the aviation space to OmniCompete
  • 2 of our finalists were acquired by industry
  • Our finalists started partnerships with industry (QinetiQ, BAE Systems, Siemens)
how does it work
How does it work?



1. You present a problem

2. We design a competition

3. We attract entrants via established networks & active searches

4. Judges narrow down the finalists online

5. Finalists pitch their product at a summit event

6. Winner is chosen & you have several solutions

  • Analysis of CCTV is too time-consuming to be effective
  • Video Surveillance Challenge
  • GSC Community, LinkedIn, multipliers, entrepreneurs
  • We choose independent judges from relevant sectors
  • Dragon’s Den style, with live audience and judges’ Q&A
  • Video synopsis firm wins, and pledges to work with video analytics firm
what s in it for me
What’s in it for me?



  • Your problem addressed by innovators worldwide
  • Your company seen as an innovation-driver
  • A preferred seat on the judges panel
  • Connections to several top-quality, pre-screened technologies that address your problem
  • Access to radical ideas and discussion, rather than the Corporate ‘one step’ approach
  • Contact with innovative SMEs often ‘under the radar’
  • Reach experts from different sectors (not just security) to solve a security problem
  • Engage with other members of the innovation ecosystem, such as Venture Capitalists, Angel investors, govt customers
  • Opportunity to partner/strengthenrelationship with govt customers i.e. Thales & UK’s INSTINCT
  • A chance to display your product to top industry representatives, investors and VCs
  • A chance to meet fellow innovators working on similar products
  • A chance to win prize money, mentorship and publicity
success stories industry acquisition
Success stories: Industry acquisition
  • You don’t have to win a competition to benefit from it.
  • Consider



made it to the GSC regional finals in 2007

  • In July 2010, TenCube was acquired by McAfee (Intel) in a multimillion dollar deal
  • “GSC has been a great opportunity for us to participate in a growing security ecosystem, learn from the experts and other participants, as well as to compete and showcase our innovation. It is probably the only substantial competition globally that focuses on security innovation, a much needed platform indeed”

- Darius Cheung, CEO of TenCube

success stories rapid ascension and vc
Success stories: Rapid ascension and VC $$$
  • British SME Kromek won at GSC 2009
  • In Autumn 2010, Kromek’s liquid scanner machines were approved for use at airports throughout the EU and they raised £12.3 million in VC money in spring 2010.
  • “It’s an amazing achievement to be named as Best Security SME at this year’s GSC awards. The award represents an important validation for Kromek’s technology and a valuable boost to our funding, which will help to develop our range of security products.”

- Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek

success stories outside innovators
Success stories: Outside innovators
  • Best Security Start-Up 2010 went to mPedigree, the only African finalist
  • Its product is a mobile-based that identifies counterfeit medicine.
  • Not traditional security, but human security, and a product that saves lives.
  • “This is a clear sign that African technology has come of age and that innovators in Africa addressing complex, difficult and unique challenges can, not withstanding limited resources, deliver world class results.”

– Bright Simons, mPedigree founder

endless possibilities
Endless possibilities
  • OmniCompete has run our own competitions, such as the Global Security Challenge or the Energy Storage Challenge
  • We have also run many external competitions for clients’ brands
  • The degree of our involvement depends on you. We can handle: marketing, entrants, judging, summit planning, summit execution. But we’re happy to let you draw the lines.
always ready to take your questions
Always ready to take your questions
  • Please contact:

Simon Schneider

CEO of OmniCompete


Telephone: 0044 (0) 207 224 0110 

57 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8JJ, UK

  • For sectors we work in, sponsorship advice and the principles behind the company, check:

  • For past successes in security, check:
additional slides
Additional Slides

Appendices with more info to follow...

appendix 1 gsc process
Appendix 1: GSC process

January - AprilWe partner with universities and institutions to build a local network and to co-host the GSC regional events.

April - JulyCompetition opens and first round of judging takes place

September/October The winners of these regional events are invited to compete in the grand final at the London Summit. 

Washington DC I Chicago I Silicon Valley I Singapore I Athens I Brussels I London

November The finalists participate in the GSC’s Summit and have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and government officials, win cash grants and gain mentorship from leading venture capitalists. 

*All judging is done by independent judging panels

appendix 4 why use competitions to find innovation
Appendix 4 – Why use competitions to find innovation?
  • Cost-effective“(Prizes and Challenges) stimulate private sector investment that is many times greater than the cash value of the prize” White House
  • Find outside innovators “Successfully operated competitions get up to 30% of entrants from outside the competition’s field”
  • Elevate ideas “Prizes highlight and elevate superlative behaviours, ideas and achievements in order to motivate, guide and inspire others”McKinsey report
  • Break down barriers“It is much easier to enter a competition for a company than submit a government procurement application” BevGoodwin, US General Services Admin
  • Provide better solutions “Prizes can solve a given problem with many different approaches and not with a pre-determined solution” Aneesh Chopra, Chief Technology Officer of the US (White House)
  • Create patents “...evidence suggests that prize awards can be a powerful mechanism for encouraging competition and that prestigious prizes can be a particularly effective inducement for innovation…” (Josh Lerner, Harvard University – Inducement, Prizes and Innovation)
appendix 5 seven ways that competitions can deliver change
Appendix 5 - Seven ways that competitions can deliver change
  • Source: McKinsey report “and the winner is...”
appendix 6 the omnicompete model
Appendix 6: The OmniCompete model

The following five values shape how we run our competitions and how we run our company:

  • Level playing field – When correctly designed, competitions can level the playing field. Our competitions don’t favour big business or personal connections as the real world often does.
  • Full service – Having an online platform for hosting competitions does not make us unique, but offering a full-service package including active competition management does. We believe there isn’t much point in having access to a competition platform if you don’t know how best to use it. That’s why we offer our expertise in designing, promoting, running, judging and concluding your competition
  • Focus on Start-ups and SMEs – Many of the world’s creative minds don’t work for big companiesand many key innovations are developed by start-ups and SMEs. But without plentiful resources, established networks and a long history of success, innovators often struggle to connect with and instil trust in investors and VCs.
  • Focus on innovation – Innovation makes our lives safer and easier. We favour and promote new ideas and creative ways of thinking because these things drive society forward. Innovation is always important, but especially so in the current economic context.
  • Global vision - Competitions can work everywhere, and a problem identified by an Asian company may be best solved by an entrepreneur in Africa. We advertise our competitions worldwide and don’t discriminate based on country of origin.