The notion of looking outside of ones employees for innovation is not a new idea, but nevertheless it is not one that is yet in the mainstream of commercial consciousness. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp are one organisation that do appear to get it however.
Last week they launched the 4th edition of their annual Entrepreneurial Challenge. The Challenge sees outsiders invited to participate in solving various aerospace related problems, broken down into five core questions for Sikorsky:
- How can your offering utilize vertical flight to better serve or create new markets?
- How can your offering enhance transportation and mass transit using mobile devices and apps?
- How can your offering detect or learn to detect patterns in big, complex, unstructured data sets?
- How can your offering stop a speeding projectile or prevent an object from being seen, heard or identified?
- How can your offering allow a complex machine to know more about its own health and capabilities?
“The Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge has been successful in expanding the contact and in exploring synergies between agile and innovative businesses and Sikorsky. There is value in expanding our reach to larger and more mature small companies as well as to business ventures already associated with Sikorsky,” said Laurence Vigeant-Langlois, Director of Business Development for Sikorsky Innovations.
“As a leading aerospace OEM (original equipment manufacturer), Sikorsky has a flexible and dedicated partnership channel that is focused on transformational technologies, products and business processes. That continues to be the Entrepreneurial Challenge’s main value proposition to small businesses,” Vigeant-Langlois added.
Competition winners will get to work closely with the on-board experts at Sikorsky to help turn their visions into reality. They will also be incubated within the Stamford Innovation Center, with free workspace offered for a year. Winning teams will also be granted shared services within the CTNEXT entrepreneurial ecosystem, and, upon completion of the year, an investment evaluation by Sikorsky.
If you would like to enter the competition, your application must be submitted to Sikorsky by 5pm EDT on November 1st. You can enter via the Challenge website – http://www.sikorsky.com/EChallenge