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  • Alexis Snelling

NextGen Innovation Ecosystem Platform

What is an innovation ecosystem?

An innovation ecosystem refers to a loosely interconnected network of companies and other entities that coevolve capabilities around a shared set of technologies, knowledge, or skills, and work cooperatively and competitively to develop new products and services (Moore, 1993).

In the United States and around the world, organizations, and institutions like governments, universities, investors, and corporates – to name a few – are looking to develop or be part of innovation ecosystems. There has been a lot of conversation around creating innovation ecosystems, and now the talks are shifting toward how to improve these ecosystems and how to make them more effective and efficient.

What is an innovation ecosystem and why is it important?

Innovation ecosystems create an active flow of information and resources for ideas to transform into reality. Through these ecosystems, we are building a process by which more innovators and entrepreneurs can develop and launch solutions to solve real-world problems, faster. This process creates expertise in new areas, helps to diversify the economy, and allows businesses to meet their customers where they are. Additionally, an innovation ecosystem provides the means to create economic stability and resource sharing.

Why do we need them?

These startups are also creating jobs and opportunities. However, we can’t forget that they are also busy building new technologies that apply across industries and audiences. They are speaking with everyone in the ecosystem, identifying their key partners, and turning these in-kind and financial investments into tangible products that impact the way we all live, work, and play.

The value of an innovation ecosystem lies in the access to resources for the startups and the flow of information for the ecosystem’s stakeholders. This information flow creates more investment opportunities for the right institutions to connect with the right ideas for their businesses and portfolios, at the right time, for the right reasons.

And, what role do stakeholders play in developing a sustainable innovation ecosystem?

As an ecosystem, when you transform the practical flow information and accelerate the turning of ideas to reality – through investment and support – it will yield results of increased expertise, increased job growth, increased diversification, and faster rate of an investment over time. We can see this in Silicon Valley and Boston.

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Sequential vs Simultaneous Innovation Process

The NextGen Innovation Ecosystem Platform at WeTransact is revolutionizing how all stakeholders engage at the precise moment of alignment simutaneously. The sequential innovation ecosystem process is not agile enough for the rest of the fast moving innovative minds and world changing solutions. Sequential innovation process also fosters gate keepers and exclusion to access the entire startup ecosystem.

The proof is in the pudding as they say. The headlines have been constantly showing the existing innovation ecosystem is only working for the top 2% and leaving underserved founders and innovators in the dust. The logic is pretty clear that if you keep using the same recipe and keep getting the same result, then you will be able to identify what is causing the successes and the failures.

Why now?

Post COVID the world is forcing the hands of founders to seek a new recipe to launch and grow their innovative startups and products. There's a renaissance erupting with a renewed global spirit from COVID to solve our global problems together. This reimagining of how to realign the variables of innovation to create mutually beneficial engagements and eliminate the timing issues of the slow opaque sequential process are pivotal to implementing the simultaneous Next Gen Innovation platform. The research, education and shared purpose clearly outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to maximize global impact by 2030 primed this very exciting moment in history where the purpose, knowledge, infrastructure and exponential global need converged together.

Evolve or Become Extinct

It's a dinosaur moment for the innovation ecosystem. The giants of innovative ecosystems that rose to the top were the original "first movers" who designed a ongoing support system to seed and grow startups. Ironically, now the Silicon Valley's and Boston's of the world have become lazy and comfortable with their "innovation startup formula" and simply pressing rinse, wash, repeat with any giving much serious thought to evaluating the innovation process itself.

Shelf Life of Data

Ecosystems have quickly forgotten their own history. The reason the "formula" worked in the first place was because of the drive of the "tinkerers" and risk takers who literally built the engines as they were jumping out of the plane. It was very relevant at that precise moment in history and when it hadn't been done before. Sharing their learnings from their experiences is what led to the indoctrination of "startup and investing formula today". It's important to acknowledge how data is only helpful if it is relevant to the time and place.

The Perfect Storm for Innovation

The sequential innovation ecosystem is turning their backs or a "blind eye" as they can't keep up to fulfill the real time needs of the Great Resignation and Gen Z entrepreneurs. Their slow and opaque process and "spreadsheet management systems" can not scale and adapt to the largest influx in history of entrepreneurship.

Founder First Approach

When the "investor first" ecosystem has to say "No" to 98% of ideas and only points innovators to more FREE generalized founder education and volunteer office hours it actually creates a larger hierarchy gap between the funders and the founders. Innovators have had no option but to create an alternative "founder first" movement to create their own access to the ongoing resources they need together as equals.

This is actually a very expected and natural progression of any ecosystem that is built from systematic exclusivity. The startup IP is up and now in public domain. Outdated information and cookie cutter approaches aren't work for the majority of the "non ivy league" highly connected family and friends founder. The playbooks have become common knowledge and those kept out of the opportunities are being the resourceful entrepreneurs that they are supposed to be.

Cooperation vs. Competition

There's more value to innovators today to collaborate, experiment and improve together than compete against each other on stage at pitch events for prize money. The "winner takes all" approach is quickly being replaced both philosophically, ethically, and responsibly to maximize global impact of our limited resources together.

Future of Innovation is Lightspeed

Next Gen innovators are seeking out alternatives or better yet creating an entirely new opportunity so that they can succeed and have access to create their world changing ideas. WeTransacts is building the infrastructure for the Next Gen Innovation Ecosystem. Creating new tools for the Next Gen Innovation Ecosystem to access from their fingertips that provides their collective networks the freedoms to learn, collaborate and execute in real time on their own and from anywhere in the world. It's an exciting evolution and moment in history for ALL innovators everywhere! WeTransact is the innovation first platform for ecosystems who are seeking to foster inclusive, scalable and supportive structures for success.

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Additional More Technical Readings on the Subject:

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