Myth Busters: Open Innovation Portal Edition

Debunking some of the common myths and concerns we hear about Open Innovation portals

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“We won’t get any quality submissions to our Open Innovation Portal”

“Portals will expose us to contaminating IP”

“We can manage all of the submissions ourselves”

“It will be easier to build the portal internally with our IT team”

“Launching a portal will require too many approvals and we’ll never get it launched”


These are some of the common concerns we hear from large companies considering an Open Innovation portal. We want to set the record straight and bust these myths once and for all.


“We won’t get any quality submissions that will add value to our innovation strategies”

Yes, you will receive a lot of submissions that will be rejected immediately, but you will be pleasantly surprised with how many quality submissions you will get. On average we see about 5-10% of submissions that come into the portal will meet the initial filtering criteria (e.g. stage of development, efficacy, IP) and get passed on to our client R&D teams for further evaluation (samples, intro calls, etc.).  With 20 years’ experience running OI portals, data over time suggests that portals w sufficient visibility to get to 1000 submissions per year, do quite well at generating valuable deals.

A true measure of impact is how many deals we source. In 2022, we did a record number of deals for our clients, with almost half of those deals being sourced through OI Portals.


“Portals will expose us to contaminating IP”

Actually, the opposite if implemented correctly. With the industry now having 20 years of experience with portals, its fairly simple to build a system (yet2’s is actually triple-gated, but even simpler gating concepts should also work) where trained professionals sniff out and reject any confidential or potentially contaminating material.  Equally important, large-cos actually run substantially higher risk of contamination if they don’t have a single point of entry for external ideas and technologies. Large-cos impose significant risk when they force each individual employee, R&D scientist, senior staff administrative assistants, etc. to make a sophisticated decision about whether a given piece of external content is contaminating or benign. Most importantly, 3rd-party managed portals enable a centralized “IP airlock” to scrub all external ideas of any IP contamination risk before being shared with your employees.


“We can manage all submissions ourselves”

Some clients have started out by managing the submissions themselves, but the sheer volume becomes overwhelming, and they quickly ‘fatigue’ or turn to yet2’s filtering and triaging expertise. A key component of yet2’s OI Portal offering is that we manage all submissions, from initial receipt through to communications, review, filtering, and facilitating. Once a submission has been reviewed in detail by a dedicated yet2 OI portal coordinator and scrubbed of confidential information, only then will it be shared with the client team. All you really care about at the end of the day is reviewing the highly promising and quality submissions, which yet2 will filter out so you don’t have to waste your time and resources managing the irrelevant submissions.


“It will be easier to build the portal internally with our IT team”

You may think it will be easier (and cheaper) to use internal IT teams, but there are a few key dynamics to seriously consider. yet2 has been perfecting Open Innovation systems and our back-end submission management platform for over 20 years. Our deep knowledge on how external ideas come into an organization and flow through the evaluation process has directly informed our back-end design. The key steps, statuses, communication triggers, and stage-gates are all designed into the system, so you can leverage all yet2’s knowledge without having to re-invent (or over-engineer) the wheel.

Not to mention, your IT teams are busy with other requests, so when you want to make changes such as swapping in new challenges, updating content, or adding new form fields, we promise we will be much more responsive and timelier than your internal teams.


“Launching a portal will require too many approvals and take 6+ months”

Having implemented portals across several dozen companies, we have found that providing a well-thought-out workflow is critical for streamlined internal debate and decision-making. Key stakeholders and support functions will need to approve content, challenge descriptions, and link placements. yet2 manages the approval process with you, liaising closely with your corporate communications, legal, and corporate website teams. yet2 also provides standard content templates that your team can leverage out of the box or tweak, greatly accelerating implementation timelines.

The major driver of implementation timelines is the design approval process, which comes down to the client’s needs. We’ve launched portals in as little as 8 weeks for some clients that wanted a standard portal with minimal customization and one round of design approvals. For other clients that want more complex design requirements, customizations, and multiple approval rounds, implementation has been closer to 12 weeks.


Open Innovation portals provide a way to engage with the broader innovation ecosystem, creating new opportunities for partnerships and collaborations with other companies and technologists. OI Portals help companies tap into a wealth of resources and expertise that they may not have access to otherwise, accelerating R&D timelines and reducing time to market for new products. And it turns out, implementing an OI portal is not so hard after all, and proving to be more valuable than we guessed early on.


Send Marcus a note if you have more questions beyond what was addressed above or want to see a demo.



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