Enterprise Crowdfunding - overview
Organizations want to engage their employees to innovate. There are many specialized applications and websites to support these activities. However, decision-making tends to be top-down, and many of these sites require time-consuming post-contribution analyses. We are exploring the use of crowdfunding methods "behind the firewall," using organization-supplied funds that employees can invest in one other employees' projects. Crowdfunding uses the "wisdom of the crowd" to make funding decisions: If other employees (the "crowd") invest enough of their budgeted funds to reach a project's funding target, then budget is committed and the project begins.
We have conducted a series of successful trials of our enterprise crowdfunding prototype, "1x5," between 2012 and 2014. Employees participated at unprecedented rates, and proposed creative projects that addressed work projects, corporate culture, and morale. We saw excellent inter-departmental collaboration, and the initiation of many new working relationships. We started moving our crowdfunding platform into the CIO office in 2013. The CIOLab runs company-wide annual crowdfunding campaigns with a rebranded / redesigned system called iFundIT leading to technology innovation in various areas such as mobile, cloud, cognitive.