Nosco tries to inject some startup mojo into corporates

How can you engage employees to come up with ideas and take ownership of corporate innovation? Usually startups don’t have that problem because ’employees’ are part of the innovation engine. But plenty of other companies would like that mojo. So Nosco has built an online suggestion box to support Idea Exchange management within a company, and hopefully answer that question.

The concept is similar to a real stock exchange, letting corporate creative minds present their ideas, while colleagues can buy shares in the ideas trusted to benefit the company. Many employees have probably experienced the frustration of sharing an idea without experiencing further action. With a tool like Idea Exchange ideas can be brought to life with a fair chance of qualification. Nosco believes that when we invest, we are honest, we get hooked by competition and are driven by earning “money” – a pleasure not even the recession can take away from us.

Idea Exchange is sold as Software as a Service and is currently out as a closed beta. Nosco is expecting to launch at the end of 2009. The team of 9 based in Copenhagen has already achieved a wide range of customers including Hempel, McQuarie and Alfa Laval. Nosco has received €275.000 ($400.000) in venture funding from Capital+.

Not only do you get employees to post ideas and colleagues to buy in on them, you also get qualified screening with the prediction market mechanism and a structured idea management process, taking the idea to action.

But will a service like Idea Exchange make companies focus more on user driven innovation, or is it for those who already see this as a competitive force? Well, most companies have talked about innovation for a decade, but very few have walked the walk. Perhaps Idea Exchange can affect the wave transforming the good old tank ship into a racing yacht adaptive to change in wind?