Environmental protection is one of the most urgent problems of the present. New measures and innovations are required to counteract global warming and to fight against the waste of resources. If the current discussions about climate and environmental policy have shown one thing: a rethink of the way green technologies have been developed and promoted to date is necessary.
This rethinking is what drives the startup ipOcean Global by creating a platform for ideas and challenges. It is rapidly accelerating the process from idea to implementation. It enables entrepreneurs, universities, research institutes, startups and also creative people to secure, confidentially pass on and verify their ideas, information, data or know-how through the use of innovative block-chain technologies, but also to work together in groups on-demand. Open Innovation and Hackathons can be realized on the platform in a way that attracts top talents and experts.
Founder Holger Geissler explains in an interview how this works and also why this idea could only be developed in Germany.
A network for ideas and challenges
“The knowledge we need for the environment already exists, it’s just hidden like in a huge ocean and has yet to be recovered,” says Holger Geissler, co-founder of ipOcean Global. We’re talking about technologies that address the most pressing problems of our time and could revolutionize the recycling of plastics, for example.
“The innovative ideas are already all there, we just can’t use them; the knowledge is well distributed globally. The exchange of ideas, for example, between idea providers, startups, industry and investors is not intensive enough. We want to provide a fast platform where anyone who says “I have a great idea” can post it directly. Anyone can react immediately, for example with a like or a comment. But you can also say that you want to know more about the idea. This is how contacts are made and the ideas can finally fly – and in a very short time.”
One of the special features of the platform is the possibility to pose challenges to other users, for example open questions in large corporations: Anyone who is stuck with an idea or who lacks the necessary know-how can create a challenge and thus have access to expert knowledge from all over the world. Open Innovation and Hackathons thus become a real option for all organizations. This is a particularly efficient way to tackle problems that need to be solved as quickly as possible, for example in the joint fight against key global risks such as climate change.
“Innovate to save the Planet”
The name ipOcean is composed of the abbreviation “ip” for Intellectual Property – i.e. those ideas that are supposed to circulate in the network – and the ocean that symbolizes their concealment:
“The huge spectrum of ideas that we all produce might have made even more galactic names for the company possible: with Ocean, however, we definitely wanted to establish a connection to our world, the Earth. That’s what it’s all about, especially when we think of a circular economy or the 17 sustainability goals of the United Nations – no longer just slogans.”
Holger Geissler has a doctorate in chemistry. Through his work in the research department of a major corporation and his many years of experience in investment management and as a consultant to startups, it became clear to him that the current financial landscape in Germany does not yet function sufficiently well to drive innovation. On the contrary:
“Especially in Germany, the hurdles for the development and promotion of new innovations are so high that potential founders are particularly shy of them. Many great and also sensible ideas cannot be implemented in this way in the first place. Young entrepreneurs often take a risk when they present their ideas to large companies. Often these are then taken over without the actual idea provider being involved. This is always denied, but practice paints a different picture”.
We will not change man, but we can change our approach
Holger Geissler could either advise startups or himself create a startup that addresses these problems – that’s how the idea for ipOcean Global came about:
“We do it differently. We don’t want to earn money from the idea, because the idea should always remain in the hands of the idea provider. We alone offer the platform on which idea givers and idea takers can exchange and network. The users should be able to exchange ideas with each other directly and on their own responsibility, promote their ideas and innovations and thus build networks and connections. For example, those who recruit further users or whose ideas receive a lot of response in the form of Likes, should also participate in the subscription fee. In the long run, we don’t want to attract users without someone else benefiting from it”.
More security through block chain identities
In contrast to most online services, where a one- or two-stage identity check is performed, ipOcean Global has a third stage: the block chain identity. This creates the basis for a relationship of trust on which innovations and business relationships can grow. The block-chain identity in innovations is one of ipOcean’s unique selling points. It thus verifies the identity of the user beyond doubt. The declared goal is transparency with simultaneous security and commitment.
The fingerprint in the block chain of shared data and interactions leads to verifiability and protection against manipulation. The idea provider has complete control at all times over who he shares his ideas with and also over how much insight the requesting person or group actually gains.
“The concept of ipOcean is now nearly 24 months old and the platform is now live under my.ipocean.com. Our focus is to start now with the industry open innovation or Hackathons – here the strengths of the platform are used. At the same time we invite especially startups and all creative people to start on ipOcean, because the Freemium-Model makes sure that the price is no obstacle. We use our own strong ecosystem to provide the necessary reach for our users, as existing networks can easily be leveraged. As we combine the advantages of the Internet such as speed, connectivity and power with the attributes of ownership protection, confidentiality, verifiability and on-demand groups, the platform and technology can be leveraged for many other areas as well. However, the focus is currently on innovation and collaboration and simplifying the user interface, as collaborative innovation is becoming an existential necessity in an increasingly complex world with limited access to talent, limited resources and limited time. More and more often, companies can only cover parts of their own research sufficiently and run the risk of disappearing – Blackberry users today use other smartphones. The most important aspect is: You cannot negotiate climate change with nature – and there is no Planet B to buy even under capitalism”.