Solverboard is a new web platform that is designed to bring the concept of open innovation and crowdsourcing solutions to business problems into the mainstream. It has been developed to answer a simple question: 'what if any organisation could call upon everyone in the entire world - no matter who they were, where they lived or whatever their background - to help solve some of the challenges that organisation has failed to solve themselves?' So Challengers set challenges and Solvers solve them, in exchange for payment. Everything about the challenge - from how much detail is shared to how much they're prepared to pay for a solution, is set by the Challenger, and Solvers can either act alone, or come together to offer up a solution. The Challenger then scores each solution either on their own or by asking the Solverboard community for help, before deciding on a winner. The winning Solver then assigns all of their intellectual property rights (IPR) in the winning solution to the Challenger, in exchange for the reward that has been offered by the Challenger when posting the challenge.
Anyone, anywhere in the world who has capacity to enter into legally binding agreements (which in the United Kingdom means you must be at least 18, but this may vary elsewhere) can join Solverboard. We believe that good ideas don't come with experience but if you are under the applicable age and wish to participate then please do so with the permission of your parent or guardian and through their designated account. It is important that you and they understand that they will be responsible for all of your acts and omissions on the Solverboard site.
To view the challenges and solutions being shared on Solverboard site, simply read and agree to our general terms of website use.
To participate in Solverboard fully (i.e. to post either challenges or solutions) you must create a user account and accept our full membership terms and conditions.
We want to make Solverboard widely accessible and easy to use by anyone anywhere. However, in order to protect our members and to comply with financial legislation we have opted to use PayPal as our payment service. PayPal is trusted worldwide and validates its members to ensure they are who they say they are. By linking your Solverboard account to a PayPal account, we benefit from this validation which in turn helps us keep costs down whilst making sure Solverboard is both accessible to use and quick to set up.
We require our Solvers to sign up for and use a Business or Premium PayPal account. These enhanced accounts do not cost anything more to use but give more transaction options to Challengers - so Solvers can be paid in many more ways.
For our corporate clients we do offer an “off system” purchase order mechanism. Please contact Jojo at email@example.com for further information.
We do not hold any of your PayPal or financial information locally - all financial transactions are completed via PayPal. In order to make sure you can publish a challenge, or get paid if you have a winning solution, we require you to link your PayPal account to your Solverboard account.
As a digital services business we need to demonstrate that the correct rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) or country-specific equivalent has been charged and will be accounted for to the correct member state tax jurisdiction; your country of residence is used to help us facilitate this.
DocuSign is a digital signing software produced by an independent third party provider that is used to facilitate the signed transfer of IPR from the Solver to the Challenger. It is widely used in circumstances where documents need to be signed remotely by the parties to them, and complies with applicable legislation about electronic signatures.
Anyone can create an organisation account from your individual account menu. By creating an organisation account you are declaring that you have legal permission to bind the organisation you are creating to Solverboard’s terms and conditions.
Your organisation’s employees need to create their own individual Solverboard account and then request to join the organisation account through the account menu options. As the organisation account administrator you will receive requests to join your organisation that will require your authorisation to accept them and add their relevant permissions.
Simply logon into your organisation’s account through your individual account menu and manage permissions under the employee menu option.
Not happy with the number of emails or simply want to unsubscribe? Then simply amend in your account menu.
You must register as a member to raise a challenge on Solverboard. You can raise a challenge as an individual or on behalf of your organisation. In order to publish your challenge you must provide Solverboard with your PayPal Business or Premier account and your country of origin.
In order to raise a challenge on behalf of your organisation you must have permission to do so from your organisation. Contact your organisation’s Solverboard administrator to determine your permissions. When raising a challenge, Solverboard will first ask whether you wish to do this as an individual or on behalf of your organisation; simply select 'organisation challenge'.
There are many check points in the process to avoid the error of wrongly submitting a challenge as an individual or as an organisation; the final one being the request for the listing fee payment that will provide final confirmation before your challenge is published. We don’t currently have the functionality to transfer a draft challenge from individual to organisation account or vice versa. We plan to build the functionality into future releases but until then please double check when raising a challenge that you have selected you correct desired account.
There are 2 different types of charges when raising a challenge on Solverboard.
You can add as much description as you like to your challenge. We have aimed to design Solverboard to provide the best balance of user experience whilst offering enough fields of information to define the multitude of complex problems our Challengers may be faced with. We hope you find the process intuitive, but please provide feedback and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solverboard is a platform designed to bring Members together to meet challenges, on the “one size fits all” terms and conditions of the platform. If these terms and conditions do not prove adequate to meet your particular requirements it is open to you to enter into separate contractual arrangements with a Solver. However, please note that we take no responsibility for any such arrangements – please see section 4.5 of the Rules of Participation. We would be grateful for any suggestions you may have for amendments to our terms and conditions to meet your requirements which, if of sufficiently general application, we may consider making. Please send feedback and suggestion to email@example.com.
When raising a challenge you can specify the amount you will pay for the winning solution. You can also specify a reward for a part solution. This type of reward is to recognise those solutions that do not fully meet your requirements but may help you in some way or should just be recognised from a contribution viewpoint.
We operate under the principle of fair and reasonable reward to match the work required to complete the challenge. However, when considering your reward amount it should be ultimately what the value of the solution is to you.
Remember Solverboard is also an engagement platform where your target audience may closely mirror the Solver community that are helping you. It is also a platform that enhances social reputations.
Ultimately though, you'll see the need to market your challenge effectively and, naturally, the higher the reward the more interest you'll get. The more Solvers you can attract the better your chances of getting a great outcome, and the more likely you'll be to get social engagement on your challenge. All these things should be considered to ensure a balanced, fair and appropriate reward is placed.
Solverboard encourages its community to recognise and reward contribution. It is important to establish your organisation as a trusted challenging business in order for the Solver community to want to work on your challenges. We developed the part-solution reward as we believe it important that you reward and recognise all positive contributions that will advance you on your specific challenge.
This is specified at the beginning of the 'setting a challenge' process to allow you to reward and recognise solutions that will help you, but maybe do not meet your full criteria. By defining a part-solution at the start it serves 2 additional purposes. Firstly, it encourages Solvers to participate that don’t have the complete solution but know they have something really good for you to work from. Secondly, it avoids any disagreement on value of the contribution by being open and clear from the start about the amount you will reward.
Absolutely. A financial reward is mandatory but we also encourage you to offer other incentives. These could be student summer placements, attending launch events or sales royalties as examples. Please be clear what is included and what is not e.g. 'we will offer a paid student placement but foreign students must pay all of their travel and accommodation expenses'.
You can state a challenge in US Dollars (USD), Sterling (GBP) or EURO. PayPal will convert the exchange rate to your local currency when you publish your challenge.
There are 3 time phases to the challenge process that you define to suit your individual requirements:
Part of the Rules of Participation and to maintain your reputation is that you adhere to your self-defined time phases.
In our next release early 2016 you will be able to select professional Solvers, Solvers as employees within your organisation and Solvers that are part of your Solver Link network to work on your challenges. In our current version all challenges are open to the entire Solverboard member community.
We have included ‘Crowd Assess’ functionality so that you can get the Solverboard community helping you to assess and find the best solution(s). Of course final decision rests with you as the Challenger.
We have included a multi-parameter scoring system that helps Challengers specify what is important to them from how innovative a solution is, through to affordability, and design aesthetics. The importance to the user is scaled 1 to 10, ten being critically important, and when solutions are assessed this scale helps to score and provide a weighting to quickly filter the best solutions on our leader board scoring system, the challenge “Solverboard”.
Yes, we allow for 3 additional scoring parameters to help you refine further what is important to you.
We recommend making sure that you use images on your challenge page to help explain the challenge but also to engage as many Solvers as possible. When publishing your challenge make sure you share it through your networks and social media to optimise the take-up of your challenge. Great visualisation, a good intro and a reward that fits the challenge are key to your success!
You may select more than one winning solution and part solution. However, the reward values are those stated at the time you publish and are not reduced by the amount of winning solutions selected, so you must pay the reward (or part-reward) to each of the successful Solvers. There are no additional fees to Solverboard if you choose multiple winners; the challenge listing fee is only paid once regardless of number of solutions you select.
Keep people up-to-date with your assessment and decision progress on the challenge comments board. Once your decision has been finalised complete the challenge results page to publish to Solverboard your final result and why you chose it.
Solverboard cannot guarantee that you will get a suitable solution or indeed any solution. If you do not succeed with your challenge then try to determine why you think it failed and revisit your description of the challenge, how you have marketed it, the networks you have informed and finally the amount of reward you are offering. Revising these and re-submitting will help you clarify to the Solver community what you are after and garner new interest in your challenge.
Yes, there may be many reasons why you may wish to submit a challenge and you may re-submit as often as you wish subject to individual listing fees being applied.
You have to be registered as a member to submit a solution against a challenge on Solverboard. Additionally, to view the detail of a challenge you must be registered and logged in otherwise only the summary of the challenge will be visible.
Yes, submit as many solutions to a challenge as you can think of!
Absolutely, on Solverboard you can collaborate with other individual Solvers or partner businesses as a joint venture. Simply create a new organisation and join your partner collaborators to this new organisation.
No, you cannot currently submit a solution to your own or to an organisation’s challenge that is linked to your account.
Yes, you cannot participate in the crowd assessment of any solution if:
You may however participate in the assessment of any solution if a colleague within your organisation has submitted a solution(s) as an individual.
If a challenge has been specified as ‘Crowd Assess’ then this will be available in the public domain once the Innovation Phase has closed. Members should not participate on Crowd Assess challenges if they do not wish their solution to be available in the public domain.
To protect Solvers’ interests, solutions can only be reviewed once the Innovation Phase has closed. The Challenger, and only the Challenger, may view the introduction text only in the Innovation Phase helping to determine quality of initial responses and which solutions to focus on in the Assessment Phase.
Ensure that you are clear about your solution and how it meets the scoring criteria set by the Challenger. Don’t assume that the Challenger will easily get the nuances of your solution, so fully explain the strengths of the solution but also be honest about the things you have not considered too.
We cannot guarantee that the Challenger will review all solutions or how the Challenger will differentiate and choose between similar solutions. Please be clear on this and read our Rules of Participation and Submission Guidelines before committing to working on a solution.
You will get notified if the Challenger has selected your solution as the winning or part winning solution. You will then be asked to sign the IP Assignment form to transfer any associated IPR to the Challenger. Your reward payment will then be transferred to your PayPal account.
In Solverboard if a challenger decides to pay the reward for their challenge through our manual invoicing process, then in order to reimburse you for the payment processing fees charged to your PayPal account by PayPal when you receive the payment, we add an amount equal to those fees to the reward value when we transact payment via our Solverboard PayPal account to your individual PayPal account. The net value will be equal to your entitled reward bar a bit of rounding. This is due to how Paypal enables payment processing for the manual invoicing process.
Solver Link is your own individual Solverboard network.
In our next release you will be able to restrict challenges to your Solver Link or limit Crowd Assess to your Solver Link as your trusted network.
There is a comments section built into every challenge page where you can post updates to your Solver community and respond to questions and feedback.
Yes, we also have a one-to-one messaging system to allow for more private matters to be discussed with individual Solvers.
We’d love to hear from you – please contact us using the following details:
Yes please! In the true spirit of Open Innovation, we need your feedback to keep improving. Email us with any suggestions or improvements at firstname.lastname@example.org.