Using Idea Contagion to Combat Virus Contagion
"Virtual Idea Blitz" in response to COVID-19 (March 20-22)
Virtual Idea Blitz
The Weekend Idea Blitz
Recognizing the need for collaborative cross-functional solutions to the Covid-19 situation, a group of Entrepreneurship & Management Professors from Indiana University have adapted the “idea blitz” process -- used by today’s most innovative firms -- to help surface and accelerate ideas focused on helping our community navigate this virus.
The first idea blitz weekend took place on March 20-22. Over 200 entrepreneurs, technologists, engineers, MDs, VCs, professors, students from around the world came together to surface ideas and get them to the basic prototype stage. By design, the event was fast and furious – it all took place over just a weekend – Ideas were related to medical resources, tech applications, social distancing products/services, remote working, community interventions, virtual education, health outreach, etc.
The goals of the program include expanding awareness of the many pain points associated with the virus outbreak and response, championing collective efforts to develop solutions, and if viable orchestrating a collective response through social entrepreneurship and volunteerism.
The outcomes of the weekend were extraordinary and immensely gratifying. An open call was issued and participants from around the world joined the effort. Over 20 ideas emerged (original projections were maybe 3 or 4 would surface) and teams were formed and challenged to move from idea to prototype and pitch within 48 hours. Pitches from (most of)* the teams appear below.
Friday (5:30 pm): Launch and join a team to discuss pain points and begin to develop an idea.
Saturday (All Day): Continue blitzing and work on project
Sunday (All Day): Finalize idea and prototype, create pitch videos. Evening Virtual Reception.
*some teams opted not to post thier pitch videos publically for a variety of reasons.
Highlights from the original COVID-19 Idea Blitz
(Mar 20 -22, 2020- Hosted Virtually by Indiana University Kelley School)
In just 48 hours the teams developed their ideas, created MVPs, and recorded pitch videos for their concepts. Take a look at them below.
Supporters of Scale
The firms below were supportive of our collective grassroots efforts to fight back against COVID-19 and have expressed interest in facilitating scale for our teams where possible (e.g., mentorship, funding, innovation support). Thank you!
We want to thank all of our professional mentors from around the world who participated in our initial virtual idea blitz weekend.
Chantal van Esch
Aishwar Agarwal (Idea Lead)
Alec Levine (Idea Lead)
Ali Amin (Idea Lead)
Amani Jambhekar (Idea Lead)
Amit Kulkarni (Idea Lead)
Anoop Chinthala (Idea Lead)
Angie Washburn (Idea Lead)
Ashley Cribb (Idea Lead)
Ben St James
Bryce Bow (Idea Lead)
Dalit Merenfeld (Idea Lead)
Fatmeh Fawaz (Idea Lead)
Hunter Hawley (Idea Lead)
Ian Ashcraft (Idea Lead)
Jenni Dinger (Idea Lead)
Jesse Wolfe (Idea Lead)
Joe Wojniak (Idea Lead)
Kelsey Gregory (Idea Lead)
Leah DeVito (Idea Lead)
Marcus Gershenberg (Idea Lead)
Nishant Medicharla (Idea Lead)
Parvez Kokan (Idea Lead)
Patrick Ochynski (Idea Lead)
Perry Kimelman (Idea Lead)
Pratshik Vaghela (Idea Lead)
Sourav Sinha (Idea Lead)
Sunthoshi Tejaswi Kothapalli
Susan Hanover (Idea Lead)
Suzana Nikitovic (Idea Lead)
Tijmen van der Maas (Idea Lead)
Trevor Cook (Idea Lead)
Will Hobick (Idea Lead)
Yusuke Katsuyama (Idea Lead)
Thank you to all of our participants.
Want to run an idea blitz in your organization or institution?
In addition to the launch of several new social ventures, the idea blitz program does two other critical things.
1. First, it harnessed the nervous energy felt by many and redirected their time and energy into a positive, constructive outlet. Participants received an entrepreneurial learning experience and also compared the weekend to a form of positive group therapy.
2. Second, our COVID-19 idea sprint was one of the first virtual collective movements in the world to bring together entrepreneurship, tech, doctors and other professionals. Since we completed our idea sprint, several other institutions from around the world have announced plans to launch in their own regions. Usually, when you’re thinking about strategy, you’re thinking about what you can do better than anybody else. In this case, if we broadcast an idea and somebody else decides to replicate, alter, or improve on our idea sprint, then that would be a fantastic outcome. All of humanity is united in this fight!
If you would like to run an idea blitz for your organization facilitated by our team, please feel free to contact us for more details by clicking here