TechCrunch’s Duncan Riley has an interesting story today about Texas based Incuby, who is aiming to build an online community where inventors can display their inventions to the general public, entrepreneurs and investors.
It is good reading for many reasons: The story itself is fascinating, Incuby has toured the country and met with different groups of inventors and heard how tired they are of the high costs associated with traveling and presenting at trade shows
To us this also puts the light on the very important issue of innovation in general and the US climate for innovation in particular. We all know that good, commercial innovations create jobs, economic growth and – in the long run – a better society. Innovation is key to maintaining a country’s competitive position globally. Last week I (Tina) visited the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC where Dr Charles Wessner talked about this subject and the challenges ahead (mainly coming from fast growing economies like China and India).
There are many things on the plus-side when it comes to the climate of innovation in the US, for example the big and integrated domestic market and the fact that US society is open for and trusts in new innovations. And the climate in Silicon Valley is exceptional. However basic education needs to get stronger and R & D in general needs to be better funded.
The importance of small businesses in this context are on the minds of Charles Wessner and his team (they say). This April the AmericaCompetes Act was passed in Senate. One of its goals is to provide better funding for education and innovation within small companies.
This brings us back to the issue of Incuby, which focus is to create an environment where inventors can coexist, communicate online and get customer feedback – while presenting their innovations (while working from home). The site is still in development and will move to a closed beta test in the coming weeks with a broad number of inventors already signed up to test the site, according to TechCrunch.
Bloggers were hesitant to Incuby Thursday, not knowing if it is just another social network. But to us it is clear that this is a good way to use the tools of Web 2.0 to share and co-develop. At Rev2 Sid Yadav writes that Incuby is a superb niche social network that just might catch on within the inventor community — if it isn’t already showing the signs of doing so: “Sure, such a thing will never be something for the hundreds of millions of people online, but if it affects a small community of innovators who might then go on to affecting hundreds of millions, isn’t it indirectly the same thing,” he asks. We agree.
By Tina Magnergard Bjers and John Furrier