IBM Uses Internal Kickstarters To Pick Projects

IBM is readying its fourth internal Kickstarter-like crowdfunding effort over the past year or so to inspire employees to innovate and collaborate, often across departments and the globe. According to IBM Research member Michael Muller, IBM has embraced the crowdfunding model popularized in recent years by Kickstarter, Indiegogo and hundreds of other such platforms that match up creators and financial backers from among the masses.

But IBM’s ‘behind-the-firewall’ form of crowdfunding, for which Muller has coined the term ‘enterprise crowdfunding,’ is unique in that it isn’t open to the public. In an experiment held in the third quarter of last year, 500 Watson Research Center employees were each given $100 to invest exclusively in colleagues’ proposals, which ranged from procuring a 3D printer to setting up a disc golf course to recording and sharing seminars.

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