IfundIT Cookbook

Your guide to ifundIT at IBM

What ifundIT Isn't

ifundIT is a powerful tool for fostering innovation, encouraging employee engagement, and driving transformation in your organization, but it isn't the answer to every problem. Having a clear understanding of what enterprise crowdfunding can't do will help you make realistic decisions about your own campaign, and communicate your desired outcomes more effectively to your organization.

ifundIT is about funding - it's not just a voting system

As an enterprise crowdfunding platform, ifundIT is powered by the concept of investing. It works because participants are able to attach a dollar value to their support, and because innovators understand that this support carries with it a promise of a return on investment. As you are considering whether or not ifundIT is a good fit for your needs, make sure that your organizational goals are aligned with the benefits of enterprise crowdfunding. If you just need some way to measure the opinion of the crowd or encourage bottom-up innovation, you might be better served by some form of idea jam or voting tool.

IfundIT requires a serious commitment for success - it's not magic

ifundIT has led to incredible transformations at an astounding scale within IBM in only a few years, but it's important to remember that it wasn't alone: each of our campaigns required considerable investments of work hours and funding to make them successful. ifundIT isn't alchemy - it can't just magically generate new ideas out of thin air. Rather, it leverages a resource that already exists within your organization - the crowd - to meet your needs.

ifundIT is an idea generation platform - we don't just give you money

Despite what the name might suggest, ifundIT is not a bank. If your organization decides to use ifundIT, you need to make sure you can secure enough funding to fully support it. In addition, be sure to clarify this same point to your innovators if you decide to run a campaign - once they understand that they're being trusted to invest their company's money, they will likely be much more excited to participate!

The ifundIT PMO doesn't take over your funded projects - it's up to you to see them through

ifundIT is a great way to increase innovation and develop solutions to existing problems in an unconventional way. However, ifundIT itself is not an end-to-end solution - in other words, we can't claim responsibility for what happens to funded projects after your campaign is finished. You can count on us to help you with setting up a campaign, and we'd love to work with you to establish a pipeline to bring funded projects into the real world, but the onus is on you to ensure that you follow your campaign through to your desired outcomes.

Campaign Modes

ifundIT campaigns fit into two overarching modes: "Fund2Goal," in which projects must raise funds up to a set goal in order to enter development, and "TopX," in which projects compete to earn funds and "place" in the top ranking for further development.

Each of these campaign modes is highly configurable - you can adjust the timeline, funding goals, participant models, and campaign limiters in accordance with your organization's objectives and characteristics. However, each mode has its own benefits and challenges that make them suited for different business purposes.

Below you will find more detailed explanations of each of the two campaign modes – when considering which campaign will be best for your organization, look to "Choosing a Campaign Mode."

Fund2Goal

The Fund2Goal mode is the closer of the two to a "traditional" crowdfunding model. In a Fund2Goal campaign, innovators submit projects for investors to invest in, with a funding goal that is typically equivalent to the cost of developing the project, usually as a Proof of Concept. Investors are given a set amount of funds to invest in projects they feel passionate about, and the campaign ends once either the planned budget has been allocated to funded projects or a set deadline has been reached.

The budget of a Fund2Goal campaign is tied to the funding needed to develop successful projects. As such, the number of investors and the funds allocated to each investor need to be regulated. However, the correlation between "ifundIT money" and real development funding allows you to control the rate at which projects are funded.

TopX

The TopX mode is less dependent on the real-world funding set aside for the campaign, which makes it more flexible for a variety of use cases. In a TopX campaign, innovators submit projects for an unlimited number of potential investors, each of which has been given an amount of virtual funds. Rather than trying to reach a specific set funding goal, innovators compete against each other to rank within the top bracket in a set amount of time predetermined by the Campaign Owner.

The budget of a TopX campaign has no impact on the amount of money given to each investor, which permits any size of campaign regardless of how much investment each funded project receives. In effect, this mode grants nearly unlimited flexibility to your organization in terms of scale.

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