Written by Robert Leitch.
An entrepreneur’s goal is to develop innovative products. But what if facilitating ideas and innovation was the product being developed? The founders of batterii noticed that all too often the passion and energy of a brainstorm session gets left in the room, and those who were unable to attend have no way to submit their own new ideas. The company helps businesses and brands around the globe gather research, insights and innovative ideas in a collaborative manner, then helps teams of employees organize the ideas in a way that clears the path for implementation within their organization. The underlying theory is that by letting every employee have a voice, you’ll get some of the best ideas.
“Companies have these wonderfully passionate employees that want to be engaged and empowered, but organizations don’t have the tool sets to enable that to occur,” said Kevin Cummins, CEO of batterii. “That’s what we’re providing right here in Cincinnati, Ohio.”
batterii received its initial funding from CincyTech, the southwest regional partner of Ohio Third Frontier. batterii’s visual software platform captures images, videos, articles and notes from a brainstorm session, and collects them into dedicated spaces called Project Rooms. These Project Rooms are available to be viewed and edited around the globe instead of solely inside a conference room. Teams can work together from multiple locations to pinpoint trends and share everything from research insights to product concepts. The data in Project Rooms lives forever, allowing for continuous “a-ha!” moments long after a brainstorming session ends.
“We enable employees to solve the complex problems that their organizations are asking them to attack. Breakthrough innovation is a very messy process,” said Cummins. “Our software puts an employee as close to the problem as possible to see connections that might otherwise not be seen.”
batterii and Pfizer recently announced that following a pilot program, the batterii platform will be made available to all 77,000 employees as part of the Pfizer “Dare To Try” program. The ability for Pfizer to build the “Dare to Try” workflow within the batterii software, and match the impressive innovation and Design Thinking processes they have built over the years, allows any Pfizer colleague to innovate in the every day. The platform will engage employees capturing knowledge collaboratively and creating a system to leverage past learnings.
batterii is powered by Google Apps, providing an intuitive and convenient way for employees to submit their ideas.
“Running on Google Apps allows us to have the best security, infrastructure, scalability and process that allows people anywhere in the world to access our technology,” said Cummins.
batterii is poised for rapid growth in 2015. The company, which began with seven employees in 2011, is now up to 12 and is hoping to grow to 18 by the end of the year. Having lived on both coasts during his professional career, Cummins acknowledges the coastal bias in the startup world. What he feels sets Ohio apart, however, is the state’s educational infrastructure and access to world-class universities and hospitals. In addition, organizations like CincyTech, Cintrifuse and The Brandery have created a strong startup network in the area.
“Cincinnati is home to some of the best talent from multiple large Fortune 500 companies,” said Cummins. “These large companies’ support really benefits this area’s entrepreneurs.”