In this blog, I am going to talk about my experience at the Open and User Innovation course.

I really enjoyed being apart of the course, Open and User Innovation. I took this course because I was very curious to learn about the open and user innovation phenomenon. I have always been interested in entrepreneurial ventures and lectures related to entrepreneurship have been a treat. Therefore, I made up my mind to attend this course on Open and User Innovation as Innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand.

I really liked the way this class was taught by the teacher Mr. Serdar. The presentation by a group followed by a discussion in every class regarding a particular topic helped me broaden my knowledge regarding this subject. I would like to thank my classmates and especially my lecturer Mr. Serdar for being so encouraging and inspirational. He cleared all our doubts and answered questions in the simplest manner, making our core concepts on Open and User innovation very clear.

The guest lectures by Jan Ainali, CEO of Wikimedia Sweden and Anna Rosling Ronnlund, the co-founder of GapMinder and DollarStreet gave us a practical view on how open and user innovation are being used in the industry and how we can benefit from it. The lectures helped us to relate the theories we learned in the class to the real world.

My overall learning experience was great. I really learnt a lot of things from this course, along with a lots of memories and lessons.


I got a chance to attend the STHLM TECH Meetup that took place on 8 Dec, 2015 at Hilton Slussen. The event began with latest news and updates from Swedish Startups and what makes Stockholm an ideal place to start a new company. The event was organised and hosted by Tyler Crowley. Tyler Crowley advices early-stage startup founders and helps to create more momentum for the startup ecosystem in Stockholm.


The main guests of the evening were Boris Golden VC at Partech, Willy Braun VC at Daphni and Pierre-Eric Leibovici Co-founder at Daphni.  20151207_185712All of them are based in France. They talked about the startup scene in France particularly in Paris. They also gave advice on how to give effective, efficient & to the point pitch to attract the attention of VCs. They gave some examples of common mistakes young entrepreneur make while pitching their products in front of the VCs and customers.

Then the pitching session started. The first startup to pitch was Good Times Media. They pitched their product “perfectbanner” which is the world’s first automated ad-enhancement tool. It Auto-enhance AdWords display ads’ creative elements; color, image, message and more.Their algorithm improves conversion by 30-179%..


The next startup to pitch was banana charge, they provide people’s smartphones with nutrition and energy by offering rentable power banks at parties and night clubs.


The last startup to pitch was by handiscover. is the first community based Holiday accommodation-booking website dedicated to people with Physical disabilities. At the core of Handiscover lies a unique classification system, which allows users to select accommodations based on their level of physical disability. Handiscover was ultimately chosen as the best startup to invest in among the three through voting by the audience and the judges.


The pitches were very interesting and I enjoyed listening to them. The guest VCs (who were also judges for the evening) listened to the pitches and gave valuable suggestion and feedback to these startup after they presented their pitch. Overall it was a good learning experience for me. I got to see practically how actual startups pitch their product in front of VCs and what are the things a VC looks for in a pitch. I gained a lot of knowledge on the art of pitching and also in the field of entrepreneurship and open innovation & user innovation. I got to know how crowdsourcing can be used to make a product better. I could relate practically to many of the theories I learned in class after attending this event. It was a truly amazing event and I would suggest everyone to attend the next STHLM TECH Meetup which will be held in January 2016.


I with some of my fellow classmates participated in the Ericsson E-Hack
11045846_10154318747578356_4421491187311278141_nwhich was held on 3-4 Dec, 2015. I learned a lot of things participating in this event. The event was quite innovating and I got to network with many people from Ericsson and from the ICT community in Stockholm.

Event’s Timeline:

3 Dec Afternoon & Evening: The event started at 1 pm in Ericsson’s office in Kista. In the beginning there was a brief introduction by Ericsson. Ericsson employees talked about Ericsson spaces which is a light-weight collaboration service focused on messaging, real-time communication and online meetings. We were also told about the potential of ICT to assist in major disasters. Ericsson Response is a global initiative of around 140 specially trained employee volunteers which provides communications expertise, equipment and resources to assist humanitarian relief organisations in responding faster and more effectively when disaster strikes. Since its formation in 2000, employee volunteers have been deployed in over 40 relief efforts in 30 countries.

After the introductions were over I teamed up with my fellow classmates and started working on an idea that utilises the power of ICT to make the world a better place. After a lot of discussions & brainstorming in the group we finally decided to work on a idea called “DS Connect” which is a fitness band for Down Syndrome patient to monitor their health. The Ericsson employees who were our mentors helped us by giving constructive feedback on our idea and telling us ways in which we could make our presentation better.


4 Dec Morning & Afternoon: We completed our presentation and business model and were ready to pitch. The pitching started from the afternoon and we pitched our idea in front of the other participants and Ericsson Employees. Every one liked our idea and they all felt the necessity of such a solutions was necessary to deal with diseases like Down Syndrome. 


What I learned from this experience: 

The event taught me a lot of things. There were lots of important moments that increased my knowledge on entrepreneurship, open and user innovation. I got to mingle with a different people and learned a lot of things from them. My knowledge also increased by listening to the pitches from the other groups. Overall it was a very nice experience and I would suggest everyone to participate in such kind of events as it is a lot of fun working in teams, getting to know people and developing new and innovative idea.


Open Data: Governments and other institutions are making their data freely available. This data plays an important role in maximising the benefits of big data. Open data not only leads to the growth of national resources but also enables third parties to create innovative products and services using datasets such as transportation data, or data about medical treatments and their outcomes, that are generated in the course of providing public services or conducting research.

We use four criteria to define open data:

  • Accessible to all.
  • Machine-readable.
  • Free
  • Unrestricted rights to use

While Big Data has attracted a lot of interest, Open Data may be more important for new business creation. Some Big Data is anything but open. Customer records held by businesses, for example, are meant to be used exclusively by the companies that collect it to improve their business processes and marketing. Open Data, in contrast, is designed for public use. It is a public good that supports and accelerates businesses across the economy, not just specific companies in specific sectors.

When Big Data is also Open Data, as is the case for much open government data, it is especially powerful

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.06.21 PM

An emerging hypothesis is that the effective use of open data can unlock significant amounts of economic value. For example, in US healthcare, it was found that more than $300 billion a year in value potentially could be created through the use of more open data, e.g., through the analysis of open data to determine which therapies are both medically effective and cost-efficient.

Business and Revenue Models for Data-Driven Companies

Deloitte surveyed a large sample of Open Data companies and identified five business archetypes:

Suppliers publish Open Data that can be easily used;

Aggregators collect Open Data, analyse it, and charge for their insights or make money from the data in other ways;

Developers “design, build, and sell Web-based, tablet, or smart-phone applications” using Open Data as a free resource;

Enrichers are “typically large, established businesses” that use Open Data to “enhance their existing products and services,” for example, by using demographic data to better understand their customers; and

Enablers charge companies to make it easier for them to use Open Data.

Guring Main Infographic

A recent McKinsey report has quantified the potential value of open data by examining applications in seven fields of the global economy: education, transportation, consumer products, electricity, oil and gas, health care, and consumer finance (exhibit). For each of these, ways were identified on how open data may create economic value, explored potential barriers to adoption, and considered which actions would be required for capturing value with open data. In fact, there are numerous ways it could drive growth and innovation across industries and sectors. In summary, the use of open data:

  • has a large potential economic value from its benefits, including increased efficiency, new products and services, and a consumer surplus (cost savings, convenience, better products)
  • enhances big data’s impact by creating transparency, exposing variability, and enabling experimentation; helping companies to segment populations and thus to customise actions directed at them; replacing or supporting human decision making; and spurring innovative business models, products, and services
  • creates multiple business opportunities, such as the potential to raise productivity, to improve new products and services, and to enable entirely novel lines of business for both established companies and entrants
  • benefits consumers even more than businesses, by creating price and product transparency as well as new channels to provide feedback that improves the quality of goods and services (including public ones)
  • entails business risks, including reputational issues related to the potential release of negative information; the potential consumer backlash from aggressive open-data use (for instance, in ads that target online consumers by following social-media activity); and the inadvertent release of confidential information, such as benchmarking data
  • requires governments to play a central role by developing and implementing policies to mitigate consumer and business concerns about the misuse of open data and to help set standards that will allow the potential economic and social benefits to materialise
  • faces barriers, including privacy concerns and the need for legal and regulatory frameworks

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 2.15.11 PM



Mozilla earlier this month has announced an patent filing program for its open source technologies and is committed to placing these in the context of a license mozilla_foundation_logoallowing reuse of the patented technologies. This would encourage proprietary software vendors to join the open innovation movement.

Companies often use their patents offensively to prevent other developers from developing innovating and competitive software. New innovations are often prevented due to fear of patent infringement which can lead to expensive lawsuits.  Open source projects are more vulnerable as they have limited amount of money to fight any type of patent infringement lawsuit.

Mozilla has launched a patent filing program, with the intention to place them immediately under viral free licenses, that would encourage proprietary software vendors to join the movement free . Each entity that receives the license must also, in turn, allow open source software projects to freely innovate without fear from patents.

I hope to see more companies licensing their patents to maximize openness in a way that makes sense for them. This will quicken the pace of research and will lead to more free and open source software development.