Quirky itself would deserve a post dedicated enterely to present it as one of the current most outstanding examples of co-creation and open innovation with crowds, a interesting case on the ongoing revolution and change of paradigm about future business, how they will design and produce products and services and how they will interact with providers and customers.
To sum up, Quirky is a Ideation lab + crowdsourcing and coworking platform + design consultancy + social network +manufacturer + e-commerce online store… with a very promising slogan: “Shop for products invented for people just like you”
For those of you who do not know about Quirky, here you have some facts:
Quirky had raised $91.3 million in venture funding in its three short years of existence. Still, some consider Quirky one of the most underrated startup considering its potential. Quirky’s crowdfunded inventions are now for sale in 35,000 stores, including Home Depot and Best Buy. The company has developed 130 mass market consumer products with its crowdsourced design platform. The most famous is Pivot Power, which makes up less than a quarter of Quirky’s revenue.
But this is post is not intended as much to comment about Quirky as to point out the interest that a a big, big corporation as GE showed in wanting to collaborate with this still relatively small startup and the kind of partnership as a result. Just few months ago, Quirky and GE announced the beginning of an innovative new partnership designed to give inventors unprecedented access to some of the world’s finest product technologies and resources.
The partnership consist of two parts. First, a platform where GE opens thousands of its most promising patents and technologies to the Quirky community for the development of new consumer products. And secondly, a co-branded initiative to build a full line of app-enabled devices for the home, revolutionizing fields such as health, security, water and air through GE’s advanced manufacturing tools and technologies. This new line of products will be co-branded “Wink: Instantly Connected”.
GE consummated the relationship with a $30 million investment in Quirky, part of a $79 million funding round that brings the startup’s total fundraising to about $170 million. GE acting as a strategic investor, the capital comes with the explicit plan to co-develop and launch 30 new connected device products.