Solverboard shortlisted for Innovation Award

by Aaron Slater, on 19 Nov 2021 3 min read


Solverboard has been recognised as one of the most innovative businesses in the region by the Tech South West Awards.

Our team is proud to have been shortlisted for the Tech South West Innovation Award, which is for ‘individuals and organisations leading the field when it comes to innovation, be that in product or service development, new collaboration, new technologies developed, solutions delivered, markets reached or problems solved.’

The South West is committed to creating a sustainable future and becoming carbon neutral. To achieve this innovation is no longer an option, it is a necessity. Solving global challenges set out by the sustainable development goals is the biggest task of our generation. SDG-related market opportunities are forecast to be worth 12 trillion a year by 2030, and will generate at least 380 million jobs. Yet most businesses are not ready to seize the opportunities this creates. In fact, more than 90% of all innovation projects fail, costing trillions.

Our award entry focused on how Solverboard has been built to solve these challenges. While developing the platform, we spoke to more than 100 enterprise innovation professionals to try and understand why this was happening. 

Through these interviews, we identified three root causes of innovation failure. 

  • Lack of methodology: Innovation processes are inconsistent and poorly defined.
  • Lack of measurement: Because innovation isn’t properly defined, it’s also hard to measure.
  • Lack of alignment: This lack of consistency and measurement means that innovation isn’t seen as integral to the day-to-day business.

Solverboard solves these problems by providing:

  • A proven methodology
  • Metrics and dashboards
  • Total strategic alignment

Originally launched as an idea management platform in 2016, we realised that the platform was only scratching the surface of what businesses really needed to innovate. The new iteration of the platform, which went live in 2021, has been developed to give innovators a framework and the tools they need to overcome their key innovation blockers.

Our co-founder, Phil Atherton, explains: “We wanted Solverboard to be a tool specifically for the innovation and change leaders who will be tasked with creating long-term, sustainable change in their industries. Look at the stats from people like McKinsey and you’ll see broad examples that innovation isn’t working, But we wanted to know why. Through our research, we found common blockers to innovation that were mentioned again and again. We had some time out as a team and looked in-depth at the challenges and we made the decision to go all in and develop the solution they actually needed.”

Another Solverboard co-founder, Charlie Widdows, has also played an integral role in building the South West’s first networking community dedicated to innovation – the Bristol Innovators’ Group (BIG). The group has grown rapidly from 40 to more than 500 members since its first meet up in November 2019. BIG brings innovators together to connect, learn and do and has helped to tackle digital exclusion, developed Bristol’s first Future of Work hub, and organised the first Innovation Careers Expo.

Charlie says: “Collaboration is one of the keys to successful innovation. As well as creating BIG, we’re also looking to celebrate the everyday innovators through our Standing Ovation campaign. Anyone can nominate an innovator for an award, and those nominated can nominate their heroes and so on. Ultimately, though, we must use these opportunities to become more sustainable and change how the world works. If we get it right, everyone wins.”

Solverboard has been shortlisted for the award alongside leading innovators ARC Marine, Codices, Encortec and Nanusens.

The winners of the Tech South West Awards will be announced on Thursday 25 November 2021.

Topics:Solverboard News