20th August 2013

Innovation from problem to pitch

Viv Alexander

Ever wondered  what happens before we launch a GeoVation Challenge?  Who decides how we focus the challenge? What really happens at GeoVation Camp and how are the winners decided?

We’ve uploaded a presentation which details the journey of the GeoVation Environment Challenge –  from discovering the problems to idea generation and pitching and selection of winners at GeoVation Camp;  ‘ Innovation from problem to pitch’  which you can see  below.

How can we help business improve their environmental performance from problem to pitch email version from Geovation

To start off we ran a  Problem PowWow in Bristol with people who have perspectives on the barriers that hinder businesses from improving their environmental performance.to ‘unpack’ the problems associated with the challenge.

Once we had ‘unpacked’ the insights and grouped these into themes, they could form the basis for the GeoVation Challenge which ran from 6 March to 1 May 2013. During this period  47 ideas were submitted to the GeoVation website  and the judging panel met to invite a shortlist to GeoVation Camp to develop the ideas further

Ten teams then took part in GeoVation camp over the weekend of 21 – 23 June 2013.  The camp had structured activities around the components of innovation using the summary equation for this which is


We believe that innovation is a product of finding the best problem, responding with an excellent solution and then executing it in order to scale it and make it viable from a business perspective. The ideas had been submitted to the GeoVation Challenge website in written form so we created activities that brought those ideas to life. At the same time, we wanted to challenge participants to ensure they really had thought about problems and were given an opportunity to build on their ideas.  Where possible, we also wanted them to prototype aspects of their thinking in order to demonstrate to the judges a degree of robustness.

We asked:  What is the problem you are trying to solve, and for whom? Why does it matter? Why has it not been ‘properly’ solved yet? What is the best alternative to your solution if you did nothing? What value will your solution deliver for the customer? How will you know that your solution actually works?  What might prevent your idea from being implemented? Where might the most significant costs lie? How will you scale and sustain your venture beyond early stage funding?

showing format for pecha kucha pitch

We introduced the pecha kucha style presentation format that the teams would use to pitch to the judging panel a   We gave them help and support to build on their ideas over the weekend with visualisation, process maps, pitch development, building prototypes, developing business model and discovering how best to use Ordnance Survey products and services.

supporting teams at GeoVation Camp

After the 10 teams had pitched and the judging panel went away to deliberate on the winning teams, we voted on our favourite idea to win the Community Award – and then had a paper aeroplane, throwing competition.

image showing light hearted fun at GeoVation Camp

The judges announced the winners of the GeoVation Challenge  to receive funding from Ordnance Survey to develop their ideas,  and gave feedback to all the teams that attended! So there you have it,  that’s how we help encourage innovation from problem to pitch!