Zazzle and The Open Innovation Challenge

by | Mar 17, 2012

Zazzle, in an effort to find, develop and nurture local manufacturing and entrepreneurism, today announced five finalists for its Million Dollar Open Innovation Challenge.

In association with MIT's Smart Customization Group and UC Berkeley's Center for Open Innovation, Zazzle created the challenge to encourage entrepreneurial manufacturers to embrace the growing consumer trend of real-time personalized manufacturing and mass customization.

"We were blown away by the volume and creativity of the applications for the Challenge," said Jeff Beaver, Zazzle co-founder and chief product officer. "I'd like to congratulate the five Finalists who rose to the top - we look forward to working with them to develop successful businesses that will provide innovative products to millions of customers around the world."

The Finalists are:

Republic Bike - Allows customers to pick, choose, swap and decide on designs for their bikes shaking up a familiar aesthetic and expectations of what a bike should look like.

Selve - Modernizes the luxury, made-to-measure European footwear experience, while adhering to old world manufacturing techniques and utilizing only the highest quality materials.

YouBar - Enables anyone to fully customize nutrition bars; including ingredients, portion sizes and packaging, addressing multiple needs and profiles.

DODOcase - Creates an extended line of iPad and Kindle cases and accessories to protect, preserve and honor beauty, art, craft and purpose, while helping to build local communities by supporting artisan manufacturing.

Designscape - Offers beautiful, unique, affordable and customizable accessories, products and home goods through sustainable materials, while applying a modern design sensibility.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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