Innovating with COVID-19

Episode Overview

This pandemic is one of the greatest challenges the global economy has faced - and clearly, the impact is going to be felt for years to come - but it’s also one of the best times to be bold, to experiment and put new ideas into practice, to look back at your company culture and change for the better.

The world is transforming. Business is shifting and things are moving much quicker than ever  before.

Diversity drives ideas, creative thinking, and innovation - and it's the confluence of both experts and non-experts around a problem that leads to the greatest breakthroughs. 

- Christian Cotichini, HeroX

In this episode, we are talking about how the entire world has mobilized itself to really deal with this pandemic, and how crowdsourcing platforms are stepping in and joining forces to create better solutions to all the challenges we’re facing. Listen in, and engage in the latest Coffee With Kal webinar; hear some amazing shares and strategies from four incredible leaders in innovation; Christian Cotichini – the co-founder and CEO of HeroX - and key partners; Clinton Bonner – VP at Topcoder; Frank Ricotta – CEO and Founder of BurstIQ; and Tim Silman – Senior Manager & Partnership Lead at XPRIZE.



In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How innovation in any field is born from the collaboration between experts and non-experts. (03:32)
  • What to do if you have an idea but you don’t know how to patent or license it. (10:21)
  • How TopCoder helps its community to execute their ideas faster and get to market quicker. (16:00)
  • What BurstIQ does to help people in big and small enterprises to innovate in their fields. (17:06)
  • The role XPRIZE plays in incentivizing innovations that solve the major challenges of humanity. (18:27)
  • The ways in which Topcoder, BurstIQ, XPRIZE, and HeroX are trying to raise resilience in dealing with network effects. (27:40)
  • How to move fast in an increasingly slow environment. (40:07)

Questions asked:

  • Participant a: How the idea of fail fast and iterate has impacted the new environment of today? (06:25)
  • Participant b: How has COVID affected each of your organizations? (21:33)
  • Participant c: When you, guys, forward-look to the new normal, how do you see that impacting each of your organizations and maybe even your view on the world? (44:54)

Join the Conversation:

Do you still have questions following the webinar? Join the conversation by navigating over to the COVID-19 Central Forum

Connect with our Panelists:

Connect with Christian Cotichini:

A lot of data in the COVID-19 scenario has been created through crowdsourcing. There's been a tremendous amount of work being done using crowdsourcing approaches to data acquisition, which is really cool! But data is how you really enable people to do powerful things. 

- Christian Cotichini, HeroX

Connect with Frank Ricotta:

We always thought that there was a huge gap between these pockets of researchers and COVID really highlighted the fact that, as a world, we don't really collaborate as much as we can, particularly in fighting a common enemy, such as COVID-19.

- Frank Ricotta, BurstIQ

Connect with Clinton Bonner:

It's not about the ideas - it's about the execution of going faster, getting to market a lot quicker. And that's the exponential nature of a crowd and what communities can really do. 

- Clinton Bonner, Topcoder

Connect with Tim Silman:

As we all have all become citizen scientists and quasi-experts to some extent on pandemics and their spread, how are we better prepared for a 'next time' and what can be built in capabilities and knowledge to facilitate that. 

- Tim Silman, XPRIZE

Explore HeroX Resources:


The Non-Expert Advantage
Are experts the be-all and end-all for ideation and innovation? As we’ve commonly seen throughout history, experts are not always the ones discovering the latest technologies and society-progressing inventions. So, what is more valuable, experts or non-experts? Let's find out
3 min read
Prize Challenges: Government’s Secret Weapon For Innovation
Prize challenges, according to, are a way for federal agencies to present problems to the public to solve in exchange for receiving awa…
3 min read
The Fundamentals of Innovation: How new invention ideas become reality
Why is understanding innovation important? Although companies are implementing many new invention ideas, most organizations are having trouble keepin…
9 min read