New Crowdsourcing Platform Targets Operations Side of Engineering
Ilan Mester posted on July 17, 2015 |
Ennomotive connects companies with engineers of various disciplines from around the world.
Source: Ennomotive
Source: Ennomotive

Crowdsourcing platforms are a dime a dozen, but one such website is doing something a little different. Meet Spain-based Ennomotive, a crowdsourcing startup that targets a specific sector within a specific industry: engineering operations.

“There are obviously other crowdsourcing players in the market,” admits Ennomotive CEO Enrique Ramirez. “I think we are the first crowdsourcing player for engineering operations – not for product design, not for Pharma or Big Data. We do not do that. We are really operations and programs.”

Ramirez is no stranger to the world of engineering operations. He’s an industrial engineer by education who spent 15 years with Accenture, where he became a senior manager of strategy and operations. He’s also held senior roles in PwC Consulting, among other organizations.

“Companies have their issues that are difficult to solve in their operations, in terms of manufacturing automaton, in terms of rapid prototyping, in terms of complex logistics and so on and so forth,” he says. “And it is difficult for those companies to reach quality talent. In fact, I have been helping many companies solve those issues, but I have seen that it is difficult.”

Ramirez wanted to find a simpler way to help companies with their operations issues. “I was thinking; can we try to find a leaner process, you know, a faster process in order to connect companies to the right knowledge, to the right experience – probably from other industries where they are not operating?” he shares. “And then trying to connect and reuse, for example, the knowledge that has been used elsewhere in order to solve similar problems and try to do that quite fast and quite efficiently from a customer perspective.”

That’s essentially how Ennomotive was born. The company launched at the end of January of 2015. So far, the website has successfully launched 10 challenges. One such contest involved finding a solution for how to protect 1 million cars against hail, which attracted 34 participants from around the world.

Other challenges include: rapid prototyping for AI-LI parts, optimizing the maritime transportation of wind turbine blades and how to improve water recovery and energy efficiency procedures in the manufacturing industry.

So how exactly does Ennomotive work? It’s relatively simple: companies post their issues – mainly operational problems they want to solve – as a new contest/tournament. A community of engineers who have signed up for Ennomotive then decide if they want to take on the challenge. The company assesses the submissions and selects a winner, who receives a prize (typically cash) and occasionally a job offer as well. 

“We open the opportunities with the companies, then we help them describe the problems – the challenges, then we post the challenges into our platform and then we animate the participation,” adds Ramirez. “We have a community of more than 1,500 contributors from more than 50 countries. It’s small compared to other communities, but we’re just starting.”

The CEO stresses that it’s crucial to allow engineers from various sectors and industries to collaborate.  

“This is one of the things that I have learned during the 20 years [I’ve worked in the industry],” says Ramirez. “We can bring a lot of innovations, a lot of solutions, from one industry to another and this is one of our key strengths, that we have no boundaries in terms of industry. Because otherwise, if you go to a company, well the company is obviously working with suppliers, consulting firms and so on and so forth. In principle, those suppliers are working in that industry. So this model opens completely the boundaries not only from a global standpoint, but also from an industry standpoint.”

Ennomotive has only been around for six months. While the startup is focussing on helping European companies at the moment, it hopes to expand rapidly over the next year into other regions. “We are looking to create something that brings value to everyone, where everyone can connect and can win,” says Ramirez. “Whether that’s money, increase visibility, or enter a new career path, so on and so forth.”

For more information about Ennomotive, visit the company’s website at ennomotive.com

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