Looking for help with IBM Cognitive Build?

 Learn more about each stage of the process, starting with team building and an agile sprint, on to crowdfunding and the Outthink Challenge.

Have a great idea that will change the business?

Click Submit and get it out there for others to discover. Attract investors through the story you tell.

 

See great ideas you want to support and fund?

Click Invest to sign up as an investor, and receive an allowance to invest in any project you want.

General

Preparing Projects For Publication

  • How do I submit my project to ifundIT?

    Your project draft will automatically move into ifundIT from the Cognitive Build after your project is approved and sprints are complete. When your project draft is in ifundIT, you will see it on the home page after you log in and you have until March 24 to make edits and publish your project before funding begins.

    You must publish your project for it to be available for funding. Once your project is published, you will not be able to make additional edits.

  • What information can be edited once my project is in ifundIT?

    You can make edits to any part of your project except for your team member list. You are required to add an image, your team biography, and you have the option to add a video to help tell your story, which is highly recommended! The history of what your project contained when it initially moved into ifundIT can be found in the Additional Information section of your project page.

    Once your project is published for funding, you cannot make any more edits in ifundIT.

  • Am I required to include an image in my project?

    Yes. We require that you include an image before publication so your project has a unique visual icon.

    Your image must be 200K or smaller. An image can be a JPG, BMP, or PNG file of a photo, drawing, formal or informal graphic, screenshot, slide, etc. If you are not using your own imagery, please use royalty free, non-licensed, business appropriate imagery from sites such as http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/.

  • Am I required to include a video in my project proposal?

    No, but we recommend that you add one to promote your idea to investors. Videos are fun, engaging, and nice to have to help tell your story. Be creative and use it as a way to pitch your idea to the crowd! Videos are limited to 300 MB and 3 minutes in length – so plan accordingly! Note that if your video goes over the duration limit, the content in the video may get cut off at the end.

    Check out these demos on how to easily make a video.

    For the best experience, we recommend using the following video formats: FLV, MP4, M4V, and MP3 (for audio).You can also use MOV (Quicktime), YouTube video URLs, and others. We do not recommend using Windows Media video formats WMV or AVI.
    Note that if your video goes over the duration limit, the content in the video may get cut off at the end.

  • How do I make my video accessible?

    To make your video accessible, include a link to a transcript of your video in the Updates section of your project page. Use the free captioning tool http://cordelia.democentral.ibm.com/cesweb/ to create the captions.

  • Who has ownership responsibility for my project?

    Your team does, of course! We’re just here to help make your dreams come true. It’s your project idea, so we expect you to be actively engaged in the entire process, from the moment you publish your project, through funding, and at the Cognitive Build: Outthink Challenge if the crowd funds your project.

    Note that investors do not gain ownership by investing in your project.

Raising Funds

  • How much funding do I need to raise to move to the next phase?

    There is no target goal for projects to reach. At the end of the campaign, many teams will move on to an Outthink Challenge.

    Global finalists will move to the May 2/3 Challenge.

    • Finalists with the most overall funding in ifundIT
    • Finalists from path 1 of the Build: Creating new Cognitive app for clients
    • Finalists from path 2 of the Build: Adding cognition to an existing IBM product or service
    • Finalists from path 3 of the Build: Transforming an IBM business process

    And many more teams will move on to local IMT and business or industry Outthink Challenges.

    So fund wisely - those funding values will determine placement for the “Launch" phase of the Build!

  • How long do I have to raise the funds?

    Funding begins on March 25 and ends on April 8.

  • How can investors find my project?

    Investors and any other employee can find your project through search and through the sorting and filtering options available in ifundIT. Be sure to promote your project to get visibility and support from as many people as possible.

  • How should I promote my project to investors?

    Great question! It is up to you to showcase your brilliant idea and convince investors that your project should be funded and built. The more activity and attention you can get on your project, the more likely it will get noticed by investors and funded. However, you should only post project information where appropriate, and you must have permission to post in communities that you don't own.

    Ask your network for support through project likes and follows. Share your project through company collaboration tools, such as IBM Connections. Schedule a project pitch session or demo, so people can hear you talk about how your project will help bring us into the Cognitive Era. Remember, anyone in IBM can become an investor if they have logged in to Cognitive Build or completed Advancing Cognitive Build learning on Think Academy.

    Do NOT send mass emails or Sametime chats to groups of people that you don’t know. Your audience may regard these as spam and could jeopardize support for your project.
    Do NOT post solicitations for your project in the Comments section of other projects.
    See more tips on how to promote your project the right way.

Investing in Projects

  • What does it mean to be an investor?

    Investors are the decision makers on what gets funded and built out of the program. As an investor, you are given a set amount of money to invest in new project ideas that have been published. You determine how much money to invest in which projects. The goal is to pledge support to the ones that you want to become reality.

    As an investor, it is important that you are selective in your funding decisions. It is up to you to determine how much a project is worth when allocating your money between projects. This is YOUR chance to make a difference and help move an impactful project forward.Your name will be attached to the project as someone who saw business value and benefit in the idea.

  • Who can be an investor?

    Any IBMer who has logged in to Cognitive Build or completed Advancing Cognitive Build learning on Think Academy will automatically receive funds to invest in projects.
    Note that it may take up to 30 minutes before money is allocated to your account. You will receive an email notification when you can start investing.

  • How much money can I invest in a project?

    As an investor, you will be given $2000 to invest in projects that you find valuable. The maximum amount you can spend per project is $1000, the minimum is $1. Think carefully about how to allocate your funds. It is up to you to decide how much a project is worth, and your investment decisions will help determine which projects move to the Cognitive Build: Outthink Challenge!

    Note: If you are an ifundIT investor and a project owner or team member you cannot invest in your own project - as such the Invest in this project option will not be available on your own project.

  • How quickly do I have to spend the money?

    The crowdfunding phase of Cognitive Build only lasts fifteen calendar days, so we highly encourage you to invest your funds in a timely manner! Innovators have until April 8 to raise funds for their projects, so if you see a project you want to support don't wait to invest. When the campaign closes for investing, any leftover money you have in your profile will be taken away.

  • While considering what to invest in, how can I save projects as favorites?

    If you see a project that you like and want to go back to at a later time, use the Like feature on the project page to mark it as a favorite. Any project that you “like” will appear in the Liked view in your ifundIT profile.

  • Is there a way I can track how much money I have spent?

    Yes! When you are logged in, you are recognized as an investor and you will see how much money you have spent on which projects, and how much you have left right on the home page. You can also access this information in your ifundIT profile.

  • Can I contribute my own money?

    No, sorry. This is an internal business program that only uses allocated program funds for employees to invest in new innovations.

    In addition, If you are an ifundIT investor and a project owner or team member you cannot invest in your own project - as such the Invest in this project option will not be available on your own project.

  • Can I use the money for something else?

    No, sorry. The money we are giving you can only be used to support and build projects in this program.

  • Do I get ownership or equity in the projects I fund?

    No. Some projects that are funded may go on to make money for the company, but as an investor you are supporting projects to help them come to life, not to financially profit.

  • If I invest in a project, can I change my mind and reclaim my money?

    No, sorry. You cannot reclaim your investments, and investment dollars cannot be moved from one project to another. You will only get funds back if a project is withdrawn during the funding process.

Outthink Challenge and Beyond

  • How are projects selected to move on to the Outthink Challenge?

    There is no target dollar threshold for projects to reach in ifundIT. At the end of the campaign, many teams will move on to an Outthink Challenge - either globally or locally.

    Global finalists will move on to the May 2/3 Challenge.

    • Finalists with the most overall funding in ifundIT
    • Finalists from path 1 of the Build: Creating new Cognitive app for clients
    • Finalists from path 2 of the Build: Adding cognition to an existing IBM product or service
    • Finalists from path 3 of the Build: Transforming an IBM business process

    The Cognitive Coaches have created an additional category to recognize -- and help bring to life -- ideas with the potential for strong business impact. They selected ideas based on their potential for immediate impact to IBM’s core business, alignment with a key IBM Industry and well documented design indicative of being ready to be built into a working prototype. These ideas were not based on the funding levels in the Invest phase.

  • How will I learn if my team is one of the teams selected for the global Outthink Challenge?

    All teams selected to move on to the global Outthink Challenge will be notified and announced on April 12th.

    Many more teams will move on to local IMT Outthink Challenges and will be notified after April 12th.

  • How will the global Outthink Challenge work?

    If your idea is selected for the global Outthink Challenge, you will first have some time for prototyping your solution (we will give you tools and additional resources, if needed). The winners will be announced April 12, so you'll have three weeks for creating your prototype. This part of the challenge will be virtual.

    Following the prototype, there will be an in-person demo to IBM executives. The venue is TBD. A maximum of two members from each team will travel to the demo and pitch in person.

  • If my project is selected for the global Outthink challenge, will I need to travel?

    If your project is selected, two members of your team will travel to the demo site to demo your prototype to IBM executives, with the top prototypes shown to Ginni.

  • What is a local Outthink Challenge?

    A local Outthink Challenge is an IMT-, industry- or function-led event designed to give more than just our finalists an opportunity for further development and investment. Local Outthink Challenges are planned in locations around the world, and virtually.

  • How will I know if my team has been selected for a local Outthink Challenge?

    Teams will be notified shortly after global results are released on April 12th.

  • How will a local Outthink Challenge work?

    Modeled after the global Outthink Challenge, a local Outthink Challenge is held in two phases. The first, to be held in April, has the top 12 funded local teams (representing all three paths) pitch their ideas to a local panel of executive and technical leaders. The panel determines the top three finalists who will progress their ideas and build a prototype to present and demonstrate during Phase 2 to be held by May 31. The Phase 2 panelists will have an opportunity to invest in these ideas to bring them to the next level of development.

  • If my team makes it through an Outthink Challenge, do we continue the work ourselves or pass it on to some other team to make into a product/public service?

    That depends on your idea, your skills, and on whether an executive inside or outside your department picks up the project. So it will vary on a case-by-case basis.

  • If I’m not able to get funding as part of the global or local Outthink Challenges, how do I move my idea forward?

    You can start building your idea using a variety of free Do-it-Yourself tools, including Bluemix, Github and Watson Developer Cloud. To build out a full solution, consider finding a sponsor to back you with the more extensive tools and resources that you’ll need. Teams – and executive sponsors – can find out more on Think Academy’s Don’t stop now. Keep Building a Cognitive IBM.

    If you are seeking a sponsor, consider refining your idea first. IBM’s Intrapreneurship@IBM community can help you clearly shape and share the value of your idea to convince a sponsor to support your team with more resources. The site has detailed information that can help you bring your idea to reality.

  • I noticed other teams had similar ideas to mine. How can we proceed even if our teams aren’t selected for an Outthink Challenge?

    There are many projects that are similar or very complimentary to each other. Reach out to the other team members and consider working together – you might gain additional contacts, expertise, resources and exposure.


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