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Samantha and Joan Álvarez recently launched a new crowdsourcing initiative in Spain, targeting Spanish and Spanish-speaking individuals and entrepreneurs. Solucioneo aims to connect companies and organizations (“finders”) to “solvers” – skilled individuals looking to undertake new projects.
The brother-sister team first decided to create the platform to help the economic situation in Spain and because of their entrepreneurial spirit.
“We began to develop our business plan, and when we were looking at the competition in Spain, we saw that there were only two other platforms with the same concept,” Samantha told Crowdsourcing.org. “These two only focused on crowd creativity, however. We decided to fill the niche market for open innovation and crowdsourcing labor in Spain.”
Solucioneo is the first platform in Spain that allows companies to post requests for proposals for free, putting them in touch directly with professionals. The platform focuses specifically on projects in eight fields: “startup and enterpreneurship, sales, customer management, engineering, research, design and creation, social media, and marketing.” The finders fill out a form that describes the project and their expectations, as well as the deadline for submitting proposals, the payment for services, and other incentives (the possibility of working together in the future, for example). They can choose to leave a project up for 15 or 30 days, waiting for the solvers to submit their proposals. At the end of this time period, the finders select the individual who puts together the most appealing proposal, or withdraw the competition.
The founders hope that their platform will help to increase innovation in Spain’s businesses. “Companies in Spain are trapped in business models and methodologies that do not allow them to compete in international and globalized markets. Innovation here is very poor,” Samantha explained. “We have reduced the number of barriers companies who want to be more innovative face. We believe that with some time and a strong effort, we can democratize this new methodology of becoming more innovative and getting business solutions.”
Crowdsourcing and open innovation are not yet very popular in Spain, but the number of initiatives is growing. In a country with high unemployment that looks unlikely to abate any time soon, any platform that makes it easier to connect job seekers and potential employers is likely to draw attention.
“We think that this project can help reduce unemployment in Spain. It’s a good way of improving the competitiveness of our companies,” Samantha said. “It’s a also good way to find new clients and to develop the professional talents of the people here. We believe in people and their ability to effect change. Maybe we are dreamers, but we are sure that to overcome the global financial crisis, we need a way to develop innovation and the creativity of the people.”
Those intrigued by the platform and its founders’ optimistic vision may soon be able to post their own requests for proposal on Solucioneo. The Álvarezes hope to launch the platform in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America in the near future.