Brief 4: Open Brief – Disruptive Innovation

Area of Interest

An Open Brief for Disruptive Innovation


Disruptive solutions, technology that allows more efficient use of resources, market changing ideas, education, energy, human behaviour, environmental impact, employment, supply chains, digital identity, knowledge supply chains, knowledge factories, new workflows, service platforms, consumer products.


To create new products and services to improve peoples lives and leave the world slightly better than we found it. “To improve everything before us.”

The Problem

If you have been working on a solution to a problem that you feel is important, and you feel we can help. Please, by all means get in touch with us. However, something that helps considerably, is if you can convey the nature of your problem clearly. This may mean providing access to research or other evidence to support your view. But, even better than that, is if you can provide ‘expert witnesses’ for us to contact and speak with. Expert witnesses are an independent person, who is a specialist in the field you work in, who can validate the problem you are trying to solve.

Type of Ventures

If you have (or are working on) a solution in this space we’d love to hear from you. We believe that big challenges like this are solved though collaboration and partnership; and there is value in contributing clear thinking and working with others towards a common goal. What we are looking for is:

  • Things that measure and help change human behaviours
  • Highly disruptive businesses (see the criteria about this below)
  • New thinking about circular economy
  • Improvements in clean energy solutions
  • Changes in behaviour which improve health
  • Anything with a positive environmental impact
  • Anything that improves access or standards of education
  • Products that provide positive impact for local communities or isolated communities
  • Innovation in platforms for employment and work
  • Technology solutions for global supply chains
  • Improvements in how digital identity solutions can be leveraged by individuals, organisations, and governments
  • Anything to do with Knowledge Supply Chains, conversion of Knowledge Assets or Knowledge Factories
  • New workflows which improve the use of resources
  • Platforms which help convert assets to services
  • Consumer products with a service component related to any of the above

Another point of reference is to look at ventures we have previously supported in our portfolio.

Types of Ventures we Can’t Help

‘Big science’ ventures

Projects with a research phase of more than £25,000 and/or 6 months

I.e We can’t help support university projects working on research for improving Cold Fusion.

In this example, the cost to reach success is way beyond the typical level of investment available. Time to impact is too long (or unknown), and the total cost of the project is far too high. This relates to our Initial Evaluation Criteria which is discussed in more detail below.

Initial Evaluation Criteria

The initial criteria we will use for establishing if your venture is a good fit for the brief is about the potential disruption your venture could create. For example: Does you venture fundamentally change the way resources are used?

To measure disruption we assess the following questions:

  1. What is the probability that this is highly disruptive?
  2. What is the size of the impact expected?
  3. What is the length of time required to create the disruption?
  4. How much money is required to create the impact?
  5. What are the barriers to creating the desired change?
  6. How long will the impact last once its achieved?

Target Markets

Our specific interest is in how you plan to reach your target market. The activity you do, and how you allocate resources to get your first 10 customers, is going to be very different from how you get to 100 or 1000 customers. We are interest to see that you have through through your Route To Market, and you have specific plans to evolve over time as you grow.


Ventures may apply at any given time during the Application stage. Applications that are received after the cut off date of midnight on 31 March 2019 (GMT) will be considered for the 2019 Cohort 2 activity scheduled for the second half of the year. Please see the full timetable.

Applications may be submitted by completing the following application form, or by emailing us on:

What’s on Offer?

Genesys provides Ventures with an 21 month incubation programme including matching to investors.

Investments of £150,000 for 10-15% equity are typically made in stages throughout the programme.

(Learn more)

Discussion & Clarification

If you have any points that you would like to clarify, or if you would like to ask a question about this brief please do so in the comments section below.

Similarly, please can we encourage anyone reading this brief to contribute your thoughts and knowledge on this topic. Specifically, if you have come across good thinking, research, or innovative products in this area then please will you be kind enough to post a link into the comments below. This will help everyone involved to develop an understanding of where the ‘edges’ of this growing area are. Thank you…


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