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Otlet [SMART 100, 2017]

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This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

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1. THE BEGINNING

This innovation initially came to life when…

Biological samples that would have provided groundbreaking evidence for one of our research projects were thrown in the rubbish bin. Otlets founders are two shark researchers, who were tired of searching for samples through cold calling emails and chance encounters at conferences. Over a few conference wines, Lauren and I talked about how we could create a tool that lets all researchers know who has what samples. We wanted to reduce the amount of sample wastage that currently occurs and also enable and encourage collaborative efforts in science using technology.

2. WHAT & HOW

The purpose of this innovation is to…

Make it easier for researchers to locate samples, undertake high quality research and collaborate at the global scale.

It does this by…

Otlet provides a platform for researchers to share, submit and request tissues from all plants and animals globally. Think of us as the GumTree for researchers, where samples are uploaded, easily searched and then request for scientific studies. We reduce costs for researchers all the while increasing the quality of their research project and enable world-class discoveries to be made.

3. PURPOSE & BENEFITS

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

Allowing researchers to source and share tissue samples more easily than before means we are accelerating our knowledge of the natural world around us. Researchers are able to publish more scientific articles (our monopoly), spend research time and money more wisely and also enable institutions to take on more students. Using technology to make scientists more efficient and collaborative means everybody wins. It is with a greater depth of knowledge we can better understand, manage and protect the natural world.

4. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

In the past, this problem was solved by…

Currently emails, pre-existing networks and conferences are the only methods for researchers to find out who has what samples. There is no single platform that allows the community of researchers to connect and share what biological information they may have available. Samples are scientist’s bread and butter, without them no new knowledge of the natural world can be attained.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

In the not-for-profit space there are a few online collection databases. Including the Mediterranean marine mammal tissue bank, the Living Atlas of Australia and the Scripps Institute Marine Vertebrate database. These are all national or regional tissue banks.

5. TARGET MARKET

It is made for…

The Otlet database is made for researchers and scientists from universities, government agencies, private consulting companies and also collection institutions like museums. Globally there are 7 million researchers, over 20,000 academic institutions that focus on biological research and another 10,000 natural museums that store biological samples available for research projects. The database isn’t open to the public given requirements for ethics when collecting scientific specimens, however we hope in the future to provide an open platform aspect to enable citizen science.

It is available for sale through…

Similar to journal publications, academic institutions and universities are charged a subscription fee so their staff can gain access to the database.

Our marketing strategy is to…

We are planning to diversify our revenue by offering sponsorship models to advertisers in 8-10 different verticals related to science. Further, given the founders are two researchers themselves Otlet has gained traction and support from the scientific community and a number of prestigious academic institutions. Marketing to scientists is made possible by creating legitimacy through academic partnerships and sponsorship.

FINE PRINT: This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

Maven Judge Vote: Otlets – Smart 100 2017
(Please note – The form below is for judging purposes only and is restricted to the public)

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