e-Collaborate is a playground for scientists, techies, academics, and even large organizations to collaborate. Semantic web technologies are used to create intelligent ontologies that allow like-minded individuals to find each other quickly and efficiently. Basic collaboration tools and a searchable knowledgebase (with mash-ups connecting publicly available data sources) are available at basic (no cost) and premium (subscriber fee) levels. A collaboration infrastructure (SaaS) is also available for premium (larger) customers to use with outsourced resources and third-party collaborators (including Contract Research Organizations). Finally, the site provides an infrastructure for organizations or individuals to post an intellectual challenge/problem and offer a monetary award for information leading to the answer.
Example use cases:
An academic mathematician in NY is researching Partial Differential Equations and its applicability to data mining applications. He is looking for a collaborator in the engineering field. (Solution: Free collaboration tools)
A pharmaceutical researcher wants to brainstorm with other experts about possible drug targets for Parkinson's Disease. (Solution: Premium collaboration tools)
A small software company in California needs an infrastructure to collaborate with their outsourced programming team in India. (Solution: SaaS)
Company X wants to know if anyone has tackled a technical problem it is facing. (Solution: Knowledgebase and premium collaboration tools). Company X finds out that no one has tackled this problem, posts it to e-collaborate, and opens up the bidding for experts around the world to offer their expertise in exchange for a monetary award.
- Mary Beth Walsh - Co-Founder. Currently a Senior Product Manager at Symyx Technologies, responsible for design, management, and implementation of enterprise software used by R&D organizations in the consumer products/pharmaceutical/biotech/petroleum/plastics industries. Graduated from Yale University in 2001 with a M.S. in Biophysical Chemistry and is current MBA student at Babson College.
- Matthew Weiss - Co-Founder. Currently a Senior Research Scientist at Amgen. Graduated from Yale University with a PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2001.
-Free service gives users access to basic information in the ontology, as well as limited netowrking
-One-time transactions - commission fee paid to Let's Collaborate based on award paid to expert
-Premium service (monthly subscription fee for individuals; site wide subscription for larger organizations; discount pricing for students and academics)
-SaaS - dedicated service and secure login for collaboration interface (competitor to Sharepoint)
- Provides unique service: High value technical information coupled with networking tools to find the right experts
- Individuals and large companies are already doing this, but no central "hub" is available today (unmet need!)
- Demand will increase as the globalization and outsourcing trends increase.
- Web 2.0 technologies and technical ontologies create high value and high barrier to entry.
- Due to limited resources in developing countries, SaaS is an ideal model for an outsourced collaboration infrastructure.