UK-based startup brings innovation to 120 countries
Online platform, Leading Edge Only (LEO), connects global organisations with innovators across 120 countries. Taking on the role of corporate ‘matchmaker’, LEO’s core mission is to make innovation accessible and affordable to everyone.
LEO has expanded its impressive customer portfolio with the likes of Boots, Twinings and Marks & Spencer renewing their annual membership while new clients include outsourcing company Capita. The platform also supports mid-sized businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurs with their innovation goals.
Established in 2018 by Scott Sharp, LEO was set up to bridge a clearly identified gap in the market, a disconnect which Scott experienced first hand. Scott’s 20 years working worldwide in various corporate roles led him to discover that, whenever he went - there was one common theme; corporations did not know how or where to consistently find ‘innovation’.
This unique and fool-proof innovation network connects over 35 different sectors, popular verticals including retail, food and beverage, construction, sustainability and oil and gas with their pool of innovators. There has also been a substantial increase in university and public sector membership use of the platform.
Scott’s continued mission is to connect organisations of any size who have an increasing demand for innovation to those innovators presenting ideas that push boundaries or that can solve solutions. This mission not only includes the major corporations but extends to mid-sized businesses that need to be innovative to survive.
Frequent corporate users of the platform are those heading operations, innovations sourcing or R&D related positions. Managing directors and serial entrepreneurs of innovative companies are avid users too. Challenges are promoted on LEO’s website with a breakdown of what’s required and innovators can pitch their ideas in response. Everything is virtual.
Karl O’Donovan, Global R&D Director at Kerry Taste & Nutrition explained: “LEO has connected us with innovators that we will partner with to potentially launch new products. It has also expanded our network and connectivity to startups which we believe will help us in future.”
Scott Sharp, Founder of LEO explained: “Having an external influence and keeping up to date with the latest trends or technologies that can set ambitious leaders apart from competitors within their industry, is proving to be well-sought after.
"But it took a good few years before LEO became available to the market and that’s been a team effort. The entire process has been perfected to now make innovation affordable and accessible for everyone.
"With that firmly in place, LEO’s looking ahead to 2021. One key area of growth will be in partnerships. Partners can now use LEO to source innovations for their own clients. Alongside this, there is a big focus on supporting mid-sized and SME businesses with their innovation strategy and being one step ahead of the game in their innovation plans for the year.”
For innovators, each invention is vetted by LEO’s internal team before being published and made available to members. Best practices and recommendations on how to pitch or to apply for multiple challenges are just some of the added advantages that members can benefit from when joining the network.