Using a startup scouting technology to check if your idea already exists

Everything in life sparks from ideas. From the entrepreneur having a Eureka! moment while having a shower, to the senior innovation manager implementing a change management program. The very moment an idea crosses your mind, you are the only or first person in the world to have it – or so you think, because dozens of others will have had it before you. No idea is really, completely new, as the result of collective, incremental thinking.
There is a theory on this effect: the Multiple Discovery concept, also referred to as Simultaneous Invention, assuming that most ideas, discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple people. By extension, having an idea means that someone else had it before.
However, ideas are protean and heterogenous, and their execution widely differ. This is where a background-check is useful. Not only to check if your idea is unique (hint: it is not), but also to discover how it was deployed elsewhere. At worst, you will change your mind; at best, you will get inspired from your peers and roll out your idea in a better way.
Novable can help here. Here’s how to check if your idea already exists or has already been deployed by a startup somewhere. Follow the guide. You can as well try our platform for free by signing up and put in practice the guide below!

1. Submit a new campaign

2. Select the campaign type

Choose the “Watch” or “Partner” type depending on the background type you want to check. If your idea is more generic, still vague or covering a wide area, select “Watch” and you will get a broader spectrum of results likely to inspire you, even if they don’t match your idea in full. If your idea is precise, surgical or has well-defined elements, choose “Partner” to get more spot-on results.

3. Write down your idea

Feel free to be long, even redundant, using synonyms or paraphrases. The more you submit in your briefing, the better your results will match. Pay attention to cover one idea only per briefing.

4. Identify topics

The Novable technology will process your input and identify topics. The topics thesaurus is built from the whole Novable contextual database. The platform will suggest you to add some topics to your idea description in order to relate it to some existing clusters. You can choose to select or not the suggested topics.

5. Identify idea components

An idea always encompasses different components, at least two. For example, the idea “create a fitness tracker for dogs” covers three components — called clusters: “Fitness”, “Tracker”, and “Dog”. Each of these clusters refers to a seething reality with hundreds of sub-topics (see below for “Fitness”). Obviously, a bad idea at first sight, who knows what can come through having pets tracking their evening walks?
Novable identifies the different clusters in your idea description, and evaluates their relative importance from your text. To have the best idea background check possible, you can adjust the clusters’ relative weighting using the 1–7 scale, and you can also remove topics from clusters.

6. And voilà!

You will receive instantly a “Golden Basket”: a ranked list of companies having the same idea than you, or taking a similar initiative likely to inspire you.

Novable is mostly used by innovation- and corporate development professionals to spot the most relevant startups and innovations out there, for monitoring purposes, trend landscaping, seeking new partnerships, purchasing innovative products or solutions, fixing some issues, investing in young and agile teams, or for M&A. On top of those common use cases, we are often surprised how creative our users can be. Background-checking ideas was not from us — the idea was brought to us by a customer. And this one, we guarantee you, no one had it before!

Try Novable for yourself

Do you have an idea and want to try it for yourself?
Startup scouting to check if your idea exists