Crowdsourcing — think Wikipedia, Kickstarter and other efforts to solicit good information and great ideas typically via online crowds — is at the heart of a new Wellesley-based company called Yegii.
I happened upon the startup recently at Babson College during a sort of coming out party for Yegii, which is led by Wellesley’s Trond Undheim, an MIT Sloan School of Management senior lecturer. The event featured speakers who have studied crowdsourcing or lived it, and these included a couple of Wellesley residents: Alan MacCormack, a Harvard Business School adjunct professor, and Kevin Redmond, a marketing executive with MMB in Boston.
The angel-funded Yegii “insight network” seeks to put those looking for answers to big questions in industries such as healthcare, finance and tech (example: what impact will bitcoin have on banks) with those who are subject matter experts. The idea is to give seekers of information the most valuable “knowledge assets” to turn them into experts, too. Those providing the expertise would get paid based on how much the information seeker offers in its challenge.
Crowdsourcing is “no longer for fringe freelance work,” Undheim says of Yegii, whose name comes from the Korean word for “talk” or “discussion”.
Undheim says the basic idea of creating a platform where people rate knowledge and collaborate to solve business challenges emerged over many years. “My Ph.D. was on knowledge management in the tech industry, and I am fascinated with how people perceive knowledge,” he says. “People want to share what they know know in a meaningful way.”
Yegii is currently a 5-person team, whose members work part time for the company. The startup also is tapping into talent at Babson and Wellesley College. Their offering is in beta testing with organizations such as National Grid and Santander and should be generally available by year-end.