My team recently completed an analysis of Chicago’s most innovative companies in 2011 for Crain’s. It was non-trivial to tease out exactly which companies should be considered – those with Chicago headquarters, even if innovation was somewhere else, those with headquarters elsewhere but innovation in Chicago, small, big, etc.
Once we had the list, we utilized our Ocean Tomo PatentRatings® enterprise software system to find how many patents they had, and to assign IPQ® (patent quality) scores to each patent. The list of highest quality patent owners in 2011 slowly emerged, and we checked and rechecked to make sure we were capturing the essence: Most Innovative Chicago Companies for 2011.
Part of quality control was to go and check out whatever public information we could find on the companies that topped the list. And that’s where surprises kept coming. Big names, big businesses were somewhat expected. But we found so many gems, true innovation leaders, who’ve also leveraged their innovation to provide many jobs, create and lead markets, make real money. Many of them we didn’t know before.
And that’s the key value of projects like this – to shine a light on the gems, to recognize their inventiveness, and their hard work to convert that inventiveness into something real. Real for Chicago, and the country. In discovering them, we felt a sense of pride, for them, and to be their neighbors. We also felt a sense of our own accomplishment and contribution. We used what we know and what we have, to help Crain’s shine a spotlight on those gems. To find the ones who are truly applying themselves and making a measureable difference for all of us. Congratulations!