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  • Great Companies

Scott Sharp , CEO at Leading Edge Only





Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?


Scott Sharp: There is a global issue for innovative start-ups to tell the world they exist

because the vast majority simply do not have the cash or resources to promote their

solutions and technologies.


Likewise, corporations seeking innovations find it expensive and time consuming to locate

start-ups that are developing relevant solutions to their business.


For example, a major oil company I was in conversations with, told me they knew there was

an innovator developing a solution somewhere in the world that they were interested in,

the problem was they didn’t know where they were, and the innovator didn’t know they

were looking.


I set out to build a Global Innovation Marketplace where innovation seekers could connect

with innovation providers.


Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Leading Edge Only?


Scott Sharp: Today, Leading Edge Only (LEO) is the world’s largest Global Innovation

Marketplace. Thousands of innovators and hundreds of universities promote their innovations, technologies and solutions on the LEO Marketplace for free.


Hundreds of corporates then use the marketplace to connect directly to these innovators. Simply by clicking a button. We’re essentially an innovation match making agency!





Great Companies: What makes Leading Edge Only different from hundreds of other similar service providers?


Scott Sharp: There are currently no other companies that offer a comparable service to

Leading Edge Only. There are consultancies researching on behalf of their clients and

charging accordingly, however, these companies do not provide an innovation marketplace

that is affordable for every size of organisation.


Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?


Scott Sharp: LEO is a double-sided platform. Double-sided platforms need “suppliers” and

“customers”. In the early days we struggled to get innovators (suppliers) to put their

innovations on a platform because corporates (customers) would not use the platform

because there were no innovators. And innovators would not add their solutions because

there were no corporates.


Therefore, I had to beg and borrow 29 innovations to get the ball rolling. Today we have

30,000 innovations, 600 universities and over 200 of the world’s largest corporations, such

as IBM, Fujitsu and Shell using the platform.


Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Leading Edge Only?


Scott Sharp: Our goal is to make Leading Edge Only the one-stop-shop for innovators to

promote their technologies and for corporates to find the solutions they seek.


Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?


Scott Sharp: Halve your sales forecast, double your planned expenditure, have absolute and utter strict cash control, but most importantly, employ the right people.


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