“Sometimes you have to suspend reality in order to understand new possibilities.”
Simon started his career at IBM in New York working on cyber-security projects that opened up his perspective on how emerging technologies disrupt old industries. He invented a security patent that is licensed to IBM which helped him understand how the traditional ‘closed’ innovation process works in large enterprises.
During his MBA at London Business School he founded a crowdsourcing platform business that used open innovation competitions to solve R&D challenges for enterprises like BAE Systems, HP and Barclays and government entities (EU Commission, Pentagon, MI6). Having grown his startup into Europe’s largest Open-Innovation platform for technology challenges his firm was successfully acquired by InnoCentive in the USA.
After that Simon founded Zyncd in Germany, which is using artificial intelligence (AI) to better assess the skills of workers based on their digital footprints. Zyncd was acquired by the US firm Capacity in July 2017.
He serves as the UK Director of the innovation strategy consultancy ECSI and sits on the Board of the UK startup Language on Stage, which teaches foreign languages using theatre methods.
Simon writes regular articles in Harvard Business Review and VentureBeat on how companies will have to ready themselves for the arrival of AI.