7 Reasons to partner up with X-Culture
- The wisdom of crowds
Submit your business challenge and get creative solutions from thousands of bright young people from around the world, further perfected by experienced business professors and industry experts.
- Market expansion proposals
Ready to expand into new markets? 4,000 MBA/business students from 40+ countries on all 6 continents will search for the most promising markets for your product, develop your market entry strategy, and help you find local partners and retailers.
- Product promotion
Promote your company and products among hundreds of International Business professors and thousands of today’s students – tomorrow’s business leaders.
- Talent recruitment
Thousands of MBA/business students from some of the world’s best universities take part in X-Culture every semester; that’s only those who pass our demanding entry test. We continuously track their performance: from ability to work in teams and leadership skills, to creativity and diligence. You need the best? We can recommend you the very best, selected based on objective performance data no job interview or resume can ever provide.
- Employee training
Do your employees have to interact internationally? We can help with training in international teamwork, virtual collaboration tools, and dealing with cultural and time-zone differences.
- Market research
Need a focus group or help from experienced business analysts and scholars? We have both: a large international group of MBA/business students and a team of world’s leading academics.
- Making the world a better place
X-Culture is not a consulting company. We are very capable of solving complex business problems and providing effective international collaboration training. But we are on a bigger mission than just making a few bucks. Our partners not only reap great business benefits, but also help us make the world a better place by developing better evidence-based training programs for the global workforce.
What we expect in exchange
- X-Culture Webinar
The company CEO or other senior manager must be able to present the company at an X-Culture Webinar (one-hour live online conference). All you need is a computer, we will make all the necessary arrangements. A few hundred students from all around the world will be watching and asking questions.
- A company representative who is reasonably accessible
Once X-Culture students start working on your challenge, they will have questions. It is important that those questions be answered promptly. We keep a database of FAQs, so we will not bother you with repeat questions, but if a new question comes along, a knowledgeable person must be accessible to address it.
- Optional: After-market commission
Most partner companies who seek help with new market expansion strategies suggest that X-Culture students put their business proposals to a real-life test. Namely, students are offered to not only identify a new promising market and develop a market entry strategy, but actually prove that their proposal is viable one by finding a buyer for the product in that market. Many teams succeed at securing the first contract with either a buyer or a retailer in the new market. This way, the company knows there is really demand for its products in the proposed market and profits from the translation. Most companies offer a post-market commission (10-25% of the first contract), paid AFTER the company receives the money from the new client (you pay nothing until you get paid).
Should you hire professional consultants or X-Culture?
There will be always a place for professional business consultants. Yes, their fees are often unjustifiably high. But if you need help with a standard task that requires a particular kind of training and experience, such as preparing your company for an IPO or managing a merger or acquisition, professional consultants may be your best bet.
However, on some tasks crowds consistently outperform experts, while costing much less.
You can see the power of crowds when Wikipedia makes the 250-year-old Encyclopedia Britannica obsolete.
When Linux beats Microsoft and IBM in a number of software sectors.
When on Who Want’s to be Millionaire “ask the audience” gets the correct answer 94% of the time, but “call the expert” only 57%.
Research shows, these are the types of challenges that crowds are particularly good at:
Crowd-labor: The simplest and most popular crowd-sourcing model. Works best with simple projects that require the same operation repeated many times, especially when a fresh set of eyes is helpful (different people, in different locations, with different sets of knowledge, completing the same task but each focusing on different aspects of the problem).
Crowd-prediction: Also known as “crowd-averaging” or “crowd-voting”, this classic model relies on the proverbial “wisdom of crowds.” Each individual member of the crowd may not know the exact answer, but the majority vote or the crowd’s average prediction tends to be remarkably accurate, be it guessing the number of candies in a jar or predicting the results of an election.
Crowd-creation: A clever solution, an innovative design, a viral marketing gimmick – it’s all about creative ideas. There is a limit to how many new ideas is the most creative thinkers can generate. But when you have a huge diverse crowd, you have a virtually unlimited pool of new ideas. You can use professionals later to polish the best solution, but the crowd beats experts at generating the best initial ideas.
Crowd-outreach: Using a crowd to solve your problem is like sending thousands of ants to search for food. If there is something edible out there, one of them will stumble upon it. Serendipity is what makes crowd-sourcing successful. No one in the crowd is a genius who can solve any problem. It is all about finding the right person for solving your particular problem. If the crowd is large enough, someone is bound to know that little thing that leads to a genius solution or a business deal. This same person may not solve a different problem equally well, but knows something or someone uniquely instrumental for solving your particular problem, something or someone you don’t know and would have never come up with this genius solution on your own.
Crowd-funding: It’s a special case of crowd-sourcing. You ask the crowd not to solve your challenge, but to fund your idea. The crowd may simply give you the money if they support your cause, or invest in your startup for a share of your future profits. However, the most interesting part here is not the money, but how the crowd decides to allocate it. Projects that attract a large crowd willing to fund them tend to be very successful. If the crowd thinks you have an idea worthy an investment, it is likely a good idea. On the other hand, if the crowd, in its wisdom, ignores your call for funding, maybe you should look for a new idea.
The X-Culture crowd advantage
While there are many crowd-sourcing platforms out there, X-Culture has one huge advantage. With a few exceptions (e.g., The Netflix Prize, MATLAB Programming Contest), almost all crowd-sourcing platforms do not provide their crowd members with opportunities to interact. Thus, the best solution you get is the solution developed by the smartest member of the crowd. It’s usually better than a solution you could have developed on your own, but not good enough for us.
X-Culture takes is a bit step forward. We experiment with various crowd management models that allow crowd members to exchange ideas, learn from one another, build upon one another’s ideas. This way, the final solution is better than any single member of the crowd could have ever developed on his or her own. This collaborative competition results in solution that even the smartest member of the crown would have not developed working individually.
Watch this TEDx Talk on our experiments with crowd-sourcing models and their roles in the future the business consulting industry.
Partnership Levels and Fees
LEVEL 1: Student reports + Analytic integration
Students from around the world work on the challenge.
Trainer experts from the X-Culture team are monitoring student progress and provide feedback on their weekly deliverables to ensure quality of the end product.
The client company receives weekly analytic summaries that include a list of key ideas and recommendations.
At the end of the project, the client receives copies of all student reports,
as well as a professionally prepared final Analytic Executive Summary that integrates all key numbers, figures, ideas, recommendations, and research findings in an easy-to-read singe document.
Additionally, Level 1 partnership is an opportunity to promote your products, recruit talent, and enhance your company’s public image.
LEVEL 2: Professional Reinforcement
The purpose of Level 1 is to conduct the initial research and generate ideas.
The most promising ideas from Level 1 are further developed by a professional team of business professors and experienced consultants.
Depending on the type of the challenge, the Level 2 end product could a professional-grade report, business solution, market-entry strategy, product design, analytic research, or other requested deliverable.
LEVEL 3: Implementation
The business strategy/solution developed at Level 2 is implemented by a professional consulting team comprised of X-Culture experts, and if needed, our external associates and partners.
Hiring a class of business students to work on your project is not cheap. Most business schools charge $5,000 to $30,000 for a class of MBA students of up to 100 people.
It makes sense: once these people get their BS and MBA degrees, they will cost a lot more to hire.
X-Culture offers a number of advantages over a regular class of students:
- Thousands, not dozens or hundreds bright young professionals
- A highly diverse crowd to ensure a greater variety of ideas
- A geographically dispersed crowd to ensure access to local knowledge anywhere on the planet.
Suggested pricing for one semester of Level 1 partnership:
- Large company: $10,000
- Small/medium company: $5,000
- Startup: $1,000
The partnership fee can be reduced for companies from developing countries or companies with a particularly interesting challenge.
Level 2 and Level 3 partnership fee set individually depending on the complexity of the case.