Turning Innovative Ideas into a Successful Business

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By June Sugiyama
Director of the Vodafone Americas Foundation; recently led the transition of Foundation’s strategy towards technology for social impact.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with the Social Innovation Summit 2016, the premier social impact event of the year representing a meticulously curated gathering of corporate executives, global philanthropists, technologists, grantmakers, innovators, and social entrepreneurs converging from around the world during this exclusive two-day event in Washington, DC. You may learn more at www.socinnovation.com.

While there is a great debate around the actual success rate of innovation projects, there is one thing everyone can agree on – it is difficult. It is especially hard when you’re an individual or a small group of individuals with a big idea and a concept that can really drive change.

In my 20+ years in telecoms and now in the Silicon Valley as part of a technology foundation that supports innovations, I’ve seen how people with brilliant ideas can fall victim to the countless roadblocks that pop up on the journey to market.

One of the most frustrating things about innovative solutions is that, in the mind of the innovator, the potential of their idea should be clear to everyone else. Yet, usually the challenges in front of entrepreneurs result in projects being left behind instead of concepts built into true solutions.

In my role, I work with countless projects that have the potential to drive social change and really transform the lives of people in need. While these innovations can ultimately better the world we live in, each innovation still needs to overcome the barriers that can stunt the growth or execution of the any idea.

Here are a few examples of challenges that many innovators face while trying to bring their idea to life:

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