An Internet-based intellectual capital exchange has been set up in Silicon Valley to enable businesses to source technological expertise globally online.
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Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, the service, called HelloBrain, matches IT directors and other corporate departments needing skills not available in-house with independent individuals willing to provide those skills.
HelloBrain checks the credentials of companies wishing to use the service, pays the person selling the skills and then collects from the buyer, minus a commission based on the size and type of the transaction. It also provides transactional security for all transfers of skills.
"Knowledge is a key asset and the Web is reducing geographical barriers, but people don't know how to find each other," said Bharat Sastri, CEO of HelloBrain. com, which runs the service. "There is no infrastructure for buying and selling knowledge over the Web."
Since the service went live on 13 December 1999, HelloBrain has attracted 81 technical experts wishing to sell their skills and posted 90 projects worth over $1m, more than 40 of which have been completed or are in the process of being validated.
HelloBrain wants to offer a mechanism for online collaboration, delivery of technical solutions, verification, security, and the pricing mechanism needed to make the business relationship work. It believes its services will be useful in areas such as computer and workstation technology, personal digital assistants and hand-held devices, networking and communications.