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GuruStorms helps businesses crowdsource ideas and offers rewards of up to $5,000 for responses from highly specialized experts. The company is launching at this week’s DEMOfall 09 conference.

gurustormsHere’s how it works: A business sets up a challenge, and recognized experts respond, offering their best ideas. The person who created the challenge then picks the best three ideas, allowing their creators to share the reward.

The company faces competitors like InnoCentive, which sets up research and development challenges for larger companies, and ChallengePost, which does the same but focuses less on corporations. GuruStorms is self-funded and came out of Austin-based Melior Technologies Inc.

It seems to hit an odd area of the market — it’s not cheap or informal enough to fill a niche like Aardvark does (which lets you ask questions of experts in your social network), but it’s not high-end enough to directly compete with companies like InnoCentive. The question will be, can it recruit enough experts in a broad variety of domains to be useful?

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