This paper responds to the lack of research investigating procedural differences in open innovation collaboration. Based upon a sample of intermediaries, we analyze the costs of different setups for open collaboration. Our focus is on the mechanism of search initiating the collaboration. Differentiating direct search, i.e. actively scanning information sources for relevant knowledge, and indirect search, i.e. revealing an innovation problem to a potential pool of contributors, we find that variations in search behavior lead to different coordination cost. Our analysis allows us to derive implication for the theory and management of open innovation.