Throughout the last decades, breeding in the plant sector, husbandry and aquaculture have come under the ownership control of multinational, investor-owned firms. Breeding in these sectors is risky business, but can be extremely profitable for the involved parties. Against high odds, a few breeding cooperatives have successfully increased their competitiveness in breeding by means of collectively ... [Show full abstract] organized efforts, here referred to as “Participatory Innovation”. Illustrated by data from four breeding cooperatives, we explore conditions for success at intra- and inter-organizational levels. “Participatory Innovation” is a strategy to leverage individual members as co-innovators and make them benefit from a multiplier-effect. We advance the idea that “Participatory Innovation” is a distinct conceptual mode of innovation, differing from the more well-known metatheories “Vertically Integrated Innovation”, “Open Innovation” and “User Innovation”.