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General Information
DescriptionCrowdsourcing Innovation Challenges


245 Winter St
2nd Floor
Waltham, MA, 02451
57 Gloucester Place
London, W1U 8JJ, GBR


Founder & Board Member
Board Member
EVP of Sales
Executive Chairman & Chairman of the Board


OmniCompete, 2/2012


TOTAL $30.3M
Series A, 2/2006
Spencer Trask
Lilly Ventures
Omidyar Network
Series B, 5/2008
Spencer Trask
Series B, 8/2009
Venture Round, 10/2011




InnoCentive is the global leader in crowdsourcing innovation problems to the world’s smartest people who compete to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, scientific, and technical challenges.

Our global network of millions of problem solvers, proven challenge methodology, and cloud-based innovation management platform combine to help our clients transform their economics of innovation through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs.

For more than a decade, leading organizations such as AARP Foundation, Air Force Research Labs, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cleveland Clinic, Eli Lilly & Company, EMC Corporation, NASA, Nature Publishing Group, Procter & Gamble, Scientific American, Syngenta, The Economist, Thomson Reuters, and several government agencies in the U.S. and Europe have partnered with InnoCentive to rapidly generate innovative new ideas and solve problems faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk than ever before.

Recent Milestones



InnoCentive Overview Video

Added: 8/22/13


InnoCentive screenshot
Above: Homepage
Uploaded: 9/20/13


Custom Challenge Programs
Launch Date2005

InnoCentive’s Custom Challenge Programs enable you to develop high-profile Challenge programs and innovation competitions, uniquely tailored to your needs, for solving big problems and encouraging breakthrough innovations. Whether you have a clear design that you would like to be planned and executed by our team, or you are at the early stages of conceiving an idea for a large-scale Challenge program, InnoCentive’s design expertise can help make your program a reality, from the first design brainstorm right through to the final award ceremony.

While our services are specifically designed to be configured to individual client needs, our Custom Challenge Programs typically fall into one of two camps:

  • Grand Challenges: A Grand Challenge focuses on a large problem, often calling for radical innovations and breakthrough solutions that will have a significant impact on global well-being. It offers big, publicity fostering financial rewards and ambitiously strives to revolutionize whole industries or incentivize the creation of exciting new markets. In this way, Grand Challenges aim to focus considerable attention on a specific issue and mobilize a motivated community of problem solvers. This type of Challenge tends to involve some form of experimental testing of submitted solutions, ensuring that awarded innovations have objectively proven their worth in practice and under rigorous conditions.

  • Showcase Challenges: This type of Challenge calls for innovations that are developed within a broad subject area or discipline (e.g., security, energy). In this way, they are distinct from other Challenges run by InnoCentive. Innovators are encouraged to submit original proposals that fit within the overarching theme of the Challenge and a panel of expert judges is convened to assess the submissions and allocate rewards according to pre-specified assessment criteria. The awards are generally announced during major, publicity-generating events, with solvers getting the opportunity to pitch their innovation solutions and field questions from the judging panel. Showcase Challenges are often aimed at entrepreneurs, startup businesses, or pioneering small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), giving them an opportunity to promote their businesses and enhance the profile and credibility of their innovations.

Launch Date2008

InnoCentive@Work is SaaS-based innovation management software that enables you to engage diverse innovation communities such as employees, partners, or customers to help you rapidly generate novel ideas and solve your most pressing problems. The platform is a one-stop shop for private crowdsourced Challenges that allows commercial organizations and government agencies alike to easily engage and promote collaboration with the right individuals, communities, and networks to innovate faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk than ever before possible.

This cloud-based platform serves as the innovation system-of-record for managing all needs, ideas, problems, Challenges, problem solver communities, and solutions within organizations of all shapes and sizes. It is the only enterprise-class business application that enables you to harness the power of crowds and give everyone a voice – employees, customers, partners, and suppliers. And, by incorporating reporting dashboards, InnoCentive@Work provides a unique view into your innovation portfolio and strategy. Our platform offers customers better return-on-investment (ROI) on their innovation spend by providing:

  • A Single Enterprise-wide Open Innovation System-of-Record: InnoCentive@Work is a scalable and secure cloud-based platform that provides an integrated view of all suggestions, needs, ideas, problems, Challenges, and solutions for improved collaboration, search, and reporting and measurement. The platform optimizes the entire Challenge lifecycle – from idea and suggestion capture through Challenge formulation, posting, open discussions and collaboration, evaluation, and awards – and enables both InnoCentive-facilitated as well as customer-led Challenge formulation and development.
  • Fit-to-Purpose Ideas and Solutions to Problems: InnoCentive@Work enables numerous Challenge types to support a wide array of unique organizational requirements, from general idea gathering and prioritization for marketers seeking to gain insight from customers, to complex technical or scientific problems which if left unaddressed risk to derail an important development effort.
  • On-Demand Access to World Class Innovation Capacity: InnoCentive @Work provides unprecedented access to diverse and creative innovation talent inside as well as outside your organization. You have complete control over Challenge distribution to internal and invite-only audiences such as customers or partners. The platform also provides you with full control over who suggests ideas and views and attempts to solve your Challenges.

Premium Challenges
Launch Date2001

An InnoCentive Premium Challenge is a well-formed problem whose solution has high value to an organization. It is specific, detailed, actionable, and delivers a measureable outcome. A Challenge can come in a variety of forms, from pure idea generation – a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas – to a complex technical or scientific problem that requires more intellectual rigor. Via InnoCentive’s proven methodology and fully facilitated process, a Premium Challenge is developed with the help of our PhD-educated subject matter experts, posted to our global community of problem Solvers in the form of a competition, tracked, rated, and the submitted solutions evaluated and awarded.

Our experienced team of Challenge experts – PhDs in a variety of fields, from biology to material sciences to computer sciences – are engaged in the Challenge process from beginning to end. An expert works with you to formulate a well-crafted Challenge that clearly decomposes and articulates the problem you are trying to solve and the specific criteria against which solutions will be evaluated. A Challenge is crafted in such a way as to protect your anonymity – should you desire it to be so, since some companies want to promote their Challenge to drive interest in them – and our team fully manages intellectual property transfers/licensing as well.

Once the Challenge is drafted, it is posted to InnoCentive’s 300,000-strong Global Solver Community which includes creative and diverse minds from around the world. Options are also available to extend the reach of a Premium Challenge to millions of additional Solvers through our strategic partnerships with Nature Publishing Group and Scientific American.

During the posting period, our experts respond to any Solver questions or requests for information. After the Challenge solutions have been received and the Challenge posting period ends, our experts rank the submissions to aid you in selecting the solution(s) that best meets the criteria and your needs. Once you have chosen the winner(s), we manage verification of the Solver’s identity, obtain the Solver Agreement and necessary employer waiver, transfer the award to the Solver, and execute the appropriate IP treatment.

Traffic Analytics






  1. InnoCentive buys OmniCompete for innovation challenges ( [edit]
  2. InnoCentive Secures $9 Million in Venture Capital Funding Led by Spencer Trask Ventures, Inc. ( [edit]
  3. InnoCentive Secures $6.5 Million in Series B Funding From Spencer Trask Ventures, Inc. ( [edit]
  4. Mintz Levin Represents InnoCentive, Inc. in $7.3 Million Series B-2 Funding ( [edit]
  5. InnoCentive keeps adding to $7.5M planned financing ( [edit]
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Last Edited 12/22/13

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