Brightidea Announces 2018 Innovation Award Winners

Brightidea Announces 2018 Innovation Award Winners
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Brightidea customers are constantly accomplishing amazing things in their innovation efforts. Every year, we recognize our highest achieving customers at the Brightidea Innovation Awards, held at Synthesize, the premier conference for corporate innovators.

This year’s event took place at the iconic San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Brightidea’s Director of Customer Success, Rod O’Connor, and VP of Finance, Dave Carter, presented awards in six categories to five customers: Quicken Loans, GE, TD Ameritrade, MasterCard, and Syngenta. We’re delighted to honor the noteworthy accomplishments of these innovation teams and are proud to recognize them as the best in the world!

Read on for details on the award categories and recipients:

Employee engagement, as we all know, is a critical part of any corporate innovation effort. Building up that engagement is hard enough—but the real challenge lies is sustaining it. Quicken Loans won our award for Highest Sustained Engagement (monthly percentage of continued active users relative to company size). That innovation team succeeded in engaging an average of 21 percent of their total workforce (over 16,000 employees) every month of the past year.

Quicken Loans

Andrew Horrighs, Christian Fifelski, Julie Bulas, and Robert Fonville of Quicken Loans won two innovation awards this year: Highest Sustained Engagement and Largest Customer-Reported Business Impact (Non-Financial).

To ramp up excitement about their events and take employee engagement to another level, many companies will get creative and “think bigger.” MasterCard won the award for Largest Global Innovation Event (a new award category) for launching a two-day global hackathon that included 268 teams across 36 company locations. The success of this hackathon and the broader innovation initiatives led to their first-ever Innovation Week, five days dedicated to an internal showcase of innovation across the company, featuring nearly 200 events and more than 250 speakers collectively at their 36 locations. As a result, thousands of employees participated in that event, making it by far the largest event of its kind that we’ve seen.


Paulo Molina of MasterCard took home the award for Largest Global Innovation Event.

Even with sustained engagement to generate a steady influx of ideas, organizations often face challenges in developing them. We’ve observed how hard our customers work to push their ideas past the finish line. GE took home the award for the Most Effective Innovation Team by driving the most ideas to ‘Completed’ status over the past year—a staggering 73 percent of their total pipeline ideas.


Jonathan Keith of GE won the award for Most Effective Innovation Team.

We’ve found that among our customers’ innovation efforts, those with the most diversity tend to have more successful outcomes and are more likely to bring those innovations to market. For the category of Most Diversified Innovation Function, we looked at how many different Brightidea apps were used by individual customers. The winner this year was TD Ameritrade, for launching eight different app types—the highest ever: Discuss, Hackathon, Incubate, Monitor, Name, Optimize, Pitch, and Suggest.

TD Ameritrade

Melanie Thomas and Michael Jareo of TD Ameritrade won the award for Most Diversified Innovation Function.

Many of our customers have made dramatic improvements not only to their company culture, but also in areas such as customer satisfaction. One customer surpassed all others, recording over 600 individual qualitative outcomes in the last year. For the second year in a row, Quicken Loans takes home the award for Largest Customer-reported Business Impact (Non-Financial).

Maximizing ROI is a critical factor in the success of any corporate innovation effort. For Largest Customer-Reported Business Impact (Financial) over the past year, Syngenta won the award, documenting a total impact for the year that was head and shoulders above any other customer.

Congratulations to all the winners of our 2018 Innovation Awards! These achievements make you the year’s best innovation teams. Keep up your amazing work—we can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for the coming year!

*At Synthesize, Inchalam was incorrectly named as the award winner in the category for Largest Customer-Reported Business Impact (Financial).