By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 28, 2017 at 9:07 AM

A new idea management software called Ideawake – created by Milwaukee’s Coby Skonord – focuses on helping larger businesses tap into the ideas of their employees, customers, and partners to solve problems within the company.

Ideawake is also using its software to engage the community to come up with solutions to important social and health issues via their website.

In order to accomplish this, Ideawake posts a "challenge" on its website, which is a topic where users can post their ideas. Their first challenge will pose this question: "The number of heroin overdoses have risen year after year in the city of Milwaukee. What can we do as a community to help raise awareness and begin fixing this problem?"

Once the challenge goes live, individuals can create an account and post their ideas. They're also able to engage with the ideas of others by voting and commenting on the ones they believe have the most impact.

The challenge will run for a month and the individuals with the most up voted ideas will win prizes. These prizes include Brewers tickets donated by the Salvation Army, Amazon Echo’ and $50 gift cards donated from several local bars in the Milwaukee area.

The software, when used by businesses, allows employees to share and be rewarded for their business improvement ideas and is based on the fact that front-line workers – those who deal with customers directly every day – have a lot of insight that’s valuable to higher ups.

"Employees of large companies often have a lot of ideas, but don’t have a voice in how to improve everyday operations because of company structure," says Coby Skonord, the Founder and CEO of Ideawake. "Our software helps decision makers collect, evaluate and implement the top 5 percent of ideas that will drive 95 percent of new business results."

This is how it works: Ideawake comes in and presents a "challenge" to the organization, which is a topic where people can post ideas and engage with others. The challenge is run for a set amount of time, and the ideas with most engagement win a prize after the challenge concludes.

But, helping surface great ideas is only half of what Ideawake does. Once the top ideas are chosen, Ideawake offers a program called the Ideabox, which gives employees time off work, a preloaded debit card with $1,000, and access to a small team to build out their idea inside of the company.

"Ideas are great, but don’t bring value without a process to implement them. Our self-driven idea development programs help employees expand their thinking by giving them money, time, and access to resources to take great ideas down a path to implementation," says Skonord. "It's a powerful tool that has many uses."

To participate in the challenge and be a part of overcoming the heroin epidemic, go here.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.