Accounting Firm Hosts Firm-Wide $100K Contest For Big Ideas

PowerPitch from PricewaterhouseCoopers excites its employees to develop innovative ideas.

Now in its second year, PowerPitch from PricewaterhouseCoopers is an ideas contest where employees can win a hefty $100k. As the employees seek recognition for their big ideas, they have to search beyond its R&D division for entrepreneurial and ground breaking ideas in areas like accounting, data management, and service development. Fortune provides an example of this year’s finalist’s experience:

Capozzi’s team… created a sophisticated data-mining practice that can employ the sorts of analytics that, say, Netflix uses to determine which movies each customer wants to see, for clients that don’t have those resources in-house. Meanwhile, the four runner-up teams each received a surprise $25,000 bonus, and the 20 semifinalists who didn’t make the finale split $5,000 per team. Since then, each of the final ideas has been assigned to a senior ‘champion,’ who will work with the teams to develop and launch the plans.

Akin to an American Idol or The Apprentice type TV show, PwC solicits innovative ideas for the competition in a pitch theater. PowerPitch was developed by PwC’s Innovation Leader, Mitra Best. According to the same Fortune article cited above, Best borrowed gaming strategies to turn the event into a competitive and valuable experience for participants and the company in general:

We tried to create a collaborative and competitive environment. This was not like inspiring 50 people, or 30 people, where you can periodically take them on a field trip… The question is, How do you connect 30,000 people? We figured if gaming can connect millions, let’s try it.

Check out PricewaterhouseCoopers’ blog on innovation.

PSFK is asking readers to tell us how your employer is encouraging you to bring your ideas to the table. Is it free coffee and doughnuts or a half day to pursue your own interests? Drop us a line and tell us what ways companies are encouraging their employees to champion their own ideas.

Tweet us at @psfk with the hashtags #FoW #OpenIdeas, for a chance to win 5lbs of coffee to get your ideas started everyday.

Over the next 4-8 weeks we want to start a conversation around what you see as possible in the Future of Work.  Be sure to follow the conversation on PSFK and participate in the daily competitions. Tweet us your ideas to @psfk using #FoW.

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