Top 8 Innovation Management Software Solutions (2023)

by Josh Howarth
June 21, 2023

If your company operates in a competitive market, a well-optimized innovation process can help you stay one step ahead of competitors.

And while it’s possible to build your own innovation management system internally, it’s often much faster to use an existing innovation management tool. These platforms offer an array of features—from trend databases and project management tools to lists of challenge participants and project partners.

Whether you want to ideate on concepts generated by your team, connect with problem solvers, or launch a hackathon, these eight innovation software tools are worth a look.

1. IdeaScale

IdeaScale is an innovation management platform that helps its users crowdsource and organize new concepts.


You can use IdeaScale to:

  • Access a community of over 30,000 problem solvers

  • Create challenges for the IdeaScale community to tackle

  • Iterate on ideas produced through crowdsourced challenges

  • Facilitate decision-making about taking action on new ideas

  • Turn an idea into reality with project planning tools

  • Track your team’s action on ideas

IdeaScale is designed for large innovation teams. Pricing is customized based on your specific innovation program's needs, so you’ll have to get in touch with the company’s advisors for more information.

2. HYPE Innovation

HYPE Innovation offers both an innovation management software solution and consulting services. 


With HYPE Innovation, you can:

  • Research trends in your industry

  • Develop and log ideas based on trend data

  • Analyze ideas and compare the potential value of each one for continuous improvement

  • Vote and comment on ideas with your team

  • Plan how you’ll turn ideas into actions

  • Connect with startups that can help you take action on ideas and turn them into products or services

  • Receive training on best practices for building a culture of innovation

Like IdeaScale, HYPE Innovation is probably best used by very large teams that need to do a lot of analysis and coordination. If you’re interested in trying out the tool’s features, you’ll need to get in touch with HYPE for a custom price quote.

3. Exploding Topics

Exploding Topics is a trend spotting tool that helps teams conduct and manage their innovation research.


The platform uses a blend of AI and human data analysis to update its trend database every day. This means that as an Exploding Topics user, you’ll be accessing key data to drive innovation before your competitors.

You can use the platform to:

  • Research trends in 30+ industries

  • Analyze how trends have changed over the past 15 years

  • Find out which trends may explode in popularity—and which ones are stalling or declining in interest

  • Organize trends of interest in a private dashboard

  • View lists of trending products and startups that may influence your market or emerging as a competitor

  • See how different trends intersect with each other

  • Read curated reports on trends to watch

  • Get instant alerts when key trends emerge


If you like the trend tracking and analysis aspects of HYPE Innovation, but don’t need the other HYPE features, then Exploding Topics will be a good choice.

It’s also ideal for teams that prefer to generate their ideas in-house or set up their own challenges, rather than being locked into one platform’s network of challenge participants.

You can start searching for trends for free right on the Exploding Topics homepage. Access to the full trend database and additional features starts at $39 per month, billed annually.

4. Brightidea

Brightidea is an innovation management solution that enables its users to crowdsource ideas—similar to IdeaScale. 


It enables large global workforces to:

  • Locate participants for crowdsourcing challenges

  • Run hackathons

  • Identify trends of interest

  • Collect and organize ideas from challenge participants and internal team members

  • Track progress on challenges and idea innovation

  • Find external advisors to support your innovation efforts

Users can also tap into BrightIdea’s Memo tool for organized collaboration on developing and testing ideas.

Brightidea doesn’t reveal its pricing publicly, so you’ll need to get in touch with the company to set up a demo and discussion.

5. QMarkets

QMarkets is an innovation management tool for research and product development teams. 


It offers some similar features to HYPE Innovation—you can use the platform to:

  • Crowdsource ideas for new products and services

  • Collect ideas from within your company

  • Log details about trends that will impact your industry

  • Optimize your new and existing products or services

  • Plan how you’ll turn ideas into sellable solutions

  • Find stakeholders and vendors who can contribute to your innovation projects

  • View analytics about your innovation work and progress

One of the more interesting aspects of the QMarkets platform is its “Q-optimize” feature that uses AI to push ideas and suggestions to the right stakeholders within your company for review or approval.

QMarkets only offers custom pricing plans. If you’d like to use their tools, you’ll need to get in touch with the company for a quote.

6. 4Strat

The 4Strat suite of products offers its users tools for trend, risk, and innovation management, among other solutions.


When using the platform to source trends and manage ideas, you can:

  • Find and analyze clusters of trends that relate to your business

  • Track developments related to key trends

  • Record ideas sourced from your team or other stakeholders

  • Rate, assess, and evaluate ideas

  • Turn ideas into concepts complete with action roadmaps

  • Track your progress when taking action on ideas

The bulk of innovation and idea management happens in 4Strat’s “Foresight Strategy Cockpit” where users can sort through all their ideas to find the most viable options.

However, 4Strat users can get access to a variety of other tools within the ecosystem, including a done-for-you trend hunting and strategy development service.

If you’re interested in a more DIY approach, you may want to try one of the other platforms on this list.

And if 4Strat sounds like the right tool for you, you can get in touch with the company to discuss pricing options.

7. Planview IdeaPlace

Planview IdeaPlace (formerly known as Spigit) is an innovation management tool for large corporations. 


The tool allows its users to:

  • Collect ideas from stakeholders across the entire business

  • Build an internal idea-generation community that cultivates new ideas and improvements

  • Vote and comment on ideas

  • Use gamification features to encourage team member involvement in the ideation process

  • Estimate the cost of implementing a new idea

  • Build idea capture forms and process workflows

  • View metrics related to platform use

One of IdeaPlace's standout features is how it utilizes natural language processing (NLP) to analyze the most common words and themes in your ideas. This is useful when you need to quickly analyze the sentiment around or focus of the bulk of the ideas in your database. 

IdeaPlace is just one of several enterprise SaaS solutions offered by Planview, so you'll need to get in touch with the company to discuss pricing and levels of product access.

8. Viima

Viima is a scalable innovation software tool for small and large teams alike.


It’s owned by HYPE Innovation, but offers a more streamlined feature set for teams that just need to organize their innovation work.

When using the Viima platform, you can:

  • Log the results of idea generation sessions held with your team and other stakeholders

  • Brainstorm and create connections between ideas

  • Organize ideas into groups based on review stage

  • Analyze metrics about your progress at every step when taking action on ideas

  • Automate workflows and innovation activities (such as archiving dismissed ideas) within the platform

There are no crowdsourcing or trend databases involved—Viima’s fairly simple system is for corporate innovation teams that are collecting and logging ideas on their own.

Access to the Viima platform is free for small teams with up to 10 users. If you need more user seats or workspaces, you’ll need to select a paid plan—options start at $39 per month.


There are so many ways to approach innovation management that there’s no one right solution for every team.

Companies that need a full end-to-end innovation solution with crowdsourcing capabilities will want to choose a tool like IdeaScale or Brightidea.

If you simply need to tackle idea portfolio management, then a solution like Viima may be a good choice.

And if you’ve already got an innovation tracking system in place but need to research the trends that drive your work, Exploding Topics might be a good option for you.