Press Kit

Ideawake Press Kit

Ideawake helps companies transform employee ideas into repeatable growth.

Company Overview

Ideawake helps companies transform employee innovative ideas into repeatable growth. Now more than ever, companies large and small are seeking ways to involve their employees, customers and other stakeholders more deeply in strategic planning and continuous improvement.

The problem is that great ideas and valuable knowledge are trapped inside these stakeholder’s minds, making them difficult to collect, analyze and put into action. This leads to lost revenue, increased turnover rate from low employee morale, and wasting resources pursuing projects with low market potential.

To incentivize participation, our platform uses a gamification system that gives users points for participation, which can be used to track performance. At the end of each quarter, continuous improvement team offers prizes of their choosing to the top performing participants.

  • Founded: October 2013

  • Employee Count: 5

  • Number of Investors: 8

  • Funding Raised: $950,000

    • Location: 1245 North Water St. Floor 2, Milwaukee WI 53202

How Ideawake Works

Ideawake helps brands accelerate innovation with idea management software to solicit, evaluate and implement new ideas from employees, customers and suppliers.

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Our Team

Coby Skonord

Founder and CEO

Coby Skonord is a crowdsourcing expert, public speaker, and founder of Milwaukee-based Ideawake. He is a contrarian thinker who believes that the power of online collaboration is the only way to solve the biggest problems facing the world today and overcome the greatest obstacles facing the businesses of tomorrow. Coby is an Eagle Scout, Ernst and Young alumni, and is passionate about growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the Greater Milwaukee Area and the State of Wisconsin.

Trae Tessmann

Co-founder, COO, and Head of Client Success

Trae Tessmann is an advocate for calculated risk and strategic disruption, and the co-founder of Ideawake in Milwaukee.Whether on a personal level or in a corporate setting, he believes that we should never stop learning, innovating, and improving how we do things, no matter how uncomfortable it can be. With a background in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship, he leverages his insights and knowledge to promote structured, actionable, and repeatable improvement processes for both startups and established organizations alike.

Tim Elfelt

CMO and Head of Analytics

Tim is passionate about innovation and analytics, so much so that he moved up from St. Louis to Milwaukee to join the Ideawake team full-time back in November 2016. He’s an interactive marketer with experience in all aspects of digital marketing including interactive web development, SEO/SEM, email marketing, and web analytics – all with a focus on ROI. He prides himself on being a creative problem solver willing to tackle any challenge.

Ideawake in the Press

Ideawake Gives Employees a Voice (Shepherd Express)

As a company grows to employ hundreds, and even thousands of people, it becomes continually harder for frontline employees’ ideas to reach management. This disconnect can become frustrating and lead to employees becoming disengaged which, in some companies, affects 50% of employees and can cost $2,200 per disengaged employee per year according to a study conducted by ADP. view full article

Milwaukee entrepreneur wants to facilitate business connections (Biz Times)

Coby Skonord, founder of the Milwaukee-based tech startup Ideawake, is a believer in the apprenticeship model of learning — training through direct action rather than abstract instruction. Which is why, as a participant in Milwaukee Startup Week, he decided to get representatives from established local companies like Aurora Health Care, Rundle Spence Co. and Vector Technologies to physically sit down and meet with entrepreneurs during an event he hosted called “Startup Co-lab.”View full article

Creative Problem Solving Through Ideawake (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The most difficult challenge facing most companies today is the critical necessity to stay abreast of the latest technological innovations that can disrupt the market need for their product or service. In order to overcome this challenge, companies are turning to their employees, customers and other stakeholders to come up with a wider breadth of novel solutions to complex business problems. view full article

Cordio: Startups to watch in 2017 (JSOnline)

In 2016, IdeaWake hired a new full-time employee and raised $275K from a group of notable local angel investors. Some of Ideawake’s clients include ExamOne, a healthcare company and Rundle Spence, a local wholesaler of plumbing parts. IdeaWake is also piloting its software with a few major companies, including a large healthcare company based in the Milwaukee area. view full article

Entrepreneur Success Stories (BizStarts)

Ideawake has had a long and arduous path to success, and I can’t thank my team enough for having the wherewithal to make it to where we are today. Ideawake accelerates innovation with idea management software that empowers enterprises to automatically identify the top 5% of ideas that drive 95% of bottom line results. view full article

Ideawake Logos

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  • 1) Ideate and Collaborate

    Invite and collect ideas around targeted topics from your team or entire organization. Collaborate and provide recognition in real time.

  • 2) Evaluate and Refine

    We use employees knowledge to automatically surface the best ideas and collect information needed to assess potential.

  • 3) Prioritize and Implement

    Decision makers can easily review business cases, further rank ideas and assign teams to make them happen.

  • Insights and Analytics

    Understand your organization’s current innovation health and employee engagement in under 30 seconds.

  • Incentivize Participation

    Users earn points for participation and decision makers can award top performing participants with cash or non-monetary prizes.

  • Access Anywhere at Any Time

    One click login from email. Access Ideawake anywhere you have an internet connection by computer, smartphone or tablet.