The Innovation Command Center – upBOARD’s Online Platform Delivers the Latest Innovation Management Software Best Practices and Processes from the Cloud.

Creating your opportunity portfolio. Developing your business case. Tracking products and services through their stages, phases and gates. Engaging internal teams and external partners in the innovation process. Innovation management requires a structured yet flexible approach. Whether you’re running an innovation department, R&D lab, or HR department focused on creating a culture of innovation, upBOARD’s Innovation Management Software Platform gives you a scalable solution for driving innovation.

An end-to-end innovation management software solution

Innovation Command Center Features

Unlike most innovation management systems, the Innovation Command Center is fully configurable and customizable. From the modules to the templates, to the process and dashboards, we ensure the best fit with your organization and culture.

Market Scanning & Growth Platforms

Scan the external environment to identify and prioritize the Growth Platforms that represent mega-trends, emerging markets and technologies, and the future disruptions that will become big opportunities.

Scan Market Trends, Customer Pain Points & Technologies

Innovation occurs at the intersection of market trends, customer pain points and emerging technologies that create solutions to important problems. Our market scanning tools and templates give you a clear process to collect, organize and prioritize information so it becomes insight – insight into the specific market opportunities that you should pursue. Integrate your own sources of data from market research and external databases to give teams specific information for their scans.

Gain Insight from Internal and External Databases

Insight comes from data. Integrate your own sources of data from market research and external databases to give teams specific information for their scans. Use our simple widgets to collect startup, competitor, and other information by creating and importing company profiles as part of your scanning process. Our growing library of scanning tools provides additional resources and sources of data, such as our clinical trials and PubMed web crawlers for the National Institutes of Health database.

Identify, Define & Prioritize Growth Platforms

The most innovative organizations don’t just start generating ideas. They step back and identify and prioritize the “growth platforms” that represent mega-trends, emerging market spaces, or future disruptions that will become big opportunities. Growth platforms then become the catalyst for additional research and ideation, which lead to portfolios of product, service, and business model concepts. Use our Growth Platform app to create your platform priorities to provide guidance for your ideation process, concept development and overall innovation portfolio management process.

Idea Generation and Innovation Portfolios

Fuel your innovation funnel through a simple idea generation processes with easily customizable concept templates. Classify, categorize, score, and prioritize ideas to advance the best products, services, processes or business models.

Define Your Innovation Challenges or Opportunities

Provide a Customizable Template to Keep Ideas Flowing

Use the New Idea Wizard to provide a common template for each idea, including a description, category, feasibility and value ratings. Easily customize the template to fit your team or organization’s specific needs, language, and culture.

Build on Ideas to Foster Collaborative Innovation

After you’ve brainstormed ideas, it can be helpful to “build” upon certain ideas to make them better. Just open an idea and tap the comment button on the bottom right of the idea template, enter a comment and it will be automatically posted and emailed to anyone who has chosen to follow that specific idea.

Organize and Categorize Your Ideas

Create groupings or themes for your ideas. Use categories to generate summary dashboards that outline your portfolio of ideas, including classifications such as products, services, business models, business processes, or anything else.

Prioritize Your Idea Portfolio

View your portfolio map based on the criteria used to score each idea. Identify your top ideas for further development.

Phases & Gates Development Process

Use a best practice approach to innovation management for developing new products, services, business models or processes. Create custom records for each new concept with tailored evaluation criteria and templates for each “gate” in the process.

Track Progress on the Phases & Gates Process Board

The Phases and Gates process board contains all of your active opportunities. As concepts are reviewed, they advance to the next column. Go to the board anytime to obtain a visual representation of your full portfolio and pipeline. View the detail of any concept and review current status, information about the opportunity, gate evaluation history, all completed best practice templates, and related files.

Define Innovation Opportunities using Best Practice Templates

The starting point for developing ideas and “proof of concepts” (POCs) involves fleshing out ideas in the form of “concepts” that clearly describe the new product, service, process, or business model. Add an unlimited number of concepts to your innovation portfolio using our proven best practice template. Customize the template to your unique specifications or organizational requirements.

Move Opportunities through Clear Phases and Gates

Advance opportunities across your pipeline through completing the different sections of the templates and conducting “Gate Reviews” where executive sponsors or innovation councils review and score concepts. Enter scores for each of the gate criteria, including business impact, ease of implementation, opportunity size and overall rating. Quickly and easily customize evaluation criteria and your review process.

Advance Leading Ideas Using Best Practice Tools or “Park” Them in an Archive

Based on the evaluation ratings during the gate reviews, concepts can be advanced to the next phase or archived. Each time you move a concept to the next phase, the template expands and additional pages are added at the bottom to reveal the next set of best practice tools and templates to complete as part of the next phase.

View Opportunities by Type, Business Case, and Priority

View real-time summary reports that classify opportunities and your portfolio by Innovation Type (Product, Service, Process and Business Model), Business Case (Revenue, Competitiveness, Brand Building, Cost Savings), and Priority (Business Critical, High, Medium, and Low). Create custom reports based on any unique criteria included in your templates.

View Financials for Individual Opportunities and the Overall Innovation Portfolio

View real-time summary reports that compare financial projections across opportunities and for your overall portfolio. Modify your template to include custom Pro Forma financial models and other financial data.

View & Export Detailed Dashboard Reports

The Summary Dashboard provides various reports including a Pipeline Report that summarizes your overall portfolio as an innovation pipeline, a Portfolio Map of your active concepts and many more.

External 'Open Innovation' Process Management

 Identify and manage external sources of innovation for new technologies, prototypes, proof of concepts, and other solutions. Manage the full process related to finding, evaluating and developing with startups, universities, think tanks, suppliers, and other partners.

Get Ideas from External Innovators, Startups & Partners

Great innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Create idea competitions, challenges, or just simple input forms to solicit ideas and new opportunities from entrepreneurs, startups, partners or others. Provide as much context or structure as needed and link data forms directly from your website with our API. Use external innovators to feed your opportunity funnel.

Track and Manage External Relationships

Create a database of key external relationships including contact information, evaluation criteria, supporting documents like pitch decks or work statements, and more. Assign specific contacts to team members and track discussions over time. Use these targeted “CRM” features to ensure contacts and relationships are fully integrated into your innovation process.

Move Relationships Across Your Pipeline

Evaluate external contacts and move them along your open innovation pipeline based on the evolution of your relationships. Classify contacts based on your work with them such as phase of development or type of contribution or technology.

View Dashboard Summary Reports to Track Progress

View dashboard reports to track progress by type of relationship (e.g., university, startup, lab, incubator, etc.), stage of development, and more. Customize your contact records to create additional dashboard reports specific to your own organization.

Design Thinking & Strategic Tools for Innovation Teams

 Give your teams the tools of the innovation trade. Connect pre-configured best practice templates in design thinking, lean startup, strategy, business modeling and project management to supercharge your innovation teams.

Give Innovation Project Teams the Tools for Success

The best innovation teams define clear objectives, set clear success metrics, and collaborate using leading edge approaches based on “lean” innovation practices, business model innovation frameworks, and disciplined project implementation. Create an unlimited number of Innovation Project Team workspaces that give your teams everything they need to be successful. Use our best practice templates and incorporate your own organization’s tools to create a fully customized work space that supports your innovation process.

Connect Internal Company Data, Documents and Tools

To ensure your teams’ success, connect existing data, documents, and collaboration tools directly into the Command Center to ensure tight linkages to other existing tools and processes.

Access a Growing Library of Design Thinking Templates

Our experts in design thinking continually update and add to our growing library of interactive tools and templates for design thinking, lean startup, and innovation project management.

Innovation Culture Best Practices

upBOARD’s solution is the only platform on the market that provides practical guidance on creating a culture of innovation using tools, templates and dashboards from the award-winning book The Invisible Advantage: How to Create a Culture of Innovation.

Get Innovation Culture Best Practices

Videos reveal best practices for innovation culture including the innovation process, leadership for innovation, innovation metrics, and more. Engage your team in reviewing the videos and exploring implications and opportunities for your own organization.

Assess Your Innovation Culture

Take the Invisible Advantage Culture Assessment to determine your company’s strengths and gaps related to innovation strategy, leadership, structure, process, people, metrics, and technology.

Prioritize Culture Change Priorities

Use the seven dimensions of the innovation culture map to prioritize your top opportunities for improving your innovation culture.

Create Your Innovation Culture Change Roadmap

The priority opportunities you identified, along with the specific best practices you select, are automatically placed into a three-step “roadmap” that gives you a clear game plan for moving forward.

Create Your Innovation Culture Dashboard

View a real-time dashboard to ensure your innovation culture program is on track over time. Track and measure innovation funding, training, rewards and recognition to ensure everyone is aligned around the most important levers for culture change.

Expert Training & Advice on Innovation Best Practices

Great software? Yes. But we give you something as important: Deep knowledge about what drives innovation, with expert guidance to create your innovation strategy and process.

Learn the latest best practices in innovation management from our resident innovation expert, Soren Kaplan. Video tutorials give your team the success factors for true strategic innovation.

Soren Kaplan is an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Organizations at USC’s Marshall School of Business, the “Innovate” columnist for Inc. Magazine, and author of the bestselling and award-winning innovation books Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage. He is a co-founder of upBOARD and has been recognized by the Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top thought leaders in strategy and innovation.

Best Practice:  Innovation Phases & Gates

Best Practice:  Innovation Culture

With the Innovation Command Center you also get 200+ best practice templates to customize your innovation process

Our platform gives you the best innovation management processes and templates, instantly out-of-the-box. We’ve integrated the best tools and templates from across disciplines like strategy, change management, operations and project management from our growing library of business best practices to create a powerful solution that’s both easy to customize and simple to use. Get going instantly or let us build a custom solution using a combination of your existing processes and ours. Some of the many best practice templates we can plug and play into your online platform include:

70-20-10 Rule

The 70-20-10 Rule is a strategy for determining how to allocate time and resources in order to make a successful innovation. Generally, the rule helps organizational stakeholders determine if they should make high risk/high reward innovations or improve upon existing products or services.Learn More »

Agile Innovation Process

Agile Innovation Process is a team-based methodology for constantly adapting to changing business circumstances and conditions. The overarching goal of agile innovation is to develop a product or service that changes the market, forcing competitors to adapt or exit as a market player. In order to accomplish this goal, agile innovation processes involve splitting up larger projects into simpler, more manageable tasks and continuously reassessing the strategies for completing them.Learn More »


Brainstorming is the creation and listing of ideas by one or more individuals in order to find a solution to a problem or generate ideas for a future business opportunity.  Also known as “Idea Generation” brainstorming is a common practice in marketing, innovation, design thinking, Six Sigma and other quality management processes.Learn More »

Business Case Development

A Business Case clearly outlines the fundamental reason for why an organization should engage in a particular project or task. They can either be formally or informally presented to top-level management or other relevant stakeholders. Generally, the team creating the business case for a project or task should aim to argue that whatever resources (e.g., money, time, talent, etc.) need to be expended for a project are being requested in order to fulfill a business necessity.Learn More »

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a template for developing a new business model or clarifying the elements of an existing business model. It is a “canvas” or chart that describes a firm’s value proposition, infrastructure, partnerships, value proposition, customers, finances and other strategic and operational dimensions of the business.

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Concept Development

Concept Development is the starting point for a business idea. It includes the type of service or product, the target customer demographic, and describes what is unique about it that will give this idea a competitive advantage. The process of Concept Development results in a portfolio of business concepts that can be prioritized and then used to develop a business plan.

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Concept Screening

Concept Screening is a process that an organization can use to narrow down the number of ideas that are commonly generated for a new product or service. In order to ensure that the strongest ideas are selected for further development, they need to be screened against certain criteria.Learn More »

Concept Testing

Concept Testing is the process of using surveys, interviews, or other means to test consumer acceptance of a new product idea prior to introducing a new product to the market.

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Context Canvas

A Context Canvas is used to develop a deep sense of the environment in which a product or service is being created. Specifically, this tool can be used to guide thinking about what is happening in the organization and the broader world that might affect the business in the future.Learn More »

Crossing the Chasm

The chasm is the space between the vision of the innovative product or service and the early segment of the market that will purchase the product. Crossing the Chasm involves taking steps in order to reconcile the discrepancy between the visionaries’ desire to be cutting edge in order to attain a competitive advantage and the desire of the early market to have an improved version of an existing product or service.Learn More »


Crowdsourcing is a method for using an organization’s entire “crowd” of employees, customers, business partners and other relevant stakeholders to generate new ideas and come up with solutions to business challenges.Learn More »

Customer Empathy Map

A Customer Empathy Map is a strategic tool that is used to develop a thorough understanding of the customer or client who will be using a new product or service. More specifically, an empathy map forces individuals who are part of innovation or marketing teams to consider customer attitudes towards the product or service and their behavioral response to it.Learn More »

Customer Problem Statements

A Customer Problem Statement is a detailed description of an issue that needs to be addressed by a problem-solving team. It is written to focus the team at the beginning, keep the team on track during the innovation project, and to confirm that the team delivered an appropriate solution that addresses a real customer need at the end of the project.

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Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to problem-solving used to create new and innovative ideas for business. Design Thinking includes a mindset focused on discovering people’s problems and challenges, and then using those to develop practical solutions to address them.

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Disruptive Innovation

A Disruptive Innovation is one that uses new technologies or business models to make existing products and services accessible to the market. To be considered disruptive, the product or service should be made more affordable, targeted to a less profitable or untapped segment of the market, or benefit all of the parties in a network or business model in a new way.Learn More »

Empathy Interviews

An Empathy Interview is an open-ended conversation between two or more people with the intention of uncovering information motivations, thoughts and feelings so that innovative products and services can be created to address problems and jobs-to-be-done.Learn More »

Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic Research is an information gathering method for obtaining data about people’s needs, desires and preferences. In business, this information is typically part of the Design Thinking process used when creating a new product or service.Learn More »

Experiment Canvas

An Experiment Canvas is a way to lay out all of the risk factors and key assumptions being made about a potential new product or service being developed. A useful canvas will have space to list the assumption under scrutiny as well as a way to test it and measure the results.Learn More »

Innovation Funnel Management Process

An Innovation Funnel Management Process is the approach used to narrow down ideas for an innovation process or project into a feasible and realistic plan of action. The general process of the innovation funnel consists of generating a large number of possible ideas, a handful of which are then fine-tuned and converted into formal development plans, thus creating a “funnel shape.”Learn More »

Innovation Horizons Model

The Innovation Horizons Model, also called the three horizons model, is a framework that organizations can use to identify areas for innovation and improvement without losing sight of current performance. This model is useful for driving innovation while preventing the types of organizational stagnation seen in many mature companies.Learn More »

Innovation Matrix

An Innovation Matrix is a way to visualize the different dimensions that exist for creating a new product or service. The matrix can include various variables, but usually two variables are used: Competence (i.e., the ability within the company to come up with and execute an innovation) and Commitment (i.e., how important the innovation is to the organization).Learn More »

Innovation Roadmap

An Innovation Roadmap is a visual depiction of the steps to be taken to achieve a strategic goal driven by innovation. As a strategic tool, an Innovation Roadmap lays out the specific actions that should be implemented over time to create new products, services, or business models.Learn More »

Jobs to be Done

Jobs to be Done is best described as a perspective through which new product ideas can be evaluated for usefulness and viability. Understanding your customers’ Jobs to be Done helps determine what specific needs, pain points, or problems to focus on during the innovation process.

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Lean Startup

Lean Startup is a methodology for developing new businesses and products with the goal of shortening product development cycles with frequent use of prospective customer contact, learning, and iteration. The Lean Start-up approach is most often used by early-stage startups, but more and more corporate ventures and innovation teams use the approach, tools, and templates to test and validate new business concepts.

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Listening Hats

Listening Hats (also known as Six Thinking Hats) is a strategic tool that can be used while generating ideas for a new product or service. This tool is especially useful because it forces the individuals on the innovation team to consider options from a completely different perspective from which they normally would. Additionally, in a group setting, the Listening Hats tool allows every member of the team to view each option from many different perspectives at the same time.Learn More »

Minimum Viable Product

A Minimum Viable Product (also known as an MVP) is any early product that meets the minimum standards to be able to be shared with customers and other stakeholders for the purpose of collecting feedback and test assumptions.Learn More »

Open Innovation Process

An Open Innovation Process emphasizes the use of external ideas and approaches to create and market new products and forces your innovation team to deliberately gather external insight from suppliers, partners, distributors, think tanks, and other external sources of information and technology. The method differs from those that came before, because it recognizes that the boundaries between the organization and others within the industry are more flexible, which, if used properly, create more impactful products or services.Learn More »

Outcome Driven Innovation

Outcome Driven Innovation is a strategy for creating an innovation centered around fulfilling a customer need. The success of the innovation is dictated by customer-defined metrics and therefore it becomes critical to understand how the client measures value.Learn More »


Painstorming is a method that is used to discover the real factors that underlie new opportunities for an organization. More specifically, Painstorming is a more targeted form of brainstorming that allows the innovation team to critically think about the ails or problems facing an industry, the business climate, the client base, or a particular product or service.Learn More »

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping is a process for quickly creating mock-ups, models, or renderings of a product, service, process, or business model.

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Saturate and Group

Saturate and Group is part of the innovation design thinking process in which the designers of a product or service create a big collage of observations, insights gleaned from stakeholder interviews or other interactions, personal experiences, organizational data, notes and drawings about a specific topic or opportunity.Learn More »


SCAMPER is an acronym that is used to help prompt creative ideas for improving existing products or services or creating new innovations. The letters in SCAMPER stand for substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate, and reverse. Each letter is associated with a string of questions that can be asked about existing products to discover methods of improvement or entirely new opportunities.Learn More »

S-Curve Mapping

S-Curve Mapping is the process used to identify the different phases of evolution of a product, services, business process to identify innovation opportunities to competitive advantage. S-curve maps plot product or industry performance along the axes of time and performance. The model can be used to determine how mature and established an organization is within the industry or how well-developed the industry is itself.Learn More »

Phases and Gates Innovation Pipeline Management

The Phases and Gates Process is an innovation management process in which a new initiative is divided into specific phases separated by “gates'” that represent decision points across the product development process.

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Startup Innovation Management

Startup Innovation Management is a systematic process used by established companies to identify and work with startups, usually as part of a broader “open innovation” strategy.Learn More »

Technology Life Cycle Model

The Technology Life Cycle Model shows the journey a technology takes, from birth to eventual death and the stages in between. Understanding the Technology Life Cycle helps companies predict when they will be able to recover the investment they put into development, and when to plan for new projects.Learn More »

Technology Scouting

Technology Scouting is a strategic process that serves to accomplish three goals: (1) identifying new technologies, (2) acquiring information about new technologies for the organization and (3) acquiring these new technologies for the organization.

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Teece’s Win-Lose Innovation Model

Teece’s Win-Lose Innovation Model describes the steps that organizations can take to ensure that they actually profit from their innovative products and services before competition replicates the product and pulls ahead in bottom-line performance. This model focuses on how an organization can obtain the proper legal protection to prevent this scenario from occurring.

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Value Proposition Canvas

A Value Proposition Canvas is used to ensure that the product or service being created is centered around customer wants and needs. Specifically, this tool outlines what the customer expects to gain from the product or service, any negative experiences they may have as a consequence of using the product or service and the tasks they hope to accomplish with the product or service.Learn More »

White Space Innovation

White Space Innovation is the process of identifying and creating entirely new market opportunities outside of existing markets and business models. Specifically, White Space is defined to be the market or customer needs that have not yet been fulfilled by existing solutions but could be met through the creation of a new product or service.Learn More »

More about the Innovation Command Center

More than Ideation—We Help Teams Test, Validate, and Scale their Innovations.

Most “idea management” software platforms focus on the very front end of the innovation process through providing ways to collect ideas either as open calls or through idea challenges. While this is valuable for feeding the funnel, most ideas are typically incremental. And once the top ideas are selected, individuals and teams are left to their own devices to test, validate, and scale their ideas. Few software platforms provide the support or structure around design thinking or lean startup type processes.

upBOARD was designed from scratch by seasoned experts who know how to scale big ideas. Our tools and processes aren’t just valuable for incremental ideas, but also the bigger opportunities and disruptive innovations. By combining simple processes, tools, templates, and metrics dashboards, we give teams a jump start – it’s just like having an expert innovation consultant guiding the process.

Our innovation software platform is fully scalable. Create an end-to-end approach or select individual tools to support your innovation team or entire organization around almost any innovation process:

  • Identify Customer Problems, Needs & Jobs to be Done
  • Generate & Collect Ideas
  • Prioritize and Select Ideas
  • Test Assumptions
  • Develop Opportunities
  • Manage the Portfolio
  • Track Metrics & Progress

Communicate Up, Down and Across—Effortlessly.

Few companies engage executives, teams, employees and partners in a truly collaborative model. Innovation managers often piecemeal together various communication, document management, and collaboration tools that create complexity and actually hinder innovation.

upBOARD’s flexible Innovation Command Center software platform transforms your innovation process into a dynamic process that’s always on and available. With your plans, process, and progress metrics in a single place, upBOARD allows you to assign and engage individuals and teams as owners of specific opportunities, metrics, and process steps to ensure accountability. We help you keep everyone up to speed and on board in ways that accelerate decision-making, action, and business results.