Intuit is offering a prize of up to $10,000 for innovative ideas from businesses, individuals and academics through a new Web site aimed at promoting collaborative brainstorming.

The new Web site, dubbed the Intuit Collaboratory, is a place where innovators can collaborate to solve some of the company’s biggest challenges.

Intuit is starting the ball rolling with two particular challenges where someone’s bright idea maybe worth up to $10,000. One of those challenges is related to a problem faced by accounting and tax professionals: managing data collection and entry. Accounting professionals want more efficient ways to collect and organize files, documents and other data from their clients. But the information often is not timely and arrives in a variety of formats: e-mails, text messages, hard-copy documents and voice mails. The challenge is to solve this problem, with the winner receiving a $10,000 prize and potentially the opportunity to collaborate with Intuit.

The other prize, for $5,000, involves keeping track of receipts. Intuit recently created a service called QuickReceipts, which allows consumers to quickly and easily organize receipts online from participating retailers. The Collaboratory challenge is to find ways to make this service more widely available by minimizing or eliminating the work retailers need to do to participate.

“The talent at Intuit is impressive, but we know that we don’t have all the answers,” said Jan Bosch, vice president of open innovation at Intuit, in a statement. “Our history is built on a mix of home-grown and outside innovation. Fresh ideas from the outside are a key element to our innovation program. We want to break down barriers between Intuit and the outside world to increase the free flow of ideas that could lead to game-changing innovations. Collaboratory will be the place where those outside can find exciting projects and information to help them engage with us.”

In addition to the challenges, the Collaboratory site also offers information on current innovation events and video interviews with Intuit co-founder Scott Cook, chief executive officer Brad Smith, and other executives discussing entrepreneurship and the role of open innovation.

For more information, visit http://www.intuitcollaboratory.com/.

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