Welcome to the Ameritas Innovation Challenge!

Have an idea to boost sales or grow Ameritas in other ways? Let’s see it! Enter by Feb. 22, 2019, for a shot at the grand prize of $5,000.

Challenge Overview

The Challenge: Generate the best ideas for growth

No one knows Ameritas better than you, no one’s in better position to see how we can boost sales or grow the company in other ways. Define your best idea by writing a few sentences describing it. When you’re ready, click the Accept Challenge button and follow the instructions to enter the challenge.

Entries must be submitted by Feb. 22, 2019. Ideas will be scored on predefined factors. Qualifying ideas will be advanced to the Ameritas Innovation Lab for help creating a business case and a presentation to the Ameritas Innovation Growth Board.

Bright ideas will light our path into the future

Spurring innovation at Ameritas

Sustaining our growth momentum requires outside-the-box thinking that will lead to novel ideas and solutions. The Ameritas Innovation Challenge, the new Ameritas Innovation Lab and Ameritas Innovation Growth Board are all part of the plan to identify, develop and activate ideas that can accelerate growth.

Crowdsourcing: Attracting ideas from a large group

Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining services, ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. The Ameritas Innovation Challenge is designed to attract ideas from our 2,400-plus associates. Since we call ourselves a herd, maybe we should call this “herdsourcing.”

HeroX will help us focus on our ideas

Everything you need to know about the Ameritas Innovation Challenge can be found here on the HeroX platform. It's also where you will enter your idea into the competition. As our innovation partner, HeroX will help manage the challenge so we can focus on identifying and developing our best ideas.



Challenge Guidelines

Judging Criteria

All ideas will be ranked using these criteria:

  • Impact | 50 points
    • What is the idea's total value to the company?
    • What impact will it have on the business?
    • Measured in revenue or sales growth.
  • Efficiency | 25 points
    • How much will the idea increase business efficiency or effectiveness?
    • Measured in dollars or hours.
  • Sustainability | 15 points
    • Does the idea apply to only one year, or does it provide ongoing, long-term growth?
    • Measured in time until benefits are achieved and duration of benefits received.
  • Implementation Complexity | 25 points
    • Will implementation of the idea be easy or complicated?
    • What dollars, technology, resources or timeline is needed to deploy the idea?
    • Measured in internal labor hours, external cost and duration of implementation.
  • Novelty | 10 points
    • How original or unique is the idea?

Judging Process and Implementation

  • To qualify, you must submit a three- to five-sentence description of the idea by Feb. 22, 2019.
  • The idea should focus on boosting sales or finding new ways to grow.
  • The Ameritas Innovation Lab and members of Ameritas Leadership Academy's Blue Sky Team will review and score all ideas using the judging criteria, advancing the best ideas to the next round.
  • If your idea advances, you'll be asked to create a two- to four-page executive overview to further define the concept, problem, cause, solution and success.
  • After scoring the executive summaries, the Ameritas judging team will advance up to five ideas to the final round, which is a presentation to the Innovation Growth Board.
  • If your idea makes the finals, the Ameritas Innovation Lab will help you develop a pitch deck for your presentation.
  • The Innovation Growth Board will select the grand prize winner and runners-up.
  • A key executive will be assigned to work with you and the Ameritas Innovation Lab to develop, test and implement your winning idea.


The grand prize winner will receive $5,000.

Runner-up prize winners will receive $1,000.

Note: The number of runner-up prizes will depend on the number of entries qualifying for the final round. Up to four runner-up prizes will be awarded.


Ameritas Innovation Lab

The Ameritas Innovation Lab works with the Innovation Growth Board and experts across the company to generate, evaluate and fund ideas through an innovation engine.  This process can help business divisions support our enterprise growth objectives:

  • Customer Focus: Measured by number of customers.
  • Distribution Excellence: Measured by sales volume generated through growth ideas.
  • Financial Health: Measured by the return on equity (ROE).

Think of the Ameritas Innovation Lab as both a place and a process that helps the company identify, filter, test, validate and implement opportunities to achieve enterprise goals and accelerate transformation.


Ameritas Innovation Growth Board

Comprised of associates from all business lines and shared services areas, the Ameritas Innovation Growth Board evaluates ideas and collaborates with "intrapreneurs" to align opportunities and fund viable growth ideas. The board is part of a sustainable process for rapidly resourcing, learning from and experimenting with ideas.


Updates 14

Challenge Updates

Finalists: Only 8 hours left!

May 3, 2019, 9 a.m. PDT by josh Everett

If you're still assembling your submission, get it in NOW!

Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends that you submit ideas at least three hours before the deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many un-submitted entries. Don’t let that happen to you!

Finalists: Only 11 hours left!

May 3, 2019, 6 a.m. PDT by josh Everett

If you're still assembling your finalist pitch deck submission, get it in NOW!  Your pitch decks must be submitted today by 7pm CST.

Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends that you submit ideas at least three hours before the deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many un-submitted entries. Don’t let that happen to you!  We look forward to your amazing details!

Finalist: 2-day warning

May 1, 2019, 8:29 a.m. PDT by josh Everett

This is your official two-day reminder.

That's right, the Ameritas Innovation Challenge will close this coming Friday, May 3rd, 2019, at 7 p.m. CDT.

Please be sure to complete your submission form before then. No submissions will be accepted after that time.

Questions? Ask now! Comment directly on this update with any questions about the process. You’ll get a response right away.

Thank you for the semi-finalist submissions!

April 15, 2019, 7:03 a.m. PDT by josh Everett

Thank you for the semi-finalist submissions!


We want to take this opportunity to thank all semi-finalists for submitting their executive overview documents.   We're extremely pleased with the turnout and look forward sharing the top ideas with you in the very near future.  All judges have scored, all ideas have been stacked and ranked.  We are in the progress of finalizing all information and final discussions.

You will be notified if you have made the finals round. For those that make the finalist round, the next steps are:

·       Pitch Deck Training

·       Pitch Deck Creation Office hours

·       Pitch Deck Creation – Due May 3rd

·       Final pitches presented to the Growth Board on May 6th

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us directly or leave a comment on the Forum.

Multiple Executive Overview submissions issue fixed

March 29, 2019, 1:14 p.m. PDT by Liz Treadwell


Greetings everyone,

A few users who needed to submit multiple Executive Overviews reported an issue with not having the option to do so. This has since been fixed so if you had more than one idea selected to move onto the Executive Overview phase, return back to the Ameritas Innovation Challenge page and you will see another 'Begin Another Entry' button below your first one.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Liz Treadwell directly at


Forum 2

Challenge Forum

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forum sections

Feb. 19, 2019, 7:17 p.m. PST
Latest Post by Ruth Clayton
2 Replies

Jan. 17, 2019, 8:53 a.m. PST
Latest Post by Liz Treadwell
2 Replies
Teams 128