Bidding farewell to Greg Coticchia, a true innovation management leader


It’s amazing what can happen quickly with the right leader at the helm. And as Sopheon and Wellspring become one company, it seems fitting to acknowledge the accomplishments of Greg Coticchia.

We were lucky to lure Greg away from Carnegie Mellon University in 2020, where he launched the world’s first degree program for product management. He had been a five-time CEO and was quite happy working in academia in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

However, he saw an opportunity to build on Sopheon’s innovation management strengths and opportunities to grab market share through adjacent product opportunities. In March 2021, he was named CEO of Sopheon, and in less than three years, Greg led the company through a remarkable transformation. 

From a single innovation management software to a quadrupled offering

Greg recognized the strategic, long-term value of acquiring companies like Solverboard, ROI Blueprints and Prodex, allowing Sopheon to expand from a single innovation management software (Accolade) to a complete four-product suite with the introduction of Acclaim Ideas, Acclaim Products and Acclaim Projects. In response to buyers wanting to experience their own purchaser’s journey, he implemented a product-led growth (PLG) strategy to complement Sopheon’s existing service-led growth (SLG) strategy. This approach helped us all at Sopheon to serve our customers like never before.

Introduction of InnovationOps

Greg’s vision also included Sopheon’s push to embrace InnovationOps — the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, people and software to address innovation jobs to be done and to reliably deliver innovation at scale. This insightful strategy resulted in a full-court press to develop InnovationOps content and spread the idea to customers. In fact, many customers remarked that their organization had been striving to embrace InnovationOps but couldn’t verbalize it or even give it a name.

The InnovationOps story was an essential factor in Sopheon and Wellspring coming together. Like Sopheon, Wellspring also valued the InnovationOps strategy, and with the two companies’ complementary offerings, it was clear that the two would be a great fit. Without Greg’s leadership, the merger would not have come to fruition.

A one-of-a-kind leader

Those of us who work with Greg know that he expects a lot. Transforming a company requires a united effort beyond a 9-5 workday. But he expects just as much from himself. His can-do attitude, forward-thinking and undeniable wit were always on display. His laser-like focus created an environment where new ideas, fast thinking and crisp decision-making were valued.

We would also be remiss by not mentioning Greg’s undying dedication to service. Greg is passionate about using his expertise to help others pursue entrepreneurial dreams. He founded ProductCamp Pittsburgh, a free premiere event for local product managers and product marketing professionals. He was also the co-founder of the Pittsburgh Chapter of The Founder Institute, the world’s premier idea-stage accelerator and start-up launch program.

As Greg departs for his next adventure, we thank him for his efforts at Sopheon and the wealth of expertise and mentorship he shared with so many. The impression he left on Sopheon and its people will not be forgotten. Thanks for an incredible run, Greg!

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