Calling all brains. An Eli Lilly & Co (LLY
). startup, InnoCentive.com, is a Web site brimming with scientific conundrums. Anyone can go onto the site, come up with a solution to a thorny problem, and reap a tidy reward. Just ask David S. Bradin of Cary, N.C.: The lawyer and former chemist visited the site last year and won $4,000 for his synthesis of butante tetracarboxylic acid.
Two dozen companies, including Procter & Gamble Co. (PG
) and Dow Chemical Co., (DOW
) now put puzzlers on the two-year-old site. Some 45 people have earned a total of $600,000. Cheap research for the companies. They don't even have to pay the volunteers' health insurance. By Michael Arndt