2016 Innovation Celebration Winners Announced

Category : Recognition & Awards
Posted on: January 26, 2016

CHAMPAIGN, IL, January 25, 2016 – Over 400 people gathered at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for the 11th Annual Innovation Celebration on the evening on January 22nd to recognize those individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions, taken risks, and provided leadership to ensure the continuing economic success of Champaign County, the ongoing success of the University’s economic development mission, and the growth of entrepreneurial talent and energy in the community.

Innovation Celebration is not merely an award for accomplishment, but a benchmark of success for those outstanding individuals, organizations and corporations who are nominated and selected to receive this prestigious award.

Innovation Celebration is hosted by the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the University of Illinois, Parkland College, and community sponsors. For more information, visit www.innovationcelebration.com.

Award Winners (Research Park/EnterpriseWorks tenants in orange)

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Social Venture Award

Pens to Lens

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Student Startup Award


Entrepreneurial Excellence: New Venture Award


Entrepreneurial Excellence: Advocacy Award

Paul Magelli

Innovation: Economic Development Impact Award

Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Management Award

Mike Folk

Innovation: Longevity Award


Innovation Transfer Award – University of Illinois

Dr. Paul Hergenrother

Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award – University of Illinois

The Wernsing Family

Innovation in Engagement Award – Parkland College

Dean Marietta Turner

The EDC is pleased to work with the following sponsors of Innovation Celebration 2016: the University of Illinois’ Technology Entrepreneur Center, Research Park, Office of Corporate Relations, and Office of Technology Management, along with Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Parkland College, Singleton Law Firm, Serra Ventures, Pavlov Media, BRG Sports, City of Champaign, Village of Rantoul, Martin Hood Friese & Associates, EpiWorks, Illinois Applied Research Institute, Fox Development Corporation, Ramshaw Real Estate, Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC, U of I Employees Credit Union, Surface 51, M2 on Neil, and McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff.

A special thanks to 40 North for producing the videos.

See the videos here

Read Smile Politely’s coverage here

Read the News-Gazette’s coverage here