This year was the Fifth annual Innovation Celebration, on Thursday February 25, 2010. Innovation Celebration recognizes 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 our community. Eight awards were presented, recognizing the various ways in which individuals and organization have utilize innovation, creativity, and leadership for entrepreneurial endeavor and economic development in the community.
The winners were:
- Social Entrepreneurship Award: Tanya Parker – Founder & Publisher, Unity In Action Magazine
- Entrepreneur Advocacy Award: Brian Lilly – Adjunct Professor, TEC
- Economic Development Impact Award: Gary Durack – Founder and CEO of iCyt, a Sony Group Company
- Technology Transfer Award: Jonathan Beever- Founder AgriGenomics, Inc.
- Innovation Discovery Award: Hans-Peter M. Blaschek – Founder & Chief Science Officer TetraVitae Bioscience
- Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management Award: Brian Kucic – Founding Principal, R Systems
- Longevity Through Innovation Award: Quesnell Hartmann & David Ahmari – Co-Founders Epi Works
- Student Start Up Award: Matt Gornick & Ryan Matthews – Co Founders Orange QC, LLC
- We also congratulate nominees from the Research Park:
- Shawn Carlson – Director of Crop Genetics, Chromatin, Inc
- Walter Shore – Site/Senior Staff Engineering Mgr, Qualcomm
- Dr. Kevin Chang – President, Cazoodle
- Yi Lu – Founder, ANDalyze, Inc.
- Brian Jurczyk – President, Starfire Industries
- Adam Steele, Will Leinweber, and August Knecht – Co-Founders, Merge.fm