Research Park Innovators Win Big at Innovation Celebration

Category : Recognition & Awards
Posted on: February 24, 2012

Several companies and individuals with close ties to Research Park won awards at Thursday night’s 7th annual Innovation Celebration.

Research Park director Laura Frerichs was the emcee for the event, which took place at the Beckman Institute. 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.

The winners with Research Park ties include:

  • Brian Jurczyk, co-founder of Starfire Industries, won the Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management Award. The company, an EnterpriseWorks graduate that remains in the Research Park, employs 17 and is a leader in neutron sources and plasma engineering.
  • Nuvixa, founded in 2009 by electrical and computer engineering Associate Professor Sanjay Patel, won the New Venture Award. The company, based at EnterpriseWorks, has used new sensing devices, advanced algorithms, and new computing power to expand the potential of video presentations.
  • Serionix, founded by materials science doctoral student Jim Langer, won the Student Startup Award. The company is developing technologies for air and water purification. Serionix recently moved into space at EnterpriseWorks.
  • Scott Daigle and Marissa Siebel of IntelliWheels received the Social Entrepreneurship Award for developing an automatic gear-shifting system for wheelchairs. The device reduces shoulder pain for those using wheelchairs. IntelliWheels is housed at EnterpriseWorks.
  • Professor Dave Kranz, co-founder of both Immuven and Biodisplay, won the Technology Transfer Award. Immuven, an EnterpriseWorks tenant, is developing new drugs based on the engineering of T-cell receptor proteins.
  • Yi Lu, co-founder of ANDalyze Inc., received the Innovation Discovery Award. A professor of chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics, he has 41 invention disclosures and 14 issued patents. ANDalyze Inc. is an EnterpriseWorks graduate and Research Park tenant.
  • Liz Kellner won the Entrepreneur Advocacy Award for nearly 20 years of work to support and encourage entrepreneurship in the community. She has worked at the Technology Commercialization Lab, in TechCommunity and with the Second Saturdays group. Kellner is the entrepreneurship specialist at Singleton Law Firm, a tenant in the Research Park.