Finalists announced for innovation awards

CHAMPAIGN — Twenty-seven finalists for nine awards have been announced for the Innovation Celebration event Feb. 28 on the University of Illinois campus.

The annual event recognizes individuals and organizations that promote entrepreneurship in Champaign County.

This year's awards and nominees include:

— Economic Development Impact Award: Champaign Organization of Developers and Engineers, Midwest Underground Technology and UC2B (Urbana Champaign Big Broadband) .

— Longevity through Innovation Award: Cobalt Digital, Rich Masel and Waters Electrical Contracting.

— Innovation Discovery Award: Yoram Bresler, Martin Burke and Jean-Pierre Leburton.

— Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management Award: Al Fleener of Surface 51, Chris Harbourt of Waterborne Environmental and Charlie Li of Intertek/American Analytical Chemistry Laboratories.

— Social Entrepreneurship Award: The IDEA Store, Illini for Kids and Illinois Green Business Association.

— Student Startup Award: Autumn Berry Inspired, HigherMed and Oso Technologies.

— New Venture Award: mpressInteractive, Sonistic and Spinlight.

— Innovation Transfer Award: Yoram Bresler, John Dallesasse and William P. King.

— Entrepreneur Advocacy Award: Dennis Beard and Tim Hoerr of Serra Ventures, Alex Ruggieri of "Central Illinois Business" radio show and Andy Singer of the University of Illinois Technology Entrepreneur Center.

The winner of a 10th award — the Innovation in Engagement Award, presented by Parkland College — will be announced at Innovation Celebration.

The event is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28 in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications auditorium, 1205 W. Clark St., U. To make reservations, visit http://www.innovationcelebration.com.

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