29 nominees for economic awards named

29 nominees for economic awards named

URBANA — Twenty-nine people and organizations have been nominated for nine awards to be given at the annual Innovation Celebration on Thursday evening.

A 10th award, Parkland College's new Innovation in Engagement Award, will also be presented that night.

The awards ceremony, which highlights entrepreneurial work and economic development in Champaign County, is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the atrium and auditorium of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews Ave., U.

Here are the award categories and the nominees for each:

Economic Development Impact: Predrag "Pega" Hrnjak of Creative Thermal Solutions, Shahid Khan of Flex-N-Gate Corp., Kevin Wan of EP Technology/Zmodo Technology.

Longevity Through Innovation: Betty Brennan of Taylor Studios, Bill Cope of Common Ground Publishing, Gene Zimmerman of Cobalt Digital.

Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management: Pat Jeng of Mimosa Acoustics, Brian Jurcyzk of Starfire Industries, Charlie Li of American Analytical Chemistry Laboratories/Intertek Group.

New Venture: Green Purpose LLC, Sanjay Patel of Nuvixa Inc., Sung Chul Bae of Accendo Systems.

Social Entrepreneurship: Irfan Ahmad of Avicenna Community Health Center, Scott Daigle and Marissa Siebel of IntelliWheels, Sarah Zehr and Alex King of CUVolunteer.org.

Student Startup: Effimax Solar, Oso Simple Technologies, Serionix.

Entrepreneur Advocacy: James Economy, University of Illinois professor emeritus in materials science and engineering; Liz Kellner of Singleton Law Firm; Andrew Singer, director of UI's Technology Entrepreneur Center.

Innovation Discovery (given by UI): Brendan Harley, UI assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Yi Lu, UI associate professor of chemistry and founder of DzymeTech; Gabriel Popescu, UI assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

— Tech Transfer (given by UI): Diagnostic Photonics; Dave Kranz, UI biochemistry professor and co-founder of ImmuVen; Vijay Singh, associate director of engineering at UI's Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research.

Also that evening, Parkland College will also present a new award for Innovation in Engagement.

Lori Gold Patterson of Pixo will be the guest speaker at Innovation Celebration. Phyllis Wise, chancellor of the UI's Urbana-Champaign campus, will welcome guests, and Laura Frerichs, director of the UI Research Park, will serve as emcee.

Those interested in attending can register at http://www.innovationcelebration.com, but registration is not required.

The event is sponsored by the Champaign County Economic Development Corp., the UI Technology Entrepreneur Center, the UI Research Park, the UI Office of Technology Management, the UI Office of Corporate Relations and the UI Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, along with Parkland College, Singleton Law Firm, IllinoisVentures, Fox/Atkins Development, Serra Ventures and Hanson Financial.