Businesses, individuals feted at 13th annual Innovation Celebration

Businesses, individuals feted at 13th annual Innovation Celebration

CHAMPAIGN — The business community gathered Thursday to celebrate local innovators, from a white-noise-machine manufacturer to a 150-year-old bank.

At the 13th annual Innovation Celebration at Parkland College, companies and individuals were recognized for their contributions to the community and success in the marketplace.

"This is a cool event every year," said Laura Frerichs, director of the University of Illinois Research Park. "This event gives us a chance to celebrate together, as one community, as a community that has startups, it has corporations, it has students, it has professors and it has lifelong learners all throughout the community."

The event is a collaboration between the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the UI, Parkland and the community. This year's award winners are:

Entrepreneurial Excellence

Social Venture Award: Salt & Light

Student Startup Award: Mesh++

New Venture Award: Snooz

Advocacy Award: Stephanie Larson and Carly McCrory

Management Award: Cindy Somers, Spherion Staffing


Economic Development Impact Award: Busey Bank

2018 Innovation Transfer Award, UI: Dr. Donna Cox, Advanced Visualization Lab at National Center for Supercomputing Applications

2018 Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award, UI: Mark McCarthy, Access Illinois

2018 Innovation in Engagement Award, Parkland: Adam Porter, Perimeter Road Sound Recordings