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Innovation Celebration 2017 award finalists announced

From the press release:

2017 Innovation Celebration Finalists Announced

CHAMPAIGN, IL, January 17, 2017 – The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce finalists for the 12thAnnual Innovation Celebration in recognition of 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.

Innovation Celebration is not merely an award for accomplishment, but a benchmark of success for those outstanding individuals, organizations and corporations who are nominated and selected to receive this prestigious award. Additionally, Innovation Celebration serves as a tangible collaboration between the Champaign County EDC, University of Illinois, Parkland College, and the community.

The winner of each award category will be announced at Innovation Celebration 2017, held at Parkland College on Friday, March 3, 2017 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. To RSVP and learn more about the event, visit

Award Finalists

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Social Venture Award

Young Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) – Champaign Unit 4 Schools

The Art of Science – Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

AWARE (Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs) 

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Student Startup Award


Amber Agriculture


Entrepreneurial Excellence: New Venture Award

Reconstruct Inc.

Petronics (Sprite Robotics)

PhotoniCare, Inc.

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Advocacy Award

BIGG Success

Coattails, LLC

Jed Taylor

Innovation: Economic Development Impact Award

II-VI EpiWorks


Flightstar Corporation

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Management Award

Sanjay Patel – Personify

Beth Ladd – Caterpillar Data Innovation Lab

Laura Bleill – & University of Illinois Research Park

Innovation: Longevity Award

APL Engineered Materials, Inc.

Litania Sports Group

Surface 51

2017 Innovation Transfer Award Recipient – University of Illinois

Dr. Frederic Kolb

2017 Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award Recipient – University of Illinois

Arielle Rausin

2017 Innovation in Engagement Award Recipient – Parkland College

Jenni Fridgen


The EDC is pleased to work with the following sponsors of Innovation Celebration 2017: the University of Illinois’ Technology Entrepreneur Center, Research Park, Office of Corporate Relations, and Office of Technology Management, along with Parkland College, Singleton Law Firm, Serra Ventures, City of Champaign, Village of Rantoul, Bridge – Champaign County’s Virtual Incubator, Martin Hood Friese & Associates, Fox Development Corporation, Ramshaw Real Estate, Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC, Hanson Financial, AARP, Surface 51, Guth & Associates, Pixo, Carle, IllinoisVENTURES, Huawei, II-VI EpiWorks, Adjacency, and Frasca International, Inc.

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