Champaign County Economic Development Corporation has announced the finalists for this year's Innovation Celebration, which is, according the the press release, a "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."

Winners will be announced at the celebration, happening at Parkland College on March 29th. You can find more information about the event here.

Here are this year's finalists:

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Social Venture Award

Serve as change agents by creating and implementing sustainable solutions to reshape society, benefit humanity, and address social concerns.

The Land Connection
New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Student Startup Award

Formed by students in the last three years and demonstrates a commitment to continuing success through entrepreneurial talent, creativity and energy.

RingWing, LLC
HexNest
DeepWalk

Entrepreneurial Excellence: New Venture Award

Formed in the last three years, and demonstrates a commitment to continuing success through entrepreneurial talent, creativity and energy.

AirScout, Inc.
EarthSense, Inc.
SimBioSys, Inc.

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Paul Magelli Advocacy Award

Actively engage, encourage, coach and mentor entrepreneurs in the community, and provide extensive support to help them achieve success.

Mark Aardsma
Edwin Moore
Roland Garton

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Management Award

Demonstrates expertise in assembling resources, creating an organization, and working to build and implement effective action plans.

Landon Frye, Jake Kreider, and Sophie Roney - Granular, Inc.
Shira Epstein and Dan Epstein - Champaign Outdoors / RuggedOutdoors.com
James Langer - Serionix

Innovation: Economic Development Impact Award

Has made a significant economic development impact in the community and continues to demonstrate their commitment to Champaign County.

Small Business Incentive Program (City of Champaign)
Lodgic Everyday Community
Matt Cho (Cake Design Development)

Winner have already been announced for these catagories:

2019 Innovation Transfer Award—University of Illinois

Recognizes an individual or group from the University of Illinois whose research has resulted in either a discovery or a work with the potential for significant societal impact.

Dr. Andrew Alleyne – Thermosys™ / POETS Engineering Research Center

2019 Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award—University of Illinois

Recognizes an individual or team from the University of Illinois that has channeled their experience living with a disability into positive change through the creation of new products, environments, or protocols that enhance quality of life.

Adam Bleakney - Illinois Wheelchair Athletics

2019 Innovation in Engagement Award—Parkland College

Recognizes an individual or group at Parkland College who has shown support of the college’s community engagement mission.

Peg Boyce - Dental Hygiene Program

Photo by Patrick Singer