The Innovation Awards, a regional celebration of entrepreneurship and creative innovation, honored eight southeastern Ohio entrepreneurs and innovators last month for their advances in business and technology.
Hosted by TechGROWTH Ohio
, 46 finalists from across Appalachian Ohio attended the inaugural event, administered by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The event was organized in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the TechGROWTH Ohio program, a public/private partnership that delivers operational assistance to startups.
Andrea Gibson, Director of Research Communications at Ohio University’s Research and Technology Center, details six different categories: Entrepreneur of the Year, Outstanding Woman In Innovation, Social Innovation, Green Innovation, Outstanding Faculty In Innovation, and Outstanding Student In Innovation. Gibson continues, saying the diversity in award categories was part of the event’s goal to “acknowledge innovation throughout southeast Ohio.”
Finalists were chosen through a nomination process at gala.ohio.edu
, and judges made their decisions using specific criteria, also listed at the website
· Entrepreneur of the Year:
Francesca Hartop, Yost Engineering, Inc.
· Outstanding Woman In Innovation:
Kelly McCall, assistant professor of endocrinology
· Social Innovation:
Brad Mitchell, Ohio Appalachian Collaborative
· Green Innovation:
Geoff and Michael Greenfield, Third Sun Solar
· Outstanding Faculty In Innovation:
Jason Trembly, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Ohio University
· Outstanding Student In Innovation:
Huiwen Cheng, Ohio University doctoral student in chemistry
In addition, two individuals were selected by the Ohio University Foundation for the Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, named after distinguished Ohio University (OU) alumnus and entrepreneur, Wilfred Konneker. Recipient David Scholl grew Diagnostic Hybrids from a four-person stratup to the Inc. 500 list during his tenure as president and CEO. John Kopchick, a Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and OU professor of molecular biology, developed the FDA-approved drug, Somavert. Besides benefiting thousands of patients, the drug has additionally generated significant licensing income for the university.
Based on the reception, Gibson says Ohioans can expect to see the Innovation Awards back in 2014. “We were very pleased with how the first event unfolded,” she says. “I know we’re looking forward to doing the event again next year, and we’re hoping even more people from the region get involved.”
Source: Andrea Gibson
Writer: Joe Baur