Innovation burns bright at THINC! 2018

FIve New North companies honored with Insight Innovation awards

Sean P. Johnson
Posted by of Insight Publications

You know a speaker is hitting home when folks start taking out notebooks and writing things down.

As THINC! 2018 keynote speaker Jerry Jendusa discussed how companies can maintain a culture of innovation, and all the things we think we are doing right that can actually get in the way of that innovation, you could see the notebooks come out and folks scribbling down ideas to take back to the office.

Gotta love it when the speaker and the audience really connect.

So what does innovation mean in Northeast Wisconsin? Jendusa wasn’t afraid to ask, conducting a live poll among the more than 200 in attendance the event. Key drivers in the audience were novelty, creativity and driving growth.

For more information on the poll and the results, check out the online results.

Many of the responses came from leaders of the 25 businesses nominated for a 2018 Insight Innovation award. Five of those New North businesses were honored with Insight Innovation Awards during THINC!

Companies honored include:

  • J. J. Keller & Associates of Neenah won in the “Process” category for the complete transformation of its business, embracing technology and taking its products digital.
  • Faith Technologies in Menasha won in the “People” category. While most companies offer employee training, Faith developed its own nationally accredited apprenticeship programs, converted a former office into a training center, and as a result, has positioned itself to add up to 350 skilled workers annually.
  • Fork Farms, a startup in Menasha, won in the “Planet” category. The business has developed a truly innovative, portable system for growing greens with lights, indoors, year-round.
  • Wooda of Omro won in the “Product” category for its practice of taking in exceptional furniture designs from companies worldwide and then producing them at no cost to the designers. Wooda makes its money on the royalties of sales.
  • R2H Flavor Technology of Manitowoc received a special award for “Entrepreneurial Grit.” The company “really boot-strapped it” when it launched its new business in the condensed smoke industry, according to the contest judges.

Learn more about the businesses honored by visiting our Award Winners page.

See coverage of the event and the awards as it happened on social media.

Or course, the evening offered plenty of networking opportunities as well.

Save the date for THINC! 2019, May 9, 2019, at UW-Fox Valley.