Know of a company deserving of consideration for a 2019 Insight Innovation Award? It’s never to early to nominate your favorite innovator! Self-nominations are also encouraged.
Catalpa Health Inc.
Catalpa Health, a mental health services provider for children, is a collaboration between three leading health care systems — Ascension, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and ThedaCare. The organization’s focus on transforming access has resulted in dramatic improvements in the number of kids served and the quality and timeliness of service, leading to lives bettered and lives saved.
The recent recipient of a $4.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Crane Engineering of Kimberly prides itself on innovation. It’s developing a mobile septage treatment system with the goal of creating a pathogen-killing human waste treatment system that is viable in areas such as dense urban settlements, where poor sanitation poses the greatest risks to human health.
Dodles allows users to create animations for use within social media platforms and other digital communication. It overhauls the traditional animation process with patent pending, simpler tools designed for mobile devices and lowers the barrier to entry by offering a free platform. Dodles encourages creativity and collaboration through its open marketplace.
Appleton-based information technology company EDCi aims to improve the healthcare customer experience. It’s developed a piece of software aimed at revolutionizing customer service in healthcare. Its EHRConnect software connects popular electronic health record systems with systems used in call centers, giving agents access to patient information and creating a more efficient, less frustrating process.
Endries International, Inc.
Endries International has developed and implemented an inventory management system designed to provide better understanding of customer demand, reduce inventory levels and avoid costly stock-out situations. The Brillion-based company worked with the University of Wisconsin- Madison to develop its RFID-based vendor managed inventory solution, called PULSE. With the tool, original equipment manufacturers can manage customers’ lowcost, high-volume production components.
Manitowoc-based energybank researches and advances methods for increasing quality illumination while reducing energy input and managing heat output to achieve new standards in component longevity. The company has worked to develop and perfect core competencies in the areas of cost per foot candle delivered and installation ease. Typical results include a doubling, or even tripling, of light levels combined with energy consumption reduction of up to 80 percent.
Evergreen has become a recognized leader within long-term care for improving environments and implementing innovative programs and services for people as they age. The Oshkosh-based company pioneered the Neighborhood/Household Model for skilled nursing that has been duplicated across the United State and China. Evergreen provides a variety of living options and a full range continuum of care while creating an organization with strong ties to the community.
Faith Technologies Inc.
Menasha-based Faith Technologies has met the skilled-labor shortage crisis with innovative training and people development methods. The company invested in a ground-up growth strategy via its nationally accredited, in-house apprenticeship programs. Its programs allow the company to build its skilled workforce by up to 350 a year. In 2017, the company opened Faith Technologies University, a 35,000-squarefoot facility that provides apprentices with hands-on training.
With its vertical indoor agriculture technology, Menasha-based Fork Farms challenges traditional ideas about farming. By building farms where people live and eat, the company combats food waste. With a system that recaptures energy and optimizes a plant’s natural metabolism, Fork Farms achieves growth rates almost double traditional soil growing for a fraction of the cost. In schools, its farming machine can teach kids about agriculture while encouraging them to eat healthier.
De Pere-based Illumyx is an end-to-end culture-building solution designed to improve talent retention, enhance business practices and aid companies in strategically managing growth. Insights are ranked by urgency for fixing, linking actions to objective data. Culture specialists guide clients through every step of the process, from action plan to results. Illumyx aspires to shape company culture to foster innovations that will propel Northeast Wisconsin into the future.
J. Keller & Associates Inc.
When transportation regulations changed, J. J. Keller & Associates responded quickly, providing clients a seamless platform for meeting the requirements. With a new rule requiring a change from paper logging for driving time to electronic for longhaul drivers, the Neenah-based company reinvented its product and processes to meet industry needs. IT professionals in the Fox Valley engineered the solution, which led to 10 patents over four years.
Lanehub is a collaborative transportation network that brings companies together to ship their products more efficiently. The winner of last fall’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition in Green Bay, Lanehub provides real-time lane engineering across multiple shippers and trading partners to identify complementary lanes and facilitate network optimization. Using this technology, companies can save 5 to 10 percent in shipping costs.
Elder care facility Miravida Living implemented its Cycling Without Age program, allowing residents to make connections and spend more time outside. The program pairs volunteers piloting front-facing rickshaws and nursing home residents interested in going for a ride. Riders form intergenerational relationships with volunteer pilots, and the program has become a recognizable fixture in the Oshkosh community.
Miron Construction Co., Inc.
Struggling to attract top talent, Miron Construction hired a dream coach to help employees fulfill their aspirations. Every day, Miron employees are tasked with capturing the dreams and drivers of clients. Miron’s Dream Project does this for employees. The dreams, which are personal in nature versus professional, inspire team members to think about their personal lives, identify their emotions and create action plans, leading to better morale.
De Pere-based PAi created a 401(k) service called CoPilot. It aims to put retirement into perspective by ditching the complex charts of traditional retirement plan statements and showing people what they really want to know: how many years until they can afford to retire. CoPilot allows users to track their finances and recalibrate plans as needed, all toward the goal of making people better prepared for retirement.
R2H Flavor Technology, LLC
When the food flavoring company they worked for was sold to a foreign national, the founders of R2H Flavor Technology had a choice to make. No longer seeing a future for themselves after the acquisition, they chose instead to view the change as an opportunity. They started their own smoke manufacturing company in Manitowoc, designing a safer, more efficient system that allows for increased production while maintaining a smaller carbon footprint.
TecDriven is a company passionate about creating solutions for electronic device enthusiasts. The Hortonville company designs, manufactures and markets accessories for the electronic device market using an ecosystem of Wisconsin-based partners and suppliers. All TecDriven products, including its popular TORCHGRIP device, are proudly Made in the USA, and more specifically Made in Wisconsin and Made in the Fox Valley.
TEDxOshkosh is an independently organized TED event, operated under license from the TED organization. TEDxOshkosh has created a platform for “Ideas Worth Spreading” from Northeast Wisconsin to the entire world through the TED and TEDx platform. With its fall event each year, TEDxOshkosh joins 15 speakers and hundreds of attendees who have an opportunity to spread the word locally and around the world, creating a powerful ripple effect.
Tweet/Garot Mechanical Inc.
Tweet/Garot is working to change the mechanical construction industry through a deliberate and aggressive commitment to continuous improvement. The De Pere company believes the construction value stream is ripe for process improvements and waste reduction. Tweet/Garot is working toward this goal through the creation of standard processes in design and manufacturing. The company’s field foremen and design team are working to develop standard parts that will streamline processes and encourage innovation.
Verity Financial Fraud Examiners
Through its proactive approach, Verity Financial Fraud Examiners aims to combat fraud and workplace theft in Northeast Wisconsin. The Oshkosh-based company encourages business owners, managers and entrepreneurs to instill a culture of honesty in their organizations and to understand the importance of clear policies and procedures to ensure that honesty. Future projects include developing a subscription third-party tip line that would allow stakeholders to report possible fraud.
Fond du Lac-based VHornet has created a platform for teaching elementary school students STEM skills through virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. The expandable platform targets students with standards-based content using interactive lab experiments. The VR and AR products allow students to explore and visualize complex systems and concepts in an immersive, accessible, fun and engaging experience.
VibeTech, a NASA spinoff company, invented a means to keep the body strong during times of disuse, whether due to injury, surgery, aging, disability, illness and inactivity. The Sheboygan company grew from an idea to solve the problem of atrophy during spaceflight. Its VibeTech 2 product offers engaging rehabilitation games and exercises, scoring users on their physical abilities and challenging them to do better with each session.
Visionary Business Solutions Inc.
Visionary Business Solutions developed NeatIQ, a platform that helps janitorial companies lower business costs, effectively manage employees and create accurate estimates. At Ascher’s Janitorial, also owned by Visionary Business Solutions owner Tricia Ascher, results included an administrative payroll processing decrease of 94 percent and a 45 percent increase in awarded contracts. The Abrams-based company works with other janitorial companies to achieve similar results.
The pieces Wooda, an online, direct-toconsumer furniture company, sells are not your ordinary big box store fare. The Omro outfit contracts with designers and manufactures pieces in limited quantity and numbers them in sequence. Each piece is branded and signed by the designer. Through its relationships with designers, Wooda produces and markets the designs, bringing something new to the market with no risk to the participating designer.
Green Bay’s Xensr developed Konect Sports, an AI-powered sensor data platform for football that captures all aspects of an athlete’s motion and biometrics as well as environmental data. Coaches and trainers then use the data for player management. The platform’s technology looks for anomalies in performance or activity outside established player baselines and issues alerts. In addition, its injury monitoring can help create a safer game environment for everyone.