Cheryl Perkins, the founder and president of Innovationedge in Neenah, travels the world meeting with businesses to help them become more innovative. Those attending the 2019 THINC! event had the opportunity to hear directly from Perkins as she discussed the different ways businesses can innovate, leaving the audience with a clear message: You must innovate if you want your organization to succeed.
After Perkins’ keynote address, videos showing the finalists for the Insight Innovation Awards in the categories of People, Planet, Process and Product were shared with the audience. After the videos were shared, the winners were announced by opening a sealed envelope. In addition to handing out awards in the four categories, the judges also gave out a special Entrepreneurial Grit Award.
Additional details on all the winners will appear in the June issue of Insight on Business.
Lakeshore FIRST Robotics, a volunteer-driven organization, won in the People category for helping to take Manitowoc County from zero robotics teams in 2009 to more than 30 today and creating a STEM-friendly education culture in the community. The other two finalists were St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region in Appleton.
Energy Bank Inc. of Manitowoc won in the Planet category for its innovative FUSION product that allows solar power to directly light LED fixtures. The other two finalists in the Planet category were Corrim Co. of Oshkosh and Roving Blue of Lena.
Lakeland University in Plymouth changed up college education through the creation of its cooperative education program. Through a partnership with area companies, students are able to work while attending college, gaining much-needed experience and earning money to help lower their student debt. Area businesses benefit by having another pool of workers to tap. The other two finalists in the Process category were Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. and Realty Hive.
Fabio Perini of North America in Green Bay won the Insight Innovation Award in the Product category for for the development of portable, lightweight wearable glasses that use augmented reality to allow technicians to share a problem via a remote, interconnected video. The glasses not only improve customer service, but also increase productivity. The other two finalists were Encapsys and Fox World Travel.
Long Cheng Marketplace in Appleton was selected by the judges for a special award in Entrepreneurial Grit for not only serving as a community space for the area’s Hmong population, but also as a business incubator where entrepreneurs can rent stalls to sell products or services. In addition, it offers four restaurant counters that share a combined dining space. By providing entrepreneurs with support, the goal is that they will eventually be able to open their own storefront.
For videos and listings of previous Insight Innovation Award Winners, click here.