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Awards showcase Wisconsin’s breadth of innovation

October 15, 2023
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The powerful thread of innovation that runs through nine Wisconsin organizations doing groundbreaking work was recognized at the 2023 Wisconsin Innovation Awards in Madison on Oct. 10.

The nine winners, representing companies, products, and nonprofits, were chosen from among 25 finalists and more than 300 nominees for their inspiring work across the state and honored at a ceremony at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Memorial Union.

Their work spans a diverse assortment of ideas and industries, ranging from software and education to health care and agriculture—and beyond. Winners were chosen by a panel of 19 industry experts.

“The Wisconsin Innovation Awards seek to celebrate and inspire innovation and highlight the creative spirit from the state’s leading public, private, and nonprofit sectors,” said Matt Younkle, co-founder of the Wisconsin Innovation Awards and Pythonic Corporation.

One award presenter, Andrew Rupnow, founder of OMNI Solutions in Baraboo and a former award winner, applauded the winners’ commitment to discovery.

“I have learned that to invent is to have creative intelligence,” Rupnow told more than 200 people gathered for the 10th annual awards presentation. “That is a divine gift … what an incredible superpower.”.

This year’s award winners included:

Biotechnology

Elephas, Madison

Elephas developed the only platform in the world that uses live human tumors to predict the response to therapy. Its patented processes preserve vital cell functions necessary to understand how drugs interact with a tumor in the body.

Business to Business

Synthetaic, Delafield

Synthetaic uses Rapid Automatic Image Categorization (RAIC) to automate analysis of large, unstructured satellite, video, and image datasets without the use of human labeling or expensive labeled data troves. RAIC has been applied in industries as varied as defense, security, science, technology, and conservation.

Health Care

NECTO: Novel Endovascular Clip-On Torque Operator, Madison

This product is useful in procedures involving the removal and resheathing of catheters during vascular procedures. NECTO, developed by a team at UW-Madison, improves operator efficiency, cuts operational costs, provides faster delivery of therapies, and improves patient recovery time.

Education

Hello Loom, Madison

This firm designs tools and tutorials to engage people in weaving. It produces laser-cut looms that make it easy for novices to get started with new weavings. The design is efficient, focusing on refined features such as the wooden needles, comb, and integrated display stand.

Manufacturing

The Virtual Foundry, Stoughton

The Virtual Foundry’s 3D printing filament materials for metal 3D printing create minimal waste and a nearly unlimited number of shape options. They also allow customers independence from third-party suppliers and give them the ability to be their own supply chain.

Nonprofit

Community Clothes Closet, Menasha

The groups Traveling Clothes Closet visits homeless and domestic abuse shelters, schools, and community centers every 60 days, bringing free clothing to those in need. The service debuted in 2021, making it the first to offer mobile delivery of free clothing in Wisconsin.

Professional Services

Managecore, Franklin

Managecore Watchdog uses an automated tool for monitoring and reporting of their customers’ systems that customers have access to directly, placing customers at the center of the service.

Software

Nurse Disrupted, Madison

Nurse Disrupted is a telehealth solution that has connected more than 400 health providers to more than 42,000 patients, most experiencing homelessness. The program includes program management, starter sets, mobile and web apps, data and analytics, hardware, and tech support.

People’s Choice Award

Power of Perception, Eau Claire

Those attending the ceremony voted for their favorite from among the 25 finalists. The nonprofit Power of Perception has created a toolbox of resources to equip Eau Claire’s Black and biracial youth in grades 6-12 with the tools they need to become contributing citizens.

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