March 11, 2020

For the health and safety of our community, we have decided to postpone our 15th Annual Innovation Celebration – scheduled for April 1st – until a later date still to be determined. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Champaign County, we are taking proactive measures to protect our 400+ attendees.

For more information about COVID-19 and preparedness resources, please visit the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District website at The CUPHD hotline is 217-239-7877. You can also email questions to CUPHD at

Thank you for understanding & we look forward to celebrating our incredible innovators and entrepreneurs later this year.

- Carly McCrory-McKay & Innovation Celebration Committee

Innovation Celebration provides recognition of those individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions, taken risks, and provided leadership to ensure the continuing economic success of Champaign County, the ongoing success of the University's economic development mission, and the growth of entrepreneurial talent and energy in our community.


Innovation Celebration is not merely an award for accomplishment, but a benchmark of success for those outstanding individuals, organizations and corporations who are nominated and selected to receive this prestigious award.

Innovation Celebration is hosted by the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Parkland College, and community sponsors.

View the 2019 event program here. View the 2019 event photos here

Awards & Descriptions

Innovation Transfer Award—University of Illinois 
Recognizes an individual or group from the University of Illinois whose research has resulted in either a discovery or a work with the potential for significant societal impact.

Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award—University of Illinois
Recognizes an individual or team from the University of Illinois that has channeled their experience living with a disability into positive change through the creation of new products, environments, or protocols that enhance quality of life. 
Innovation in Engagement Award—Parkland College 
Recognizes an individual or group at Parkland College who has shown support of the college’s community engagement mission. 
Social Venture Award
Serve as change agents by creating and implementing sustainable solutions to reshape society, benefit humanity, and address social concerns. 

Student Startup Award
Formed by students in the last three years and demonstrates a commitment to continuing success through entrepreneurial talent, creativity and energy.

New Venture Award
Formed in the last three years, and demonstrates a commitment to continuing success through entrepreneurial talent, creativity and energy.

Paul Magelli Advocacy Award
Actively engage, encourage, coach and mentor entrepreneurs in the community, and provide extensive support to help them achieve success.

Management & Economic Development Impact Award 
Has made a significant impact in the community and continues to demonstrate their commitment to Champaign County.


RSVP for Innovation Celebration 2020



Nominate Someone for an Award


Mark Your Calendar

15th Annual Innovation Celebration 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
5:30 – 8:30 PM

Alice Campbell Alumni Center
601 S. Lincoln Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801



Past Years

Past Years

Innovation Transfer Award—University of Illinois
Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award—University of Illinois
Innovation in Engagement Award—Parkland College
Entrepreneurial Excellence: Social Venture Award
Entrepreneurial Excellence: Student Startup Award
Entrepreneurial Excellence: New Venture Award
Entrepreneurial Excellence: Paul Magelli Advocacy Award
Entrepreneurial Excellence: Management Award
Innovation: Economic Development Impact Award