PROVIDENCE – Providence Business News has named the honorees in the 2010 Rhode Island Innovation Awards program, enterprises that range from startups to global manufacturers.
Topping the list of 15 winners and finalists – chosen from a record 63 applicants – is Innovator of the Year, Angus Davis, founder of social media/shopping startup Swipely, which went live in August. Davis has been involved with many of the Internet Age’s most important innovations, from starting to work as a teenager for Netscape, the browser that set the standard for Internet surfing, to starting Tellme Networks, a provider of voice services that was acquired for about $1 billion in 2007. Since then, Davis has been involved in education innovation in Rhode Island as well as getting Swipely off the ground.
Since 2006, PBN and the R.I. Economic Development Corporation have used the Innovation Awards to recognize individuals and organizations that are creating innovative products and processes, as well as helping others do the same, and are having a positive impact on the state’s economy.
The honorees, chosen in six industry categories, as well as in four categories that honor individuals and collaboration, will be profiled in a PBN special section and celebrated at the fifth Rhode Island Innovation Awards dinner on Sept. 22 at Bryant University’s Bello Center.
Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley and R.I. Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith W. Stokes are expected to be in attendance.
2010 R.I. Innovation Award Winners, by category:
Community & Social Services:Edesia LLC is a nonprofit producer of ready-to-use foods designed to prevent and treat malnutrition in the developing world.
Energy & Environment:Tomorrow BioFuels has been developing a new methodology to remove carbon dioxide from exhaust gases and then use it to increase the growth rate of algae used for the creation of biofuels.
Health Care & Biotechnology:Amgen, the biologics manufacturer with a manufacturing facility in West Greenwich, has used information technology to increase the speed and accuracy of process monitoring and as a result, has increase productivity.
Information Technology:Andera Inc. has improved on its online customer activation service, now allowing its financial institution clients to use its software to allow customers to apply for loans as well.
Manufacturing:Far Sounder continues to improve on its underwater imaging systems, now allowing real-time three-dimensional images of the sea floor as well as in-water objects at speeds of 25 knots and distances up to one-half mile.
Professional Services:FM Global, the $4.6 billion commercial insurer, is being recognized for developing RiskMark, a five-year-in-the-making online tool that helps FM Global clients understand the risk factors prevalent in their business and then manage them.
Innovator of the Year: Angus Davis, CEO and founder of Swipely, an online service that collects purchase information and, through a secure platform, helps consumers see what other people are buying and why.
Rising Star Innovator: Max Winograd, president of NuLabel Technologies, an early stage startup that proposes to disrupt the $26 billion label market by creating labels that do not require peel-off backs, thus cutting costs for shippers substantially while reducing environmental waste.
Innovation Mentor: Brendan McNally, director of the Rhode Island Center for Innovation & Enterprise, has made an impression is the slightly more than a year that the center has been open, mentoring companies, creating programs that bring entrepreneurs together and serving as a matchmaker for specific ventures.
Innovation Champion:Betaspring has created not only a “boot camp” for entrepreneurs, but connects them with venture funding as well, helping serve the two prime needs of any startup – money and expertise.
There also five finalists that will be honored at the ceremony: