New partners, categories and event format for this year’s tech and innovation awards from the Orlando EDC
Each year, the Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) honors companies and individuals for bright ideas, creative solutions, pioneering research and support for the tech community with an awards program. This year, the EDC is adding new partners, new categories and changing the format of the event.
The EDC is partnering with the Orlando Tech Association for the first time and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council for the awards program. Now in its 24th year, the event is named after the late William C. Schwartz, an avid community leader in Orlando, business pioneer and innovator within the field of optics and photonics.
This year’s award categories include:
- Regional Innovator of the Year – (One from each jurisdiction – Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola Counties and the City of Orlando) – Recognizes companies for creating, developing and successfully implementing products, ideas and processes that positively impact our community.
- Researcher of the Year – (Academic Researcher and Industry Researcher) – Recognizes individual researchers from academia and industry who are pioneering exploratory and cutting-edge research to enhance products, services or other applications in any field.
- Diversity in Tech – Recognizes an individual who strives to promote understanding and appreciation of diversity in the region’s tech industry, either through service to women or minorities or who serves as a role model to others.
- Tech Investor – Recognizes an individual who has financially supported the region’s tech industry. Nominees do not need to be local, but their investment must be.
- Tech Community Champion – Recognizes an individual who does not directly work in the region’s tech industry but supports its efforts, entrepreneurship and expansion.
“The EDC has been proud to recognize technological innovation over the years with this awards program, but we wanted to ensure that the program kept up with needs and desires of our evolving tech community,” said Rick Weddle, president and CEO of the Orlando EDC.
“Reaching out to the Orlando Tech Association to partner speaks volumes of the EDC’s growing engagement with the local tech scene,” said Orrett Davis, executive director of the Orlando Tech Association.
The call for entries and nominations are open from July 1 through August 1. The winners will be announced at an event held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at Orchid Garden at Church Street Station in downtown Orlando to coincide with Orlando Tech Week.
Two additional awards will be given during the Sept. 30 celebration recognizing student entrepreneurs from top regional academic business competitions and an innovative company from the Florida High Tech Corridor Council. For more information, visit orlandoedc.com/schwartz.