A news feed for your block
2009 Winner

EveryBlock is a local news site that publishes news at a so-called “microlocal” level: type in an address and the site shows you what’s been in the news around that spe- cific address. It’s been lauded in the journalism and technology worlds for its inventive approach to journalism and local information.
The site began in 2005 as chicagocrime.org, one of the very first Google Maps mashups, which was named by the New York Times as one of the year’s best ideas. After founder Adrian Holovaty received a two-year grant from the Knight Foundation, he expanded chicagocrime.org to cover local news beyond crime and beyond Chicago; the site now covers 15 cities. It was acquired by msnbc.com in August but the team is proudly staying in Chicago.

HeartSounds, Inc.
University of Illinois at Chicago
2009 Winner

When they were MBA students at UIC’s Liataud Graduate School of Business, Mat- thew Norris and Michael McCoy formed a student business plan team that used sound separation technology developed at UIC to develop a plan for a wireless fetal heart sound monitor. UIC has one of the nation’s leading programs in entrepreneur- ship, so it was no surprise when the team took top places in competition against business plan teams from across the country, winning about $60,000 along the way. They won NASA’s inaugural Earth/Space Life Science Innovation Award.
After graduation they did what entrepreneurs do—they pulled together every cent they could and formed a business they named Heartsounds. Matt and Michael decided the market potential for the fetal sound monitor was not large enough. They revised their patented sound separation technologies to develop easy to use cardiac monitor- ing devices. They can hear from outside the body—with great precision— the sounds of the heart and of blood moving through it. They can hear its ailments. They believe their innovation can be used to serve millions of patients and save billions in health care costs each year.

Abbott Laboratories
Similac® SimplePac™
2009 Winner

This year we added a new honor which we have named the “People’s Choice Award.” The idea was simple and the results were astonishing. The idea was to use the power of social media to let the public vote for their favorite innovation. So we announced our top 75 nominees and invited you to vote. We expected a few hundred votes. We were astonished and pleased when more than 11,000 ballots were cast!

Our first annual Peoples Choice Award winner is Abbott. For over 50 years, baby for- mula has come in a familiar round can. But by listening to the needs of parents, Abbott has developed a new package for their Similac formula that can be held in one hand, it has a hinged lid, a scoop that stays in the lid (and doesn’t get buried in the can) and a design that matched the scoop with the rounded bottom of the container. This new design is capturing market share and triggering the “me too” effect—two signs of an effective innovation.

Highrise emergency response offensive pipe
2009 Winner

High-rise fires present incredible challenges for firefighters while threatening the safety of both civilians and firefighters alike. Previously, fires located above a high-rise’s 12th floor required firefighters to battle the fire either directly on the floor of the fire or from an adjacent building if possible.
The HERO Pipe has introduced a new technology specially designed for the fires that ladder companies can’t reach. With the HERO Pipe, fire departments can effectively battle a blaze from the floor below the fire, keeping fire teams at a safe distance from the fire’s most dangerous areas. The HERO Pipe has won the accolades of firefight- ers nationwide as well as the attention of the Department of Homeland Security; all of whom recognize this innovation as a powerful tool that will greatly improve fire depart- ments’ ability to combat high-rise blazes while keeping their men and women safe.

Gogo® Inflight Internet Service
2009 Winner

Aircell’s Gogo® Inflight Internet is making plane time ‘me time’ by turning a commercial aircraft into a flying Wi-Fi hotspot, providing at 35,000 feet the same high-speed Web experience travelers once only enjoyed on the ground.
Since its launch in August 2008, the service has been phenomenally successful, add- ing seven more major airlines to the roster and delivering a robust Internet experience to more than 22 million passengers via their own laptops and mobile devices. Already, the Itasca-based company has equipped nearly 600 commercial planes crisscrossing the United States, and has contracts to equip many more.
Well on its way to becoming a ubiquitous feature of domestic air travel, Gogo Inflight Internet spreads the love beyond just business and leisure travelers.

comScore, Inc.
comScore Ad Effx Suite: Offline Sales Lift
2009 Winner

Although online advertising has grown to be a $24 billion annual business, it still repre- sents less than 10% of advertising spending across all U.S. media. If marketers could be convinced that online marketing is a more cost-effective alternative to traditional media, it could have significant and positive implications for the advertising industry and the overall U.S. economy.

To help demonstrate the value of online advertising, comScore, a global leader in measuring the digital world and the preferred source of digital marketing intelligence, developed a holistic advertising effectiveness solution that measures the total impact of online advertising by quantifying a campaign’s ability to lift both online and in-store sales. Through the use of this measurement solution, comScore has been able to prove that online advertising campaigns can cost-effectively build sales for the ad- vertised brands, both online and at retail, helping to encourage the shift of traditional media dollars to the online channel.

Collective Buying Power
2009 Winner

Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in cities across the United States. Using the unique concept of collective buying, Groupon is able to promise businesses a minimum number of customers and, in turn, can offer deals that aren’t available elsewhere.

Groupon brings buyers and sellers together in a fun and collaborative way that offers the consumer an unbeatable deal, and businesses a large number of new customers. To date, Groupon has saved consumers more than $22 million and has generated millions in revenue for the businesses it features.

GroupOn currently operate websites in major markets throughout the United States and plan to be in about 30 U.S. cities by the end of 2009.

Rescue Vac Systems, Inc.
Rescue Vac 800 Series Rescue Kit
2009 Winner

Recognizing that victims of trench collapse incidents were dying due to extended res- cue times, which would take 6-8 hours using shovels and buckets to remove the dirt, it was determined that a better way had to be made available. Through newly devel- oped and patented equipment and procedures, the Rescue Vac 800 series rescue kit was created. The RescueVac “Saves Time, Saves Lives”, by reducing the rescue time by as much as 80%, taking a rescue from hours to minutes.

Reducing the time to rescue an entrapped victim increases the chance of survivability as shown with the multiple documented saves utilizing the Rescue Vac. Rescue Vac Systems, Inc. is changing the way entrapped victims are rescued.

Suncast Corporation
No Crank Water Powered Hose Reel
2009 Winner

Looking for a “reelly easy” way to wind up your hose? Look no further than this year’s “Chicago Innovation AwardTM winner Suncast Corporation. Their No Crank Water Pow- ered Hose Reel uses an ingenious rewind mechanism— a 3-piston water powered hydraulic pump. You can now neatly and effortlessly rewind to rewind your garden hose with the simple flip of a lever.

Suncast has been selling this product since 2008, launching them to the dominant market share leader in the hose reel category. The No Crank hose reel can be found at many major retailers including Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Costco and more.

Robotic Surgery Program
University of Illinois at Chicago
2009 Winner

The Division of General, Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery Program at the Uni- versity of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is at the forefront of surgical technology and applica- tion. While many medical centers and institutions now utilize robotic surgery in some capacity, UIC is creating a new playing field for surgeons from across the globe—not just in the number of surgeries performed, but also the types of procedures performed as well.

Spearheaded by Pier Cristoforo Giulianotti, MD, a renowned leader in the field of robot- ics—and recently named as one of FAST COMPANY’s 100 Most Creative People in Business—this burgeoning division of UIC’s medical center has worked on complex cases and diseases of the lung, liver, pancreas and other organs in the abdominal region, as well as other innovative procedures.

Robotic surgery allows patients to have minimal operative pain and suffering, a reduc- tion of blood transfusion, a decreased length of hospital stay and an earlier return to normal activity. Over 250 surgeons throughout North America and abroad have attended UIC’s Advanced Robotic Laboratory (the only one in Illinois) to learn basic and advanced robotic surgery.

Tripp Lite
ECO Series UPS Systems
2009 Winner

Everyone can benefit from greener UPS (uninterruptible power supply) technology. Even just one single high-efficiency UPS system used to protect a desktop computer system can help reduce a user’s environmental impact. Designed for desktop ap- plications, Tripp Lite’s ECO Series UPS Systems are up to 99% efficient and turn off designated ECO outlets when a computer is turned off or goes into standby mode. This feature eliminates “phantom loads” – idle peripherals that waste electricity when they aren’t being used, even when they appear to be off. ECO Series UPS Systems can save users up to $50 on their utility bill, conserver 470 kilowatt-hours of electricity and reduce a user’s carbon footprint by 630 pounds per year.

Visible Vote
Vote Past Election Day
2009 Winner

Your Vote Now Counts Past Election Day! Visible Vote is a free application created to empower Facebook, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows users to advise congress on how to vote on the major upcoming legislation, get immediate feedback when legisla- tors vote for/against the user, follow current events, and understand their legislators voting records.

The application allows users to vote on the same congressional bills and compares the result with their legislators’ voting history. Every week the application compiles the users voting record and sends this information to the appropriate legislator clearly indicating whether or not their constituents support or oppose their views on particular issues. With Visible Vote, voters can easily stay informed and involved in the demo- cratic process.

The Art Institute of Chicago
The Modern Wing
2009 Winner

One of the oldest and largest encyclopedic art museums in the country, the Art Institute of Chicago opened the eighth expansion in its history in May. Designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Modern Wing redefines the museum and its relationship to the city around it.

Using sustainable technology that takes full advantage of natural light, the Modern Wing is a temple of transparency engaged with the city, Millennium Park, and the lake- front. Internationally recognized as a premier museum building, the Modern Wing is the most recent addition to a city already filled with historically significant architecture.