Written by Caron St. John

2021 InnoVision Awards:  8 of 18 finalists are from the Upstate

When the weather begins to turn cooler, many South Carolinians think about football, leaf color, and pumpkin spice.  But, for many of us, fall is all about celebrating innovation in South Carolina!

InnoVision Awards has been recognizing and supporting innovation in South Carolina through awards, forums, and networking since 1999.  Each spring and early summer, we accept nominations and applications from innovative organizations.  We then send the applications off to out-of-state independent judges.  Now, as fall is arriving, we are ready to showcase the finalists with our free virtual Meet the Finalist (MTF) Series held Tuesdays at 4:00 PM on September 28th, October 5th, and October 12th.

The finalists this year are big corporations, small start-ups, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations.  They represent a diverse range of industries – from health care and medical devices to advanced materials, IT services, education,  and community service.  And, they are located throughout the state, with finalists from the Upstate, Midlands, and Low Country.  A true testament to the strength of the SC Innovation Economy.

Eight of the 18 finalists are from the Upstate and are profiled below, with links to their specific MTF virtual receptions.  The full list of finalists from across the state is attached at the end.

Join us at the Meet the Finalists receptions as we recognize and celebrate these innovators!

  • Elastrin Therapeutics, Inc. of Simpsonville is a finalist in the Technology Development Award category. Elastrin Therapeutics, a Clemson University spin-off, is a South Carolina-based biotech firm developing novel therapies to reverse cardiovascular disease.
  • Advoco: Connect for Good GVL of Greenville is a finalist in the Community Service Building on its software development and implementation business, Advoco launched a non-profit program to serve the community during the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • United Way of the Piedmont, located in Spartanburg, is a finalist in the Community Service Their Community Resource Coordinator (CRC) program has developed innovative service processes for long-term case management clients and crisis response.

To learn more about the nominated innovations from Elastrin Therapeutics, Advoco, and United Way of the Piedmont – and the other finalists in these two categories – join us for the September 28th virtual Meet the Finalist reception by registering here

  • Aconabolics, LLC of Greenville is a finalist in the Small Enterprise Aconabolics, a Furman University spin-off, specializes in the development and synthesis of labeled metabolites for use in the rapid diagnosis of genetic and infectious disease.
  • Dru Feeding System LLC of Travelers Rest is a finalist in the Small Enterprise The Dru Feeding System is designed to solve myriad problems for babies feeding by bottle, particularly preemies and medically fragile infants.
  • Veterans ASCEND of Simpsonville is a finalist in the Small Enterprise Veterans ASCEND developed a proprietary, Artificial Intelligence-powered matching algorithm that translates the careers of military veterans and their spouses to meaningful skills required by employers.
  • SC Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) of Greenville is a finalist in the Education The SCGSAH serves artistically talented high school students from across South Carolina through programs of pre-professional instruction in an environment of academic and artistic excellence.

To learn more about the nominated innovations from Aconabolics, Dru Feeding Systems, Veterans ASCEND, and the SC Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities – and the other finalists in these two categories – join us for the October 5th virtual Meet the Finalist reception by registering here.

  • Clemson University’s Clemson Composites Center in Greenville is a finalist in the Sustainability The Clemson Composites Center is a translational research, innovation, and development center focused on developing manufacturing innovations relevant for composites technologies.

To learn more about the nominated innovations from Clemson Composite Center – and the other finalists in these award categories – join us for the September 28th virtual Meet the Finalist reception by registering here.

The full list of 2021 InnoVision Award finalists.

Technology Development

  • ArchCath LLC (Awendaw)
  • Elastrin Therapeutics Inc. (Simpsonville)
  • FRD Accel, LLC (Charleston)

Community Service

  • Advoco (Greenville)
  • Camp Happy Days (Charleston)
  • United Way of the Piedmont (Spartanburg)

Small Enterprise

  • Aconabolics, LLC (Greenville)
  • Dru Feeding System, LLC (Travelers Rest)
  • Veterans ASCEND (Simpsonville)

Education

  • Early College High School, Charleston County School District (Charleston)
  • IT-oLogy (Columbia)
  • SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (Greenville)

Technology Integration

  • Diversey Holdings Ltd. (Ft. Mill)
  • PunchList USA (Charleston)
  • QuicksortRx Inc (Charleston)

Sustainability

  • Clemson University Composites Center (Greenville)
  • Ingevity (North Charleston)
  • GeoMat, LLC (Columbia)

InnoVision Awards, established in 1999, is South Carolina’s premier organization dedicated to the advancement of innovation and technology.  InnoVision is the only organization of its kind – a grass-roots, volunteer-led non-profit made up of businesses, organizations, universities, and individuals dedicated to recognizing innovation in South Carolina.  InnoVision honors innovation in products, services, and education from across the state, and recognize innovators for achievements in their respective fields.  An InnoVision Award is the mark of distinction for outstanding leadership, innovation, and technological excellence.  For more information, please visit www.innovisionawards.org.