April Fool’s Day will mean more than jokes and gags for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will spend this April 1st looking for the best innovator among many who will participate in what’s being calling the region’s zaniest event of the year.
The Mid-Atlantic Innovation Celebration will be a showcase even that will bring together businesses offer anything innovative from cutting edge products that solve business needs to creative shifts in business philosophy that can potentially improve a company’s morale.
The Nova Chamber has been accepting applications since Jan. 15 and just closed the window for entry on March 15. A video produced by the chamber and starring Tien Wong who is the CEO of Opus8, a private investment firm based in Washington D.C. asks for applicants who can be disruptive to their industry, who are not just competitive within their markets but with themselves, and seek continued improvement within that market as well as their own business ventures.
“I think the Innovation Awards are a showcase of all the talent and creativity in the region and anybody who has a company that is doing things differently, better, cheaper, faster, in technology or different processes should apply.” says Wong at the beginning of the video
Applicants were encouraged to send in a one-minute video to showcase their innovations and why it should be celebrated. Those innovators who are chosen will get a spot in the celebration.
Past winners of the Innovation Celebration have included Northern Virginia Community College which won an award for innovation for higher education. VideoKall, Inc., a telemedicine platform won an award for innovation in healthcare. Both winners were awarded in 2020 which also included the celebration’s Innovator of the Year in Micronic Technologies, Inc.
Those chosen to participate will join in the Innovation Showcase on April 1 where they will present their innovations to a panel of judges that will include Mr. Wong as well as representatives of other business investment firms such as Lawrence Greenberg of Motley Fool Ventures, David Heyman of Smart City Works Venture Labs, Laura Hill of EquiFi, Anita Gupta of KiwiTech, among others. The celebration is also being touted as a chance for innovators to get together and share their ideas with other like-minded people.
The chamber is also partnering with several companies for this event which includes Verizon, Transurban, ManTech, PNC Bank, and others.
Finalists will be chosen to participate in the Celebration itself which will be held on May 6th where the winners will be chosen for their innovations in their respective fields.