$20,000 Illinois Innovation Prize Nominations Open

11/22/2016 3:32:21 PM


URBANA, Ill. (November 21, 2016) – The Technology Entrepreneur Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the 2017 Illinois Innovation Prize (IIP). Annually, the College of Engineering funds this prestigious award to the most innovative student on campus with $20,000. Those nominating should look for students who are passionate and creative innovators, who are working with world changing technology and are entrepreneurially minded.

Last year’s IIP winner, Aadeel Akhtar, is the Co-founder and CEO of PSYONIC. He won for his work in developing a highly advanced, low-cost prosthetic hand—the first with sensory feedback—to those who need them around the world. “This is quite the honor, I couldn’t have imagined this in a million years that I would be at this point,” Akhtar said about winning the 2016 IIP.

“The nominations we receive highlight students who have a passion for innovation and will improve people’s lives around the world” states Andrew Singer, Director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center. “Each year we celebrate the most innovative student on our campus with up to $20,000 to further develop those ideas. Their accomplishments will also undoubtedly inspire future generations of innovators.”

Nominations are due Sunday December 18 and take just a few minutes to complete. All current, full-time students enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are eligible to be nominated by faculty, staff or mentor. Students must be enrolled during the academic year in which the award will be presented.

Your nomination could make a huge difference in a student’s career—nominate someone today!



The Illinois Innovation Prize, administered by the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering, is awarded on an annual basis to the most innovative student on campus. This year, TEC will reward and recognize the most innovative student on campus with $20,000. This student is a passionate innovator, working with world changing technology, entrepreneurially minded, and a role model for others.


Since 2000, the Technology Entrepreneur Center’s (TEC) mission has been to inspire its students to become the next generation of world-changing visionaries, leaders and entrepreneurs. This is accomplished through its courses, product competitions, workshops and other curricular and extra-curricular events that expose students to the concepts of technology innovation and market adoption. TEC offers on campus and online courses and certificate programs and hosts outreach activities for students and alumni. TEC also administers the annual Cozad New Venture Competition and the Illinois Innovation Prize, among several other programs.