tanvas.jpgThree of the 24 companies honored at the 14th annual Chicago Innovation Awards in October have ties to Northwestern Engineering.


Tanvas, Ampy and CoApt were among the two dozen companies honored at the Midwest’s largest annual celebration of innovation. The teams received trophies in Harris Theater before a 1,000-person crowd.

The Chicago Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative new products or services brought to market or to public service in the Chicago region. This year’s awards had 535 nominations, which were whittled down to 100 finalists by 12 judges.

Northwestern startups Tanvas and Ampy received two of the 10 “Up-and-Comer” Awards, which honor the most innovative new companies and help connect them with funding, mentors and other business resources. Founded by mechanical engineering professors Ed Colgate and Michael Peshkin (above), Tanvas has a patented technology that allows users to feel textures on flat, glass touchscreens.

ampy.jpgAmpy, a startup founded by three materials science and engineering graduate students — Tejas Shastry '11, Mike Geier, and Alex Smith (right) — has developed a wearable device that transforms kinetic energy into battery power.

CoApt, a collaborative effort between Northwestern and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), received the competition’s sole Collaborative Award. The award was given for a new technology, called Complete Control, that enables prosthetics to perform complex and natural motions. CoApt was founded by RIC’s Blair Lock along with Todd Kuiken, Jonathon Sensinger, and Levi Hargrove, all of whom have appointments at the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and RIC. Sensinger also received his PhD in biomedical engineering from Northwestern in 2007.

The winners are invited to ring the NASDAQ closing bell in New York City, and they have an opportunity to meet with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

To read the original story, visit the McCormick School of Engineering's website.