Wisconsin Innovation Awards: Announce 2021 winners at annual ceremony in Madison

Eighth Annual Event Celebrates the State’s Most Innovative Products and Services

MADISON, WI (October 6, 2021) – Last night, nine winners were honored from the twenty-eight finalists and more than 331 nominees during the 2021 Wisconsin Innovation Awards at the Wisconsin Union in Madison. The ceremony, emceed by television personality and local entrepreneur Marie Justice, recognized the state’s most innovative products and services from eight industry categories. The 2021 winners were selected by a panel of 27 experts with backgrounds in many business sectors – technology, food, healthcare, agriculture, nonprofits, education, government, and the like – from throughout the state of Wisconsin.

“The Wisconsin Innovation Awards seek to celebrate and inspire innovation, and highlight the creative spirit from the state’s leading public, private and nonprofit sectors,” said Matt Younkle, Co-Founder of the Wisconsin Innovation Awards and Pythonic Corporation. “We want to congratulate all finalists and winners from the 2021 Wisconsin Innovation Awards and look forward to encouraging an even greater environment of innovation in the year to come.”

The Wisconsin Innovation Awards Ceremony is presented by Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance and Wipfli, with support from Exact Sciences, Green Clock Agency, JP Cullen, Madison Gas & Electric, Neider & Boucher, Perkins Coie, the Wisconsin Union, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, BioForward, Eppstein Uhen Architects, First Business Bank, gener8tor, HealthX Ventures, Indeavor, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and Madison Area Technical College. 

The 2021 Wisconsin Innovation Awards Winners:

Business to Business: Understory



Understory builds insurance solutions for the most challenging climate risks by assessing risk where it occurs: on the ground. Understory’s global network of Dot weather sensors captures 125,000 ground-truth measurements per second. By removing the cost and uncertainty of traditional insurance, Understory protects people and businesses from the financial impact of severe weather losses with simple, affordable, sustainable coverage. Understory’s supplemental hail insurance is the first insurance product the company has brought to market. 

Business to Consumer: Ruby Coffee Roasters



Ruby Coffee Roasters is a small town business offering coffee subscription services tailored in volume and flavor and frequency to individuals and businesses nationwide. The subscription offers an opportunity for individuals at home to have a variety of curated offerings sent to them saving time and money.

Biotechnology: Novir


Novir delivers easy, efficient and inexpensive COVID-19 testing and vaccinations through its “lab on the go” testing programs, on-site vaccination clinics and technology. Its proprietary TRACK platform allows testing to be completed in a few minutes with results in the cloud. The software has made the testing process easier for both patients and administrators, who can more quickly and accurately report results to state health bodies.

Government: Curate



Curate is a civic intelligence company that empowers organizations to monitor risk and find opportunities in local government discussions at scale. Government relations professionals use Curate’s database and custom weekly reports to track projects, policies, and hot topics in thousands of municipalities across the U.S. Curate software automatically monitors the public meetings at more than 12,000 municipalities across the United States for customers.

HealthIT: EnsoData


EnsoData is simplifying the process for analyzing the human body to diagnose critical health conditions, starting with sleep. EnsoData’s AI-powered software interprets billions of waveform data points collected from sensors in medical devices and wearables. The company’s initial technology, EnsoSleep, analyzes such waveform data from both at-home and in-lab sleep studies providing an easy-to-read report, empowering clinicians and providers with invaluable information to make faster, more precise diagnoses.

Manufacturing: Nelson and Pade, Inc.


Nelson and Pade, Inc.®’s Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® produce higher quality fish and vegetables with increased production over other systems. They are the most productive, efficient, sustainable and dependable aquaponic systems for producing fresh fish and vegetables, all in one integrated system that requires a minimum of water, labor and energy.

Nonprofit: Black Oxygen (in partnership with Madison 365)



Black Oxygen podcast was created in summer 2020 to amplify the diversity of Black voices throughout the state of Wisconsin; share stories of Black folks; and be a mechanism to share the variety of ways to help make a better place for Black folks to survive and thrive in Wisconsin.

Software: SMARTCare Software, Inc.


Eau Claire

SMARTcare Software has developed a Software as a Service Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and business-automation platform for home healthcare providers that ensures best practices in care, elevates patient/caregiver engagement and satisfaction, and improves operational efficiency. SMARTcare uses connected technologies that enable home care providers to organize, optimize, and simplify care delivery and operations while saving time and improving outcomes.

People’s Choice: Rapid Radicals Technology, LLC


Rapid Radicals Technology (RRT) has developed an advanced, high-rate wastewater treatment system to eliminate sewer overflows and basement backups that may occur during high-intensity storm events. Sewer overflows and basement backups pose both environmental and public health risks and challenge aging infrastructure and impaired waterways. The Rapid Radicals system can be implemented at a wastewater treatment plant to assist with overburden during wet weather events, operated remotely at a sewer outfall location within a watershed, or as a mobile unit during disaster relief or emergency situations.

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About the Wisconsin Innovation Awards

Led by a steering committee of business, community and entrepreneurial leaders, the WIA hopes to encourage an even greater environment of innovation by bringing innovators together from various business sectors (e.g. tech, food, healthcare, agriculture, nonprofits, education, government), and from throughout the state of Wisconsin.