Real Innovation Awards 2016: People's Choice Winners

The public's verdict is in. Who earned your People's Choice vote in the inaugural Real Innovation Awards?

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Our online voting booth closed last Friday night at midnight, the slips have all been counted and we’re pleased to announce the winners below.

For each Real Innovations Awards category a shortlist of up to five entries was selected from over 400 nominations. A panel of judges selected the category winners from the shortlisted entries. 

In addition to that a separate public vote for the People's Choice ran in parallel during the month of September. 

All of the shortlisted entrants were people and companies that have innovated their way quite brilliantly to competitive success, but these six are the ones that stood out for you, the public, as the shining lights:

The Harnessing the Winds of Change Award – for those who spot what's round the corner just soon enough to take advantage of it– Protean Electric

The Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award for a company that has capitalised on an accidental discovery Empatica

The George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person Award for an individual who has showed enormous tenacity and stubbornness in pursuing an idea against the odds David Helgason / Unity Technologies

The Best Beats First Award for an organisation that moved fast to dominate an emerging market category Grab

The Masters of Reinvention Award for the company that most successfully reinvented itself in the face of disruption to its business modelSchibsted

The If At First You Don't Succeed Award  for an individual or organisation who tried something that didn't work out, but provided the stepping-stone for eventual success Norwood Systems

Innovation is fundamental to long-term success in business, and every year there are many awards given out to the most innovative companies. But these awards are usually given for the wrong reasons. Often it is the celebrated visionary leader, or the cool new product, that gets the attention.

Our purpose with the Real Innovation Awards is to highlight the messy realities of the innovation process. Real innovation is haphazard and serendipitous, and often requires a good dose of luck. It requires a willingness to fail. It needs stubborn, even slightly crazy people who are prepared to challenge the existing order. And it needs good timing  some great ideas come along before the market is ready for them, while others arrive too late.

The Real Innovation Awards were established this year by Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (DIIE) in partnership with Management Today to highlight and celebrate the messy business of real innovation: to identify today's key players and to inspire others to follow suit. 

The main award winners in all six categories will be announced at the Real Innovation Awards ceremony at LBS on the evening of 10 November. These six winners will be profiled in both Management Today and LBSR. 

The judging panel, including Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneuship at LBS and Academic Director, DIIE, Deloitte's Vimi Grewal-Carr, Managing Partner, Innovation and Delivery Models, chose the companies and individuals they felt deserved the top spot.  

More information about the Awards and judging criteria.