InnoLead’s Impact Awards

InnoLead’s Impact Awards honor companies that have achieved extraordinary outcomes related to innovation, design, new business models, and new offerings. Unlike other awards, InnoLead’s program is focused on quantifiable impact created for the business, customers, and the overall market. They are presented as part of our annual Impact Conference, taking place Oct 25-27 in Cambridge, Mass.

You can read about our 2022 Impact Award winners or watch a webcast that features several of our 2021 honorees talking about their winning initiatives.

Submissions are now closed for our 2023 Impact Awards. Finalists will be announced in September and winners in October.

About the Awards Program

Award winners at Impact 2019 in San Francisco.

Have you delivered impact through a crowdsourcing program, innovation lab, employee idea challenge, corporate VC program, new product launch, or other innovation strategy — whether internally or externally focused? Then you should be submitting to the Impact Awards!

Our Impact Awards acknowledge established initiatives that are at least one year old and have delivered concrete business results.

Timelines and Deadlines

  • May 8, 2023: Submissions open for 2023 awards cycle
  • July 14, 2023: Extended deadline for 2023 awards cycle
  • September 25, 2023: Winners of the 2023 Impact Awards announced
  • October 25-27, 2023: Winners honored at Impact 2023 in Cambridge, Mass.

The 2023 Judging Panel:

  • Jodie Brinkerhoff, VP of Innovation, DFW Airport
  • Eric Braun, Chief Innovation Officer, Asian Women for Health
  • Bob Czechowicz, Senior Director of Innovation, GS1 US
  • Robin Gissing, Deputy Chair, Computing Industry Consultative Committee, University of West London
  • Michal Preminger, Head of Innovation, East North America, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Anne Roberts-Smith, Section Supervisor & Innovation Program Janney Grants Lead, The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Djuana Stoakley, Strategic Design Lead, Entergy
  • Emily Stuis, GTM Innovation Agenda & Sourcing Lead, Pfizer
  • Chris Varley, Principal, Goodyear Ventures
  • Angelica White, Director of Innovation, USAA

Eligibility Criteria

Impact Award trophies

Entries will be accepted from companies that have more than 1,000 employees AND generate at least $100 million in annual revenue. Companies from all industries and locations are encouraged to apply. We will also accept entries from nonprofits and government entities with 500 or more employees. Firms submitting entries must be current members of InnoLead.

Entries are valid for work undertaken between January 1, 2021 and July 14, 2023. Because many innovation initiatives take several years to create meaningful impact, we’ve allowed for an extended eligibility period to capture initiatives for which you may have measurable impact data or metrics.


What are the Impact Awards?

InnoLead, the world’s largest community of corporate innovators, created the Impact Awards to honor companies and individuals that have achieved extraordinary outcomes related to their R&D, HR, new product development, and other innovation-related initiatives.

Are there fees to enter?

Entries are free for members of InnoLead (click here for more information on membership). This year, we’ve decided to focus exclusively on Impact Awards entries from our members and strategic partners. If you’d like to submit, consider becoming a member.

Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes, you may submit multiple entries if there are several projects that you’d like to have considered for awards.

Who are the judges?

Finalists will be chosen by InnoLead’s editorial team, but we’ve assembled a panel of outside judges to choose the winners from the pool of awards finalists.

How will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced during our annual conference, Impact, and on our website.

What will the winners receive?

Winners receive a beautiful award, and presentation of the award will be part of our Impact 2023 conference agenda. Impact Award winners will have the opportunity to create short pre-recorded videos or run live sessions to share advice and insights from their initiative; these will be shared before and during the conference. Impact Awards winners will receive one complimentary ticket to Impact in Cambridge, Mass. (Vendors and consultancies, if you submit an award on behalf of a client, please note that if your client wins, only the client has the opportunity to attend Impact and present at the conference. We are able to provide additional trophies to firms submitting on behalf of a client, for a small fee, and we will credit vendors and consultancies in any write-ups related to the winners that appear online or in print.)

All winners will be recognized as part of the proceedings of Impact 2023.

All winners will be promoted by InnoLead in all its vehicles, including email, web, and social media. The winners will also receive recognition in a press release issued as part of Impact, and during the conference program at Impact 2023. Winners will also receive a digital logo for royalty-free use online and in print, and will be promoted to our community of innovation execs via social media and our newsletter.

Am I required to attend Impact 2023 in order to submit for the Impact Awards?

Award submitters are encouraged to attend Impact 2023, but are not required to purchase a ticket in order to submit. If you have purchased a ticket and win an Impact Award, you will have the ability to give your complimentary award winner ticket to another colleague.

Who were the past winners?

Past winners include Medtronic, Airbnb, USAA, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Doosan Bobcat, Cisco, Citi, DBS Bank, Reliant, United Way Worldwide, Bosch, Duke Energy, Unilever, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, State Farm, Walmart, World Central Kitchen, and more. See the complete lists from 2021 and 2022.

What should I do before starting the entry process?

It can be helpful to write up your entry (600 words or less) before you begin the submission process. You can do this in any word processing program, and cut-and-paste into the entry form. Please focus on not only describing the initiative, but also tangible business results and impact as much as possible. (Let us know in the entry if some data needs to be confidential.)