About 415 people celebrated innovation and the people who create it at the Business Journal’s inaugural Innovator of the Year awards today at the Hotel Irvine.
Keynote speaker and Vizio Inc. founder William Wang told tales of two of his early entrepreneurship efforts—one that launched his career as a technology innovator and one that brought him back to earth.
Wang said his initial success and subsequent misstep together taught him “to do right by consumers” and that “technical savvy isn’t enough” to make a successful company and career. He said the lessons from both have helped him grow Vizio into the leading seller of smart TVs in the U.S.
Wang also won one of the six innovator awards given at the event.
The others were:
- Stuart Frost of big-data tech incubator Frost Data Capital in San Juan Capistrano
- Francisco Morales of specialty apparel maker 5.11 Tactical in Irvine
- Stan Rowe of heart valve pioneer Edwards Lifesciences Corp. in Irvine
- Newth Morris of GPS and tracking software developer Telogis Inc. in Aliso Viejo
- Ronald Simon of cabinet maker RSI Holding LLC in Newport Beach and education charity The Simon Foundation in San Clemente, who took home the lifetime achievement award.
The Business Journal will profile the six winners in its Oct. 5 print edition.