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Five New Innovators of the Year

The OC Business Journal hosted its 6th annual Innovator of the Year Awards on Sept. 24.

The virtual ceremony recognized and celebrated individuals for creating game-changing products and services that demonstrate brilliance and leadership in the innovation community.

Recent Innovator honorees include Lori Torres, a 2017 winner and founder of contactless package delivery management system Parcel Pending, as well as Anduril Industries’ Palmer Lucker, who founded his tech-focused defense firm in 2017 and won the award in 2019.

Torres, who saw her firm bought for about $100 million in 2019, just announced a 1,700-store deal with hardware giant Lowe’s. Luckey, whose firm already counts a valuation approaching $2 billion, recently announced a new military contract potentially worth more than $900 million.

From 54 nominees, the five new Innovator honorees are:

• Kurt Busch of Syntiant Corp., an artificial intelligence and machine learning software maker in Irvine.

• Martha Montoya of Agtools Inc., a data analytics platform for the agriculture industry in Irvine.

• Michael Dennin of the University of California-Irvine, a public research university.

• Reza Rofougaran of Movandi Corp., an Irvine-based wireless systems creator and 5G developer.

• Bob Wolpert of Golden State Foods Corp., a food manufacturer and distributor based in Irvine.

The Business Journal will profile each of the award winners in the Oct. 5 print edition.

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