Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

The Alva Award: Recognizing Remarkable Inventors

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Who will be the next great serial inventor – possibly even the next Thomas Edison? Someone who can not only envision incredible ideas, but also lead them to the finish line, time and time again? Someone who will make a real impact on the way the world works in the future?

Great inventors – and great inventions – solve problems, address real needs, and make life better. When it comes to making ideas happen, no figure is more iconic, more representative, than the inventor. That’s why Behance and 99U have decided to recognize the next generation of world-changing creators with a new prize: The Alva.The Alva takes its name from the legendary inventor who inspired us: Thomas Alva Edison, who said that “Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.” It’s fitting then that the prize will be presented with the generous support of our friends at GE, a company that has been committed to innovation since its founding by Edison over 130 years ago.

The Alva Award: Recognizing Remarkable Inventors

Given to one person each year, The Alva Award will recognize a remarkable, serial inventor who has shown the ability to create useful, innovative new products and/or services that contribute toward a larger vision and make an impact on the world.

The inaugural Alva award-winner will be announced at this year’s sold-out 99U Conference on May 4, 2012 in New York City, where he/she will share a sneak-peek into the creative process that drives their incredible inventions.

The Alva Emerging Fellowships: Providing Seed Grants for Young Inventors

What’s more, we will be cultivating the next generation of creative visionaries with our exciting new Alva Emerging Fellowship program. Through an open application process, we will identify three promising young inventors and provide them with seed grants to take action on their ideas, a ticket to the 2012 99U Conference, and access to GE’s manufacturing expertise and resources.

–> Learn more about the Alva Emerging Fellowships & how to apply

The Alva Award Selection Committee

To help us choose wisely, we’ve assembled an Alva selection committee of leading minds from across the design, tech, education, and business communities, including:

Beth Comstock /// SVP and CMO, GE

Diego Rodriguez /// Partner, IDEO

Gary Vaynerchuk /// Founder, Wine Library TV

Ji Lee /// Communication Designer, Facebook

John Maeda /// President, Rhode Island School of Design

Josh Rubin /// Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Cool Hunting

Lesa Mitchell /// VP, The Kauffman FoundationMark Hatch /// CEO, TechShop

Michael Ventura /// Founder, Sub Rosa

Scott Belsky /// CEO, Behance

Sheryl Connelly /// Manager, Ford Global Trends & Futuring

Tom Wujec /// Fellow, Autodesk

What’s Next for the Alva Award?

Follow us @99U to stay tuned into Alva Award updates, as we lead up to the big reveal at this year’s 99U Conference on May 3-4, 2012 in New York City.

For any general or press inquiries about the Alva Award, please send us an email.

More insights on: Achievement, Innovation

Jocelyn K. Glei

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As Editor-in-Chief and Director of 99U, Jocelyn K. Glei leads the 99U in its mission to provide the “missing curriculum” on making ideas happen. She oversees the Webby Award-winning 99u.com website, curates the popular 99U Conference, and is the editor of the 99U books, Manage Your Day-to-Day and Maximize Your Potential.
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