The Horizon Council and Horizon Foundation and City of Fort Myers are proud to announce a joint partnership to sponsor and host the highly-acclaimed international Edison Awards in the heart of Fort Myers over the next three seasons. Beginning April 21-23, 2021 and continuing through spring 2024, the Edison Awards will take place at the new Luminary Hotel and Co. and Caloosa Sound Convention Center in the downtown Fort Myers River District.
“Bringing the internationally recognized Edison Awards and its high caliber of award-winning entrepreneurs to the City of Fort Myers where Thomas Edison maintained his winter home is a very big deal,” said City of Fort Myers Manager Saeed Kazemi, P.E. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to our beautiful City of Palms.”
As part of the agreement with Edison Universe, the Horizon Foundation and Horizon Council will contribute $150,000 over a three-year period and the City of Fort Myers and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) will do the same. The groups will also assist the Edison Awards in securing another $50,000 from area businesses for each event year.
“The Horizon Foundation couldn’t be more excited and honored to extend our global reach with the Edison Awards, which will bring business leaders and tourism dollars from all over the world to our area,” said Horizon Foundation President Dan Eveloff.
Of special significance for Fort Myers is having the Edison Awards come to a place where Thomas Edison had a family home and laboratory. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are visited by more than 250,000 guests each year and are located less than one mile from the Caloosa Sound Convention Center.
Named after inventor Thomas Edison, the Edison Awards have recognized and honored some of the most innovative new products, services and business leaders from around the world since 1987. The awards personify the persistence, excellence and human drive for innovation, creativity and ingenuity long personified by the famous inventor.
“We are thrilled that the Edison Awards are moving to downtown Fort Myers where Thomas Edison’s greatest innovations originated over 150 years ago,” stated Executive Director of the Edison Awards Frank Bonafilia. “The future of Fort Myers is bright with robust start-up and global companies that are leading the charge in enhancing the quality of life, increasing sustainability, and improving educational technology.”
Each year, more than 150 companies from all over the world are honored with an Edison Award, ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. General Electric, IBM, Cisco and Lockheed Martin Corp. are just a few of the notable past Edison Award winners. In addition, one or more individuals is presented with the Edison Achievement Award each year for their significant and lasting contribution to the world of innovation through their career, leadership and achievements. Elon Musk of Tesla Motors & SpaceX, Steve Jobs of Apple, Ted Turner of Time Warner, and Martha Stewart of MSL Omnimedia are a few of the past honorees.
“We are proud to host the prestigious Edison Awards and hope attendees can draw inspiration and historical context from visiting our city,” said Mayor Randy Henderson.
By connecting with more than 7,000 companies from around the world during each nomination season, the Edison Awards are on the cutting edge of identifying emerging trends and market developments. Nominations receive an unbiased, high-powered, focus group review by the Edison Awards Steering Committee comprised of hand-picked industry experts from a spectrum of disciplines.
Commissioner Ray Sandelli, the county’s liaison to the Horizon Council, said “Lee County welcomes the Edison Awards to our community, highlighting our legacy of entrepreneurship and innovation. This partnership exemplifies the business, cultural, and civic initiative that makes our county a destination for forward-thinking visitors and residents from around the world, building on our vibrant community . We consider this an amazing opportunity to recognize Lee County’s past through the works of Thomas Edison and his contribution to the United States economy, by celebrating present innovators at the Edison Awards.”