LabWare Founder & CEO Vance Kershner, Named 2023 Honoree

WILMINGTON, DE, March 29, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation announced today that Vance Kershner has been selected as this year’s recipient of the esteemed Pete du Pont Freedom Award. Kershner is the founder of LabWare, Inc., a leading global software company in laboratory informatics, and serves as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The nationally recognized award will be formally presented to Kershner this fall during the annual Pete du Pont Freedom Award ceremony at the Hotel du Pont on September 26th. Tickets to the highly anticipated event are on sale now.

“Vance Kershner is a risk-taker and change maker,” said PDFF Board Chair Thère du Pont. “Like my father, Vance believes in championing bold ideas, giving back to the state, and building entrepreneurial ecosystems that are truly impactful. We are thrilled to honor Vance with the Pete du Pont Freedom Award this year.”

After a decade in E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company’s engineering department, Kershner founded LabWare in 1987. LabWare is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, with offices in 25 countries. The company has received many accolades, including the Delaware Bioscience Association’s 2016 Company of the Year Award, Scientific Computing and Instrumentation’s Readers’ Choice Award in LIMS each year from 2000 to 2008, Frost and Sullivan’s European LIMS Company of the Year Award in 2008 and Frost & Sullivan’s Product Quality Leadership Award in LIMS in 2004.

In addition to his role as LabWare’s president and CEO, Kershner is also a general partner of the Delaware-based seed and early-stage venture capital firm Leading Edge Ventures. He serves on the board of governors of Multiplying Good, which recognizes, inspires, and activates volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces, and schools across America.

In 2015, Vance was a Distinguished Career Award honoree in the University of Delaware’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has been a member of the Advisory Council for the university’s College of Engineering since 2012 and currently serves as its chair.

“It’s an honor to receive such a prestigious award and be recognized with such an accomplished group of former honorees,” said Kershner. “LabWare, and me personally, have tried to be supportive and promote the development of new ideas and talented entrepreneurs, whether with students or in the workforce and provide assistance to help overcome some of the challenges they face. Governor duPont changed the business climate in Delaware, using legislation to create new industries and one of the most business-friendly states in the Country. I only hope LabWare, myself, and my children live up to the examples that have been established before us.”

The Pete du Pont Freedom Award honors Pete du Pont, Delaware’s sixty-eight governor, who delivered Delaware from harsh fiscal times into an age of vibrant economic growth by working with the legislature, business and community leaders, and educators. The acclaimed award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has championed a successful idea that has led to economic growth or brought innovation to the private sector. The award ceremony celebrates our nation’s finest contributors to the entrepreneurial spirit.

Recent Freedom Award recipients include MBNA America’s leadership team, Charlie Horn, Carol Ammon, and Mike Castle. The award ceremony serves as a key fundraising effort to support the Foundation’s work to promote innovation and enterprise for all through its Reinventing Delaware Program and the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3). The ceremony also celebrates the 2023 Reinventing Delaware finalists and E3 members – and marks the start of the 2024 Reinventing Delaware Dinner and Program.

This year’s award presentation will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, DE, from 6:00-8:30 PM and includes hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. The Foundation encourages guests to support the local restaurants in the area by having dinner beforehand or after the event.

Tickets to the 2023 Pete du Pont Freedom Award are available now at Sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting Stephanie Johnnie at [email protected].

About the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation
The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote our country’s spirit of private enterprise by fostering access to the marketplace for every entrepreneur and their ideas. The foundation is committed to carrying out the legacy of the late former Gov. Pete du Pont by focusing on opportunities for success in Delaware. To learn more, visit

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