Record-Smashing TechNite 2010

From the NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC whose TechNite Awards Banquet was part of the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit:

A record number of leaders, luminaries and dignitaries passionate about technology in the New River Valley and Roanoke, Virginia region reunited last night for the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC)’s 2010 TechNite Awards on April 7, 2010, an annual celebration of the NewVa Region’s burgeoning technology community. With over 440 attendees toasting the nominees and winners of this SOLD-OUT event, the atmosphere at The Inn at Virginia Tech’s ballroom was nothing short of electric.
It’s a testament to the unflappable nature of the region’s entrepreneurial spirit that even during tough times, the NCTC’s 2010 TechNite Awards smashed a number of records, including:

  • 81 Nominations in 5 Award Categories
  • Over 400 attendees in attendance for the SOLD-OUT event
  • Gracing an already-formidable list of Dignitaries and VIPs was Virginia’s new Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey and John May, Managing Partner of the New Vantage Group, TechNite’s 2010 Master of Ceremonies

And the winners are…

The Educator Award
Dale Vipperman of Christiansburg High School and James Irby of Montgomery County Public Schools

This award recognizes a K-12 educator in the NewVa Region that promotes math, science and/or use of technology in creative ways to transfer knowledge and help develop future technology leaders.
Regardless of who won this award, we wanted to let these individuals know that we recognize their hard work – efforts that will ultimately produce the workforce of tomorrow that our companies will employ. The quality of those future employees and their impact on our organizations will be a direct result of your efforts today. So, we thank you, we appreciate you, and congratulate you all on the tremendous work you are doing with our greatest asset…our children.

The Rising Star Award
Interactive Achievement, Inc.

This award recognizes a local technology company which "star is rising."  It may not be a household name yet, but it could soon be another local success story in the NewVa Region.
About Interactive Achievement, Inc.
Interactive Achievement provides an online assessment tool that provides K-12 educators with an accurate assessment of student performance so that students can be better prepared for the end of year Standards of Learning tests. Since being founded in 2006, Interactive Achievement has expanded to over fifty school districts in Virginia. During the current recession…they have grown revenue nearly 10-fold and hired 13 people. The company was founded by educators including their CEO who is a former principal and the focus is always on the children. Evidence of such is that Interactive Achievement provides time during the day for their employees to volunteer at school tutoring children.
The NewVa Leadership Award
Jay Foster, SoftSolutions, Inc.

This award recognizes one of our own who not only succeeds in the workplace, but also leads by example by contributing significantly to the community in which we live.
About Jay Foster, SoftSolutions, Inc.
Jay Foster launched SoftSolutions in 1998 and although the company has enjoyed some significant success recently, Jay definitely knows the ups and downs of running a small company. Outside the office, Jay has spent significant time and energy leading the "81 Reasons to Connect" initiative, which been working to identify and communicate the economic and social benefits of a combined Roanoke and New River Valley Metro-Region. Jay is a former President of the NCTC, serves on the 5th District's Regional Planning Commission, and is a board member for Roanoke Public Schools. To quote ONE OF the people that nominated him "Jay amazes me with his energy and commitment to our region. He unselfishly leads efforts.
The Innovator Award
Maxtena Inc.

This award recognizes those that set the standard for thought leadership and innovation. By definition, they are doing something new or different, and they are doing it well. Their innovation represents a significant technological breakthrough or addresses a great market opportunity or both.
About Maxtena Inc.
The compact size of antennas makes them difficult to customize, but Maxtena is transforming the world of antennas. Much like what Bose did with audio speaker technology, Maxtena is creating technological breakthroughs for electromagnetic wireless applications. Instead of thinking about the antenna as an inexpensive piece of metal, Maxtena is developing smart antenna technology for wireless communications like GPS and mobile satellite communications. Maxtena’s technology enables never-before-possible wireless applications that have commercial and military applications.
The Entrepreneur Award
 David Catalano and Aaron Harrington, Modea Corporation

Entrepreneurs are a different breed. Sometimes it takes nerves of steel to blaze a new path. This award recognizes someone in our community who exemplifies what it means to be a risk-taker in the technology field.
About David Catalano and Aaron Harrington of Modea Corporation
David Catalano and Aaron Herrington have played a principal role in the start-up of two companies in Blacksburg, the first while they were still students at Virginia Tech. Their current venture is Modea, which is a combination of the words "Modern" & "Idea". Modea is an interactive design firm that delivers cutting edge digital products to companies like T-mobile, Hasbro, Seiko, Sharp, and Newell Rubbermaid. Thanks to David and Aaron’s leadership, the company has grown rapidly attracting top talent away from big cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York and has been profitable every year it’s been in business.

The People’s Choice Award

This award winner is chosen by the TechNite audience, giving them a chance to learn more about a few "up and coming" companies in the NewVa region and contribute to the awards process. Each attendee determines their own criteria: whether it’s who has the most innovative technology, the best idea, or the most commercial potential.
About New City
The folks at NewCity dedicate one day a week to developing ideas into new products. The first outcome of that effort is Nomad Mobile Guides, which was developed in partnership with the National Park Service. It's unique among travel apps because it allows people to purchase multiple guides and have them work together as one. Imagine taking a trip to Tuscany – you might buy one general guidebook, another with walking tours of Tuscany, and a third with local wineries. You don't want to have to flip through all three to decide what to do in Florence. With NOMAD, you see information from each guidebook displayed together on the map. NOMAD will soon be available for purchase through iTunes with editions for other mobile devices to follow.

The NewVy Award
Henry Bass, Automation Creations (ACI) Inc.

From time to time, there are achievements that are not easily classified into an award category. During this year's award process, it became clear that we had one of these situations. To recognize outstanding achievement within our community, the NCTC has created the NEWVY Award. This award recognizes those that serve as a model for others to emulate.

About Henry Bass
Henry started a local technology company more than a decade ago. The company is still going strong and has very loyal employees. In addition to running a company, Henry volunteers a considerable amount of time working with kids. He coaches a Lego robotics team that won the regional title and also serves as pack leader for the Cub Scouts. And he also serves on the NCTC board of directors. In addition to all other contributions to our community, this individual serves as a United States Army Reservist and was deployed to Iraq from October of 2008 through September 2009 where he worked 18 hour days in a combat zone. For his efforts, he was promoted from Major to Lieutenant Colonel and awarded the Bronze Star.


VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge TrophyVT KnowledgeWorks has announced a Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 29 – September 4, 2010, in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA.  The Challenge celebrates the energy and ingenuity of university students and their important contributions to the future of our global economy.  The name of the winning team, their university name, and their home city will be etched into the base of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy as a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort.  The winning team will earn a $25,000 cash prize.


VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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