Startup Boston's 2022 Community Award Winners
It's time to recognize the movers and shakers of the New England startup ecosystem.
We're excited to announce the 2022 Winners!
Last year, we launched Startup Boston's first ever Community Awards. And were taken by storm with the number of submissions made and how much the community celebrated one another during the voting process.
There were no strings, no submission fee attached, just a pure grassroots movement to celebrate our startup community and one another.
For our second annual Startup Boston Community Awards, we're going to stick with that spirit. All nominations and voting will be made by the startup community.
Meet Our Judges
All nominations are done by the New England startup community. The judges then take these nominations and pick the top three. We then open up voting to the public to decide the winner! More information on the timeline and process directly below!
SIMONE LAPRAY, Program Manager, Techstars
Simone is a force in the Boston startup community. Previously she was the Executive Director of TiE Boston, an accelerator program that has over 12,000 members in 62 chapters worldwide. Now at Techtars, she continues supporting the entrepreneurial community with events and mentorship.
DANIEL ACHEAMPONG, General Partner, Visible Hands VC
As Co-founder and General Partner of Visible Hands, Daniel plays a pivotal role in highlighting and investing in the limitless potential of overlooked founders here in Boston and beyond. He also supports the startup ecosystem as an Entrepreneur in Residence at MIT designX.
TOM WENTWORTH, Chief Marketing Officer, Recorded Future
Tom is everywhere in the startup community. He has been advisor to notable companies, Drift and Jebbit. Has played a pivotal role in the growth of Acquia, RapidMiner and Recorded Future as their CMO. And is the Host of the Scaleup Marketing Podcast, a weekly podcast focused on helping and startups scale-up their B2B marketing efforts.
Startup of the Year
Awarded to the startup that has seen the most growth in their product roadmap, customer acquisition, team and marketing footprint.
STRIDE FUNDING - Since closing their $12M Series A in December of 2021, their female-founded, mission-driven financial technology startup has been charging ahead on our student-centric mission to provide flexible, affordable funding to learners of all backgrounds. They’ve become a leading provider of outcomes-driven financing for higher education and alternative education students, and have funded students at over 150 top-tier universities and bootcamps and certificate programs.
Meet the winners for 2022's Community Awards!
Founder of the Year
Awarded to the founder who has defeated the odds and shown the most grit and growth. This founder must be an advocate for not just their company, but a supporter and ally to founders in MA and underrepresented communities.
TESS MICHAELS, CEO & Founder, Stride Funding - the daughter of Indian immigrants, Tess grew up in Texas and later attended HBS, where she founded Stride. The company she founded as a grad student has grown from 12 to 32 full-time employees in the past year and found their new home in the heart of Downtown Boston.
Investor of the Year
Awarded to the angel investor or VC who has done the most to support the startup ecosystem, is an advocate to underrepresented communities, and is notorious for investing in MA-based startups.
RUDINA SESERI - her and her women majority VC firm provided pre-seed and seed funding to over 34 high-potential startups. Boston companies she has supported include Inrupt, Reprise, ChaosSearch, Zylotech, Celtra, CrowdTwist and others.
Best Student-Founded Startup
Awarded to the student founder who has seen tremendous traction in their startup. Company must have been founded while pursuing their degree.
ROBIGO - Currently in their second year of business, Robigo expanded from 2 founders to 5 full time employees + 3 interns. They have achieved significant technical milestones. Robigo is on a mission to create a new class of microbial solutions that will move the ag industry away from chemical inputs and towards a more sustainable future.
Best Accelerator or Incubator Program
Awarded to the accelerator or incubator who represents a diverse portfolio of founders and is constantly giving back and helping to better the startup community in MA.
ACTIVATE - this fellowship program states that, "we don't invest in startups; we invest in people." This program exists to support scientists and engineers.
Community Builder of the Year
Awarded to the person who has the best "give back" attitude towards the MA startup community.
RACHEL MCINTOSH, Community Manager, Venture Lane - you can tell she really cares about supporting all the founders in Boston's startup ecosystem and makes efforts to know them personally and help them whenever they need. She also volunteers for Startup Boston to give back and she's very engaged in Boston's startup world.
Awarded to the startup or company who has committed the most to diversity.
TASNEEM DOHADWALA, Founding Partner, Excelestar Ventures - Excelestar Ventures is dedicated to investing in diverse teams because the team knows that those are the groups that win. Across Excelestar’s entire portfolio, 61% of their companies are minority-led and 50% are female-led.
Innovative Business Model
Awarded to the company that has found a very different or unique business revenue model.
COMPUTERVAULT - their distribution partners fulfill the company’s go-to-market strategy. ComputerVault is now being onboarded as an Independent Software Vendor for distributors such as TD SYNNEX, Arrow Electronics, and Oracle Corporation, who purchase ComputerVault software and resell its solutions directly to channel partners or end customers.
Best Work-from-Home Culture
Awarded to the startup who has embraced hybrid and work-from-home culture.
SIMERA- this company trusts their employees to make their decision that is best for them on where they want to work from. They're welcome to work from home, from their office, or from a co-working space.
Awarded to the most supportive startup towards the community. They have a give-back attitude.
BOSTON WHILE BLACK - through their digital and in-person presence they are shaping a city where Black people want to live and work, while connecting Black professionals, entrepreneurs and students
Most Likely To Be the Next Boston Unicorn
Awarded to the startup who is most likely to succeed in the startup ecosystem.
ARMORED THINGS - provides SaaS solutions for crowd intelligence. Since their founding in 2016, they built a team of technology experts to deliver world-class solutions to stadiums, corporations, and campuses around the country.