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Home > News > TechWire Awards Go to Six Individual, Six Corporate Triangle Tech, Life Science Leaders

TechWire Awards Go to Six Individual, Six Corporate Triangle Tech, Life Science Leaders

Updated Apr. 26, 2017 at 7:56 a.m.

TechWire Awards go to six individual, six corporate Triangle tech, life science leaders

Hall of Famer Venessa Harrison  AT&T North Carolina President Venessa Harrison thanks WRAL TechWire Editor Rick Smith after being named to TechWire’s Hall of Fame. Image 1 of 3 · Next Image…



Startups, entrepreneurs, executives, investors and several of the Triangle’s top tech and life science companies share the spotlight, taking home 12 awards at the fifth WRAL TechWire Awards. Plus, the first five members of TechWire’s Hall of Fame are honored as are several Editor’s Choice Award recipients.

Republic's Chris Chuang is a happy winnerA capacity crowd packed Google Fiber’s new Triangle headquarters for the event on Tuesday evening, which also featured a keynote address about entrepreneurship and the many strengths of the Triangle from Cindy Whitehead, who sold Sprout Pharmaceuticals for a whopping $1 billion.

In fact, demand for tickets was so high that the event was streamed live at (See link with this post)

We’ve also included a slideshow of photos from the event.

More than 100 individuals and companies were nominated by WRAL TechWire readers. The finalists were selected after a review by a WTW awards committee based on nominations received.

Here are the finalists and the winners:


Fastest Growing Startup (most potential)

  • Eco-Site
  • Republic Wireless
  • Textivia

​And the winner is:

Most Steady Startup (delivering success consistently)

  • Adwerx
  • Republic Wireless
  • ArchiveSocial

And the winner is:

  • Republic Wireless

Best Emerging Startup (fast-growing startup emerging from stealth mode)

  • Eco-Site
  • RewardStock
  • Roundtable Analytics

And the winner is:

  • Roundtable Analytics

Top Startup Director (CEO/Chairman)

  • Scott Moody, Co-Founder and CEO, K4Connect
  • Todd Olson, CEO,
  • Chris Chuang, Co-Founder and CEO, Republic Wireless

And the winner is:

  • Chris Chuang

Startup Executive Leader (top leader/executive, not necessarily CEO but a COO, CFO, CIO)

  • Kevin Barry, Founder and COO, FilterEasy
  • Tatiana Birgisson, Founder and CEO, MATI Energy
  • Nate Frechette, Co-Founder and CTO, Dropsource

And the winner is:

  • Tatiana Birgisson

Most Noteworthy Startup Founder or Investor

  • Chris Heivly, The Startup Factory
  • David Gardner, Cofounders Capital
  • Mark Easley, Goldhat Advisors

And the winner is:

  • Mark Easley


Highest Achieving Enterprise (established companies)

  • Bandwidth
  • IBM Watson
  • Sageworks

And the winner is:

Most Steady Enterprise (delivering success consistently)

  • MetLife Global Technology Operations
  • Red Hat
  • Bandwidth

And the winner is:

Best Emerging Enterprise (perhaps with IPO or exit potential)

  • Validic
  • Bandwidth

And the winner is:

Top Enterprise Director (CEO/Chairman)

  • Allen West, President and CEO, Railinic
  • David Morken, Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman of Bandwidth
  • Jean Davis, President and CEO, MCNC

And the winner is:

  • Jean Davis, MCNC

Enterprise Executive Leader (top leader/executive, not necessarily CEO but a COO, CFO, CIO)

  • Jesse Lipson, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Services BU at Citrix
  • Tara Fitzgerald, President, Clinical Development Services at INC Research
  • Will Aycock, General Manager at Greenlight Community Broadband

And the winner is:

  • Tara Fitzgerald

Most Noteworthy Enterprise Founders or Investors

  • Art Pappas, Pappas Ventures
  • David Jones, Bull City Venture Partners
  • Mark Easley, Goldhat Advisors

And the winner is:

David Jones


Five leaders in the evolution of the Triangle and North Carolina as a hub for high tech, life science, and startups were recognized as the first members of TechWire’s Hall of Fame.

They are:

  • Monica Doss, who helped create the nation’s largest organization focused on startups and entrepreneurs: The Council for Entrepreneurial Development.
  • Dr. Charles Hamner, who was a driving force behind the growth of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and one of the nation’s largest life science industries.
  • Dr. Jim Goodnight, co-founder and CEO of Cary-based SAS, a growing global software and services firm that’s never had a year losing money since its founding on July 1, 1976.
  • Venessa Harrison, who started her career as a telephone operator and steadily rose through the ranks of Bell South/AT&T to become president of AT&T for North Carolina and who spearheaded a drive to make sure the state was among the very first to deploy AT&T’s growing fiber network.
  • Dennis Dougherty, often considered the founding father of the venture capital industry with the creation of Intersouth Partners in Durham.

Editor’s Choice recipients are acknowledged in a related post.

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Copyright 2017 WRAL TechWire. All rights reserved.

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