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Pittsburgh Technology Council Announces Category Leaders of the 2019 Tech 50 Awards

The Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC) announced the category leaders for the 2019 Tech 50 Awards at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Since 1997, the Tech 50 Awards recognize southwestern Pennsylvania’s most successful, innovative, and thought-leading technology companies, which have become the backbone of Pittsburgh’s new economy. The awards represent transformative technology centers of excellence with tech companies at all stages of growth. Tech 50 also recognizes the region’s top tech executives with its “CEO of the Year” award. This year’s Tech 50 introduced two new categories – FinTech and Community – to recognize new, growing tech sectors in the region. “Every year, the Tech Council evolves and tweaks Tech 50 to accurately reflect our region’s technology ecosystem,” said PTC President and CEO Audrey Russo. “Creating these new competitive categories spotlights our strengths in these fast-growing and ever-evolving sectors.” Each year, the PTC canvasses the region for the most distinguished public and private technology-oriented companies, and the Tech 50 awards honor those companies that demonstrated the strongest growth and advancement in product or sales success, corporate citizenship, job growth and retention, industry achievement and innovative product or technology. “This is the biggest night in Pittsburgh’s tech industry,” said Russo. “We want to congratulate all of the category leaders and finalists. They are defining our region’s tech sector.” Here’s a look at the 2019 Tech 50 Category Leaders:

Culture Leader of the Year:

TeleTracking Technologies – As an innovative software company, TeleTracking believes it is unacceptable that patients are not able to access the care they need, when they need it, due to operating inefficiencies and unnecessary cost barriers. That’s why for nearly three decades the organization has been dedicated to helping health systems improve access to quality care?while also supporting caregivers with an outcomes-based approach of people, process and technology that gives them more time at the bedside. This commitment to serving patients and caregivers supports the mission to ensure that no patient will ever have to wait for the care that they need. Finalists:
  • Koppers - Koppers, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds.
  • MSA Safety - Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures.
  • Pittsburgh Technical College – For more than 70 years, PTC's faculty and staff have been singularly focused on each student's academic and career development.
  • solutions4networks – solutions4networks provides professional services and integration, as well as critical network security, for enterprise, hybrid, and cloud networks.
  • TiER1 Performance Solutions - TiER1 Performance is an employee-owned consulting firm that activates strategies through people.

CEO of the Year:

John Thornton, Astrobotic Technology, Inc. - John Thornton has grown Astrobotic’s business of delivering affordable space robotics technology and planetary missions by attracting technology contracts, equity investment and payload customers. Thornton is coordinating the team and alliance for Peregrine’s development and the first mission. At Carnegie Mellon, Thornton led the build of Scarab, a NASA concept robot for lunar drilling, and the robot to carry a prototype of NASA’s RESOLVE payload. He also founded Carnegie Mellon’s Advanced Composites Lab, a research, training, design and manufacturing lab specializing in high performance lightweight composites for robotics. Finalists
  • Alison Alvarez, BlastPoint, Inc
  • David Kane, Ethical Intruder
  • Matt Kessinger, Forest Devices
  • Jim Gillespie, GrayMatter
  • Barbara VanKirk, IQ Inc.
  • Avi Geller, Maven Machines
  • Michele McGough, solutions4networks

Innovator of the Year: AI & Robotics

Bossa Nova Robotics – Bossa Nova is the leading provider of real-time, on-shelf product data for the global retail industry. Its robots navigate the busy retail ecosystem, collecting a wealth of data that allows retailers to optimize the omnichannel shopping experience. Its multidisciplinary team of robotics, artificial intelligence and big data scientists has solved the challenges to deploy fully autonomous retail service robots and deliver actionable data in real-time. Bossa Nova’s robots are currently deployed in 50 stores across the United States, making it the largest deployment of this kind of technology anywhere in the world. Finalists:
  • AURORA – Aurora is delivering the benefits of self-driving technologies safely, quickly and broadly, catalyzing the self-driving revolution.
  • Gecko Robotics – Gecko Robotics make robots for industrial services, starting with inspections.
  • IAM Robotics – IAM Robotics is the leader of flexible autonomous robotic material handling solutions for e-commerce order fulfillment and material handling in logistics and manufacturing.
  • Locomation Inc. – Locomation’s Mission is to move the trucking industry towards a safer, faster and greener driverless future.
  • Near Earth Autonomy - Near Earth is a 6-year-old Carnegie Mellon spin-off whose mission is to make flight safe, efficient, and accessible.

Innovator of the Year: Community Tech

Tech Elevator – Tech Elevator is an intensive educational provider helping individuals and companies acquire in-demand technology skills for the modern workforce. Through its 14-week, full-time and in-person coding bootcamps, Tech Elevator teaches students with a variety of backgrounds to become software developers while helping them build career readiness skills and connections through its Pathway ProgramTM to land a meaningful job. Founded in 2015 with a focus on quality and care in everything it does, Tech Elevator is proud of its outcomes earning a leading national bootcamp position based on the job placement rate of grads through CIRR, the Council on Integrity Results in Reporting ( Finalists:
  • Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) – ARM accelerates robotics innovation to drive U.S.-based growth in manufacturing while developing domestic robotics expertise to create high-value careers.
  • Catalyst Connection – Catalyst Connection provides consulting and training services to small manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania, accelerating revenue growth and improving productivity.
  • Schell Games – Schell Games is the largest full-service education and entertainment game development company in the United States.

Innovator of the Year: FinTech

Honeycomb Credit – Honeycomb Credit is a Pittsburgh-based crowd financing platform that connects small businesses looking for expansion loans with community members looking to invest local. By allowing anyone to invest in their own local economy, Honeycomb Credit aims to unlock growth opportunities for small businesses to build vibrant, financially empowered communities. Honeycomb operates in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Businesses can borrow up to $100,000 for expansion purposes, and community members can start investing for as little as $100. Finalists:
  • Exchangelodge – Exchangelodge makes data management for Alternative Investment firms simple.
  • Lendinghome - Founded on built-from-scratch technology, LendingHome is revolutionizing mortgages for the nation's fix-and-flip industry, which is a key component of the U.S. residential housing market.
  • numo – numo is a fintech incubator and subsidiary of PNC Bank.

Innovator of the Year: Health IT

eResearch Technology Inc. (ERT) – ERT is a global data and technology company that minimizes uncertainty and risk in clinical trials so that its customers ? pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies ? can move ahead in their clinical development of new medical treatments quickly, and with confidence. With nearly 50 years of experience, ERT’s solutions enhance trial oversight, increase patient engagement and measure the efficacy of new clinical treatments while ensuring patient safety. Since 2013, more than half of all FDA drug approvals came from ERT-supported studies. Its solutions have been used across 15,000 studies, spanning more than four million patients to date. Finalists:
  • ChemImage – ChemImage Corporation is committed to making the world healthier and safer through dramatic advancements in chemical imaging technologies.
  • Intalere – Intalere improves the operational health of America’s healthcare providers by designing tailored solutions that deliver optimal cost, quality and clinical outcomes.
  • Net Health – Net Health is the leader in software solutions for specialized outpatient care.
  • Sentact– Sentact is the leader in patient engagement solutions.

Innovator of the Year: Life Sciences

ARIEL Precision Medicine – ARIEL is an integrated genomics and digital health company delivering precision medicine solutions for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of complex chronic diseases and disorders. Its mechanistic diagnostic approach enables informed intervention prior to the development of end-stage disease outcomes. ARIEL’s technologies can lead a paradigm shift from single gene (Mendelian) genetics to multifaceted, complicated gene to gene interactions that interface with familial and environmental factors to provide a more comprehensive view of disease trajectory and precise therapeutic options. Finalists:
  • Forest Devices – Forest devices is the creator of AlphaStroke, and a leader in the emerging market of prehospital stroke detection.
  • MedRespond – MedRespond is the leader in Conversational Patient Engagement with a proven ROI track record – increasing patient satisfaction scores that drive reimbursements, reducing cost of care and improving outcomes.
  • Smith & Nephew – Smith & Nephew began in Pittsburgh as Blue Belt Technologies. Since its launch in 2011, the NAVIO Surgical System has been used to help complete over 15,000 knee replacement surgeries.

Innovator of the Year: Manufacturing | Kurt J. Lesker III Award for Excellence

Philips – Philips is a global leader in health technology with nearly 40 years of legacy in leadership in sleep apnea management, medical sleep technology, oxygen therapy, noninvasive ventilation and respiratory drug delivery. Philips strives to create meaningful innovations that improve people’s lives. It is committed to discovering and developing novel solutions to help people sleep and breathe better. Offering localized support to its customers all over the world, the Philips sleep and respiratory team is represented by approximately 1,800 professionals located in western Pennsylvania. Finalists:
  • Aerotech Inc. – Since 1970, Aerotech has designed and manufactured the highest performance motion control, positioning tables/stages, and positioning systems
  • Arconic – Working in close partnership with their customers, Arconic solves complex engineering challenges to transform the way we fly, drive, build and power.
  • FLIR Detection Systems – FLIR Systems, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness.
  • PPG – PPG (NYSE:PPG), works every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that its customers have trusted for more than 135 years.

Solutions Provider of the Year:

GrayMatter - For more than 20 years, GrayMatter has provided critical infrastructure environments with data driven, process automation solutions to both optimize operations and ensure safe, reliable performance. Through a combination of industry-leading technologies, coupled with its deep subject matter expertise and proven track record of delivering solutions, GrayMatter helps clients improve on their mission by reducing costs, improving monitoring and intelligence and securing your systems from both environmental and intentional threats. GrayMatter provides consulting, implementation and managed services to the manufacturing, energy, water utility, food and beverage and other industries. Finalists:
  • Accion Labs – Accion Labs is focused on the innovation delivery life-cycle through emerging technologies.
  • AEC Group – AEC Group is a Pittsburgh based Technology Solutions Provider that is a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and certi ed by the WBENC.
  • Concensus Technologies – Concensus Technologies is a national leader, partner, and provider in identifying and implementing top- notch business, security, and IT solutions.
  • CyLumena – CyLumena was created out of a growing need for reliable cybersecurity technology, support, and expert guidance in the Pittsburgh region.
  • Ethical Intruder – Ethical Intruder is a local Pittsburgh Cyber Security and Compliance based services company.
  • Piper Creative LLC – Piper Creative works with B2B and B2C to produce podcasts, vlogs, and other forms of digital video.
  • Rivers Agile – Launched in 2008 as a QA consulting firm, Rivers Agile fulfilled the need for first-rate quality assurance services in greater Pittsburgh.
  • Truefit – Truefit serves clients, from entrepreneurs to executives, who need to create new software products that delight their users and grow their business.

Start-up of the Year:

Rapid Flow Technologies - Rapid Flow Technologies is improving people's lives by using AI (artificial intelligence) to reimagine traffic control. Mobility is critical to economic opportunity and quality of life. Rapid Flow Technologies is working every day to improve the mobility experience of all travelers by reducing congestion, emissions, safety incidents and business inefficiencies. Rapid Flow was created to commercialize the Surtrac adaptive traffic signal control technology developed in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon as part of the Traffic21 research initiative. Rapid Flow is also a part of the NSF I-Corps Site program at Carnegie Mellon. Finalists: Blastpoint – BlastPoint creates self-serve software solutions for customers so that even non-experts can have access to insights that would have only been previously achievable with the help of a data scientists. Coeo – Coeo is an independent open data platform for move-in-ready office space. Four Growers – Four Growers, based in Pittsburgh, is a Y Combinator Summer 2018 company dedicated to revolutionizing the agricultural industry through automation. Ikos Holdings Inc. – Ikos is a property-leasing startup that leverages technology to bridge the gaps between landlords and renters. Maven Machines – Leading transportation operators and logistics companies rely on Maven Machines’ enterprise fleet management and dispatching solutions to make real-time operational decisions.  SHzoom It, LLC – SHzoom is a Pittsburgh based tech firm with a patented electronic repair cost acquisition and crash management system.