After winning his first of two NEVY Awards from the New England Venture Capital Association last night, Andy Ory of Acme Packet took the stand to deliver a message.
“THIS is exactly what we should be doing,” he shouted, gesturing with his glass trophy to the well dressed, lively crowd filling the dance floor at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA. “We have an outstanding community, and we need to be celebrating it!”
No one could contend that the first annual NEVCA award ceremony fell short here. The impressive parade of entrepreneurial talent on stage and in the audience showcased some of Boston’s best and brightest talent in the tech and healthcare industries. But even with only 13 awards to hand out during the night, the atmosphere was one of networking and camaraderie.
“This isn’t a competitive dynamic,” said Jeffrey Walsh of Bluebird Bio, a nominee for the Deal of the Year award in Health Care. “The companies in this room have raised huge amounts of capital throughout the year, and the amount we can learn from one another is truly inspiring.”
Walsh was clinking glasses with Maura Gavaghan of Kyruus, another company nominated in the same category.
“It’s great to be able to put faces to names,” Gavaghan added. “I’ve recognized people in the room from their LinkedIn photos!”
Faces may have become fuzzy as the night drew on, with an open bar and a vast array of catered food sponsored by Connecticut Innovations, but the energy never waned; it simply acquired more dance moves.
“I’m already thinking about next year and how we’ll continue telling the amazing stories of this community,” said NEVY Awards Executive Director C.A. Webb. ““This event is incredibly cool for me because pretty much every significant founder and VC is in the room right now! We sold out just one day ahead, and the event’s success has left me completely blown away.”
There wasn’t much time for award speeches, but NEVY nominees in each award category received recognition for their accomplishments that year. Cheers to tales of massive exits and groundbreaking deals poured forth in a steady crescendo as the ceremony’s all-star cast of hosts and emcees pumped up the crowd.
“At the end of the day, our community is built of entrepreneurs who will chase great ideas with passion and reckless abandon,” exclaimed emcee and Actifio CMO Mike Troiano. “This is what we are celebrating tonight.”
Last night’s winners:
Categories voted on by Tech and Healthcare
Angel of the Year: Andy Palmer - Koa Labs
Best New Startup: Jounce Therapeutics
Hottest Startup: Wayfair
Rising Star: Entrepreneur: Sravish Sridhar – Kinvey
Rising Star: VC: Tie: Rob Go – NextView Ventures, & Steve Kraus – Bessemer Venture Partner
Deal of the Year: Tech: Ash Ashutosh – Actifio
Exit of the Year: Tech: Acme Packet – Oracle
Entrepreneur of the Year: Tech: Andy Ory, Acme Packet
VC of the Year: Tech: Spark Capital
Deal of the Year: Healthcare: Moderna Therapeutics Inc.
Exit of the Year: Healthcare: Avila Therapeutics: Celgene
Entrepreneur of the Year: Healthcare: Katrine Bosley – Avila Therapeutics
VC of the Year: Healthcare: Third Rock Ventures