September 16, 2015
Innovation Makes a Statement with Turnout at MassTLC Awards Gala

Mass Technology Leadership Council, or MassTLC, is New England's membership-based network for tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors and policy leaders. One of the organization’s key initiatives is their Annual Technology Leadership Awards Gala, which was held last night. 

MassTLC’s purpose is to accelerate innovation by connecting people from across the technology landscape, and they did just that last night at the 18th edition of the event held at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center. 

Among the hundreds of our region’s top tech executives, community leaders, startup founders and business luminaries, both established leaders and promising newcomers to the Massachusetts innovation economy were recognized by MassTLC with awards being given out across 16 categories, the finalists for which were announced in July. 

In additional to the expected 16 awards, MassTLC also gave out four additional honors for those growing, changing, and inspiring lives through developing and promoting technology in the region. Here’s a snapshot of those honored: 

The 2015 Commonwealth Award: Michael Stonebraker (pictured below), Professor of Computer Science at MIT; Co-director, CSAIL’s Intel Sciences and Technology Center for Big Data, serial entrepreneur. Barry Morris, Co-Founder an Executive Chairman of Cambridge-based NuoDB, recently told VentureFizz in an interview that “Boston is the database center of the world” because of Stonebraker’s work. 


Distinguished Leadership Awards
were given to:

  • John Harthorne, Founder and CEO, MassChallenge
    Through his vision, MassChallenge has become the world’s largest startup accelerator accepting 128 startups into the program each year, and just from Boston has more than 600 alumni who between them have generated more than $450 million of revenue and created over 5,000 jobs.
  • Charlie LaFauci & Shawn Szturma, Somerville’s STEM community leaders
    Szturma, a Somerville resident, parent, and employee at Cambridge-based Pegasystems, realized that Somerville’s students were not exposed to CS education. So, with the help of Charlie LaFauci, Supervisor of Library Media Services at Somerville Public Schools, who was also working to bring Hour of Code to his students, they brought about needed change. Today, with the help of more than 150 volunteers, Somerville’s 4,600+ student population now participates in the national program, Hour of Code.
  • Debbie Theobald, Executive Director, Vecna Cares 
    Established in 2009, Vecna Cares Charitable Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides technology and training to support and strengthen health systems in underserved areas. The non-profit builds systems that close the information gaps between patients, caregivers and decision makers.

In a statement, MassTLC CEO, Tom Hopcroft praised the honorees: 

“Mike, Debbie, John, Charlie and Shawn epitomize the kind of innovative thinking and take-charge leadership that has characterized the Massachusetts innovation economy for more than three centuries. Not content to merely excel in their particular fields, each has recognized needs within their communities and taken the initiative to solve them. In so doing, they serve as tremendous inspiration for others.” 

Turning to the main attraction of the night, the 16 Technology Leadership Award winners, Hopcroft added: 

“The MassTLC Leadership Awards is our chance to recognize the significant contributions of companies that are changing the world by solving real problems and, in the process, continually invigorating Massachusetts’ economy. Each of the 2015 nominees, finalists—and especially tonight’s winners—should be proud of the role they play in making our innovation community the envy of the world.” 

Technology Leadership Award winners were selected from hundreds of nominations, as judged by panels of executives, investors, analysts, media and thought leaders in each of the 16 categories. So without further ado, here are your 2015 award winners:  

CEO of the Year: Jim Heppelmann, CEO, PTC 

CTO of the Year: Steve Conine, CTO, Wayfair 

Emerging Executive of the Year: Jonathan Lacoste, COO, Jebbit 

Private Company of the Year: DraftKings 

Public Company of the Year: Fleetmatics 

Start-up to Watch: Admetsys 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Big Data: Podium Data 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Cloud: CloudHealth Technologies 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Education Technology: HSTRY 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Healthcare and Life Sciences: Empatica 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Internet of Things: LogMeIn 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Mobile Applications: TripAdvisor 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Mobile Technology: ScratchWireless 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Robotics: VGo Communications 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Sales & Marketing: Mavrck 

Innovative Technology of the Year – Security: Black Duck Software


Josh Boyle is Director of Marketing & Community, VentureFizz.  You can follow him on Twitter @jb_sid
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