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Vote to Select the Winners of the 2018 Tech Jam Awards

Sunday, October 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture


The nominations have been made and the judges have selected the finalists. Now it's time to vote to select the 2018 Tech Jam Award winners. Who will win the Jammies?  It’s up to you!

Public voting on Tech Jam Award finalists is open through October 16, 2018.

Winners will be announced at the 2018 Tech Jam Awards Ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday, October 19 at the Vermont Tech Jam event at the Champlain Valley Expo. Plan to join us to support your favorites and to celebrate all of the nominees and finalists.

Please cast only one vote for a winner in each of the three categories.

Cast your votes here.

Here are the award categories and the finalists:

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award, presented by BTV Ignite, recognizes any product, service or business that demonstrates exciting thinking and market momentum. The purpose of this award is to inspire and recognize excellence and shine a spotlight on Vermont as a home for innovation.

The Innovation Award finalists are:

Benchmark Space Systems

Benchmark Space Systems is targeting the rapidly growing small satellite market by building low-cost propulsion systems with safety and reliability features that are attracting a range of customers, including students and scientists. Find more at


Faraday is a cutting-edge data science company offering an artificial intelligence platform used by leading consumer product companies, financial institutions and home services to gain insights into customer behavior. Find more at

Social Sentinel

Social Sentinel provides a unique software-as-a-service technology used by school districts, universities and colleges across the country that scans a billion social media posts a day to identify public safety and other threats.  Find more at

Step Ahead Innovations

Step Ahead Innovations is developing real-time water quality monitoring products – including its MindStream Monitor – that use advanced fluorescent indicator science and sensors to revolutionize water monitoring in a wide variety of market applications from aquariums to hydroponics and aquaculture. Find more at

Widget Brain

Widget Brain is a leading algorithms-as-a-service and artificial intelligence company serving maritime, recycling, retail, and industrial equipment industries from its home in Vermont and locations around the globe in the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Australia.  Find more at

Ambassador Award

The Ambassador Award recognizes a business, organization or individual who leads the support, promotion and growth of Vermont’s tech economy and ecosystem. The purpose of this award is to celebrate the collaborators, supporters, connectors, advocates and promoters of Vermont’s tech ecosystem.

The Ambassador Award finalists are:

Greg Brand, Bluehouse Group

A founding vtTA member and long-time Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility member, Greg is owner of Bluehouse Group, a custom website and software development firm serving clients ranging from Dealer Policy and EZ-Probate, to Logic Supply, NRG Systems, and the Vermont State Legislature. Find more at

Maureen McElaney, IBM

A technologist and developer advocate for IBM, Maureen founded the Burlington chapter of Girl Develop It, which provides learning and resources to women who want to learn how to code, and also is an organizer of local tech events and a BTV Ignite Fellow. Find more at

Erik Monsen, UVM School of Business, Entrepreneurship Program

An Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Mechanical Engineering at UVM, Erik  collaborates across the university and locally on entrepreneurship opportunities, including creating student clubs and business pitch competitions, supporting UVM’s SPARK-VT commercialization grant program, and working with community organizations. Find more at

Gwen Pokalo, Center for Women and Enterprise

In her role as director of the Center for Women & Enterprise in Vermont, Gwen helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners access the resources, training, counseling, and support they need to succeed, and also serves on the boards of LaunchVT and the Women’s Small Business Network.  Find more at

Startup Award

The Startup Award recognizes a tech-based business or individual business entrepreneur that started in Vermont within the past three years, and demonstrates exceptional creativity, ambition, organization and market potential.  

The Startup Award finalists are:

Burlington Code Academy

This growing startup addresses the need for tech talent by offering 12-week immersive coding boot camps that help students learn the skills needed to get jobs in the fast-growing tech industry, while helping tech businesses find the employees they need to grow.  Find more at


EZ-Probate has developed and refined an online probate process that saves time and money by offering ready-to-sign probate court forms and step-by-step instruction, allowing anyone to successfully probate an estate. Find more at

Home Outside

Home Outside provides an online service and design app that enables homeowners to create beautiful landscape designs for their homes, and offers the help of a national network of landscape consultants to help implement the designs they create. Find more at

Made Here Staying Here’s “Made Here Staying Here” initiative is a student-driven economic development startup program designed to address the “brain drain” of college graduates in Vermont by using data science to help students make connections with businesses for career exploration and opportunities. Find more at