Tech in Motion Orange County hosted their annual Timmy Awards on Wednesday evening. The Timmys recognize the best in technology work culture, management, and startups in 11 regions across North America, including New York, San Francisco, and Toronto. The goal of the Timmy Awards is to recognize the companies striving to create better places for tech professionals to work in their local communities. Previous winners have included innovators such as Jet.com, LearnVest, Venmo, Trip Advisor, Gilt, Constant Contact, Casper, and Instacart. Over 200 nominations poured in with nearly 10,000 votes to decide the winner in each category. With over 4400 members in Orange County alone, Tech in Motion is dedicated to helping the local tech ecosystem grow and accelerate entrepreneurship in Orange County. “We are honored to recognize the growing tech community in Orange County and San Diego with our second annual Timmy Awards here,” said Tech in Motion Organizer Jaime Vizzuett, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates Orange County. “This year, we were able to highlight finalists who were nominated by their peers because they are companies that are growing daily not only in size, but in the number of innovations they are sharing with the community.”
The event began with a keynote by Richard Sudek, Director and Chief Innovation Officer for Applied Innovation, who also served as the emcee for the evening. His presentation centered on changing the narrative around failures on the path of entrepreneurship. Questioning why failure is avoided or hidden, he cited that failure is rarely celebrated in youth though it is a necessary thing for success in entrepreneurship and life. By embracing a fail-fast mindset, an entrepreneur can move on to solutions and the sooner they will reach success. Additionally, acknowledging that failure is hard to celebrate and embrace since it is the emotional component that is challenging, he noted that changing our perspective on this topic can help young entrepreneurs understand their experiences are likely ones encountered by those who preceded them.
The program continued with the first award of the evening, Best Technology Startup. Finalists included Acorns, Appletree, Eturi, Foxtales, Insellerate, OSSIC, Peoplespace, SpringboardAuto.com, Underground Elephant, and Urban Workshop. Appletree, a cross-platform communication tool between school and home, won with Acorns, a startup focused on empowering millennials with wealth-making tools, as the runner-up.
Finalists for the award of Best Technology Manager included: Aaron Gibson from Sabio, Adam Miller from Vibrant Software, Caleb Bradley from Tradiv, Carlos Anchia from Distillery, Greg Glenn from Freedom Innovations, Hossein Eslambolchi from Cyberflow Analytics, Jim Magner from Eturi Corporation, Jim Plush from Crowdstrike, Keola Malone from Underground Elephant, and Mike Selberis from Glidewell Laboratories. Jim Magner of Eturi Corporation won with highlights of his management style including giving employees the freedom to pursue their individual passions and celebrating team success both personal and professional. Mike Selberis of Glidewell Labs was runner-up. His employees celebrated his vision for a sense of humor, sponsorship of company hackathons, and team building activities that engage the whole company in their technology efforts.
The event concluded with the final award for Best Technology Work Culture which included finalists Autogravity, BizX, Cie Digital Labs, Crowdstrike, Cylance, Dark Rift Entertainment, GoPro, Surfline, and Technossus. Technossus won and shared a core activity of their company, encouraging employees to put their skills to the test in hackathons all over the world. Additionally, they provide tuition reimbursement for employees who want to learn skills beyond their current roles. GoPro was the runner-up, sharing a significant activity where employees are given time each week to pursue their passions and film on GoPro cameras. Their entire team is a core part of the evolution of their products. Work-life balance is an important aspect of GoPro's company culture.
“The entire event really celebrated local leaders and innovators creating the best tech workplaces,” said Tech in Motion organizer Kevin Gabrielson, Division Manager of Jobspring Partners Orange County. “It was an added thrill to hear emcee Richard Sudek, a lifelong entrepreneur, experienced angel investor and Executive Director of UC Irvine Applied Innovation, praise the progress of the community here.”
The next Timmy Awards ceremonies are the 2nd Annual Timmy Awards of both San Francisco and Washington, DC on December 8. Visit techinmotionevents.com/awards for more information.
Hai contributes to the Cove as a content writer for both the Currents newsletter and blog. As an alumnus of UCI with a degree in English and a co-founder of a local creative agency, Hai's focus is centered on spotlighting events, stories, and startups within the Orange County community. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and has participated in fast-pitch competitions through the UCI Antrepreneur Center and has co-organized local business and startup groups such as 1 Million Cups and Orange County Young Entrepreneurs.