Pittsburgh Technology Council announces winners of this year’s Tech 50 Awards

By Julia Mericle, Technology Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times

The Pittsburgh Technology Council hosted its 23rd annual Tech 50 Awards Wednesday evening, honoring Southwest Pennsylvania’s top tech companies.

The event, which attracted hundreds of attendees, took place at the Wyndham Grand downtown. The tech council determined winners by judging on growth in product or sales success, corporate citizenship, job growth and retention, industry achievement and innovative technologies.  

The night highlighted both established and emerging companies.

Of ten awardees, three companies won awards for the second year in a row: TeleTracking Technologies, Philips and GrayMatter.

The tech council also designated two brand new categories, FinTech and Community Tech. Additionally, this year’s Tech 50 Awards merged the two categories of solution provider of the year in consulting and services and solution provider of the year in innovative technologies into one category. In 2018, the tech council added an artificial intelligence and robotics category.

Pittsburgh Technology Council President and CEO Audrey Russo said the council continuously evolves the categories to reflect the region’s current tech ecosystem. 

TeleTracking Technologies won culture leader of the year. The company created a cloud-based software system that gives patients the ability to self-schedule medical appointment and gives providers the ability to streamline patient processing. TeleTracking Technologies won innovator of the year in the health IT category at last year’s Tech 50 Awards.

Finalists in the category were Koppers, MSA Safety, Pittsburgh Technical College, solutions4networks and TiER1 Performance Solutions.

John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic Technology, won CEO of the year. Thornton is leading the aerospace technology company toward its planned moon landing in 2021.

Finalists in the category were Alison Alvarez of BlastPoint Inc., David Kane of Ethical Intruder, Matt Kessinger of Forest Devices, Jim Gillespie of GrayMatter, Barbara VanKirk of IQ Inc., Avi Geller of Maven Machines and Michele McGough of solutions4networks. 

Bossa Nova Robotics won innovator of the year in the AI and robotics category. The company creates retail-navigating robots that assess real-time, on-shelf product data. Bossa Nova robots are deployed in 50 stores across the U.S.

Finalists for this category were Aurora, Gecko Robotics, IAM Robotics, Locomation Inc. and Near Earth Autonomy.

Tech Elevator won innovator of the year in the newly added Community Tech category. Tech Elevator provides 14-week, full-time coding bootcamps that prepare students for jobs in software development.

Finalists in this category were Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing, Catalyst Connection and Schell Games.

Honeycomb Credit won innovator of the year in the newly added FinTech category. The company offers small businesses a crowd financing platform to borrow up to $100,000 through local investment.

Finalists in this category were Exchangelodge, Lendinghome and numo.

eResearch Technology Inc. won innovator of the year in the health IT category. The data company, which has been involved in over 15,000 studies, increases oversight and measures the efficiency of clinical treatments.

Finalists in this category include ChemImage, Intalere, Net Health and Sentact.

ARIEL Precision Medicine won innovator of the year in the life sciences category. The company creates technologies that diagnoses, monitors and treats complex chronic diseases and disorders.

Finalists for this category were Forest Devices, MedRespond and Smith & Nephew.

Philips won innovator of the year in the manufacturing category and the Kurt J. Lesker III Award for Excellence. The company, which employs about 1,800 people in western Pennsylvania, creates health technologies for sleep apnea management, oxygen therapy, noninvasive ventilation, and respiratory drug delivery, among others. Philips won innovator of the year in the life sciences category at last year’s Tech 50 Awards.

Finalists for this category were Aerotech Inc., Arconic, FLIR Detection Systems and PPG Industries Inc.

GrayMatter won solutions provider of the year. The company helps clients use data-driven technologies to reduce costs, improve monitoring and intelligence and secure their systems from threats. GrayMatter won solutions provider of the year in the innovative technologies category at last year’s Tech 50 Awards. 

Finalists in this category were Accion Labs, AEC Group, Concensus Technologies, CyLumena, Ethical Intruder, Piper Creative LLC, Rivers Agile and Truefit.

Rapid Flow Technologies won startup of the year. The startup uses artificial intelligence to reduce traffic congestion, emissions, safety incidents and business inefficiencies. It commercialized the Surtrac adaptive traffic signal control technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Finalists in this category included Blastpoint, Coeo, Four Growers, Ikos Holdings Inc., Maven Machines and SHzoom It LLC.