Thank you to everyone who threw some love to the companies they most admire. It’s the 27th year of The New England Innovation Awards, and SBANE continues to recognize a diverse field of nominees. With hundreds of companies in the Technology, Manufacturing, Service, Retail/Distribution and Non-Profit sectors vying for top recognition, we knew we were going to see innovation at its best. And this year’s 204 nominations did not disappoint.

Winners were announced May 8th at the Gala Awards Program and I’ll be discussing those impressive eight companies shortly, but first let’s hear from some of the nominees and participants and see through their eyes what it’s like to go head-to-head with New England’s top innovators:

Andrea Squitieri, Director of Marketing at Intrepid Pursuits  (creator of one of my all-time favorite apps, Timbre) loved the energy at the awards and who can blame her? Who wouldn’t want to hang with mentors and other like-minded companies:



In addition to the “tremendous networking”, Bruce Reading, President & CEO of VoltDB , loves the opportunity to “leverage the New England business community” to grow his business:





According to SBANE member and Innovation Mentor Julia de laTorre, Executive Director of Primary Source, the 50 non-profits in this year’s competition have so much to gain from being a part of this small business community:




Lisa Goldblatt Grace, Director & Co-Founder of My Life My Choice is one of those 50 and she’s thrilled that SBANE includes not-for-profits in their organization:




Hear why Vanita Shastri, Executive Director of TiE Boston, finds the recognition of being an innovative not-for-profit inspiring:




Maria Vertkin, Founder & Executive Director of Found in Translation loved the collaborative culture; “it’s not a shark tank – they really want to learn about us”:




Byron White, Founder of IdeaLaunch, nominated by MassVentures, is excited to be a part of the awards and honestly – his energy is contagious:




Andy Brooks & Igor Karatonikox, Founders of Bootstrap Compost appreciated the opportunity to share their enthusiasm with the judges in such a casual and laid back way:




FishEye COO Ted Selig has an eagle eye on real-time big data analytics – one of the hottest problems to solve these days and something tells me he was in good company:





Past winner Tom Clay, CEO of Xtalic, returned this year as a judge and thrives on the energy that comes from all that innovation in one venue:





Sponsor and Innovation Judge David Graves-Witherell of Citibank, in his 7th year of judging, describes why meeting so many passionate, creative companies gets him so jazzed up:






SBANE President Bob Baker says it best when he describes this lively event as “520 people engaging, pitching and presenting value propositions”:






According to Sponsor Bob Shea of Morse Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, “innovation is what New England is all about.” In this crowd, we can’t argue with that.





Need I say more? No, but we’d love to hear back from you – what’s your view on our varied innovation landscape?




Laurisa Neuwirth is an SBANE Innovation Awards Mentor and on the SBANE Board of Directors, and a shameless evangelist on behalf of the Greater Boston innovation economy. On a daily basis, she enthusiastically and thoughtfully connects companies with the local tech talent pool in her position at PeopleSERVE, Inc. based in Chestnut Hill. You can reach Laurisa at or @LaurisaNeuwirth