DraftKings and Fleetmatics were among the top winners at MassTLC’s 18th Annual Leadership Awards Gala on Wednesday night, and a good mix of established and lesser-known tech companies shared the glow of the honors at one of Massachusetts’ top tech events. The awards gala also recognized three top executives at three Boston-area tech firms: PTC, Wayfair and Jebbit.
“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,” Tom Hopcroft, CEO of MassTLC, said. “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.”
The energy at the awards gala was bubbly before everyone sat down for the main event, with one executive remarking that the event’s open bar made it the best part of his night. Out of the hundreds who attended, BostInno ran into folks from MassChallenge, Swirl, ThinkingPhones, HubSpot, TripAdvisor and intellectual property law firm Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds.
Boston’s DraftKings, which has been ripping it up with its daily fantasy sports games, was named private company of the year, an honor that has been given to HubSpot, Applause (formerly known as uTest), and Acquia in the past three years.
The award for public company of the year was given to Waltham SaaS fleet management company Fleetmatics, joining the ranks of athenahealth, TripAdvisor and EMC.
Jim Heppelman of Needham manufacturing software company PTC was named CEO of the year, an honor that has been previously given to David Aldrich of Skyworks Solutions, Inc., Jonathan Bush of athenahealth and Tim Healy, EnerNOC.
The award for CTO of the year was given to Steve Conine of Boston e-commerce company Wayfair, who joins the awesome CTO club with previous award winners Dries Buytaert of Acquia and Vlad Sejnoha of Nuance Communications.
Jonathan Lacoste, COO of Boston marketing software firm Jebbit, won emerging executive of the year, putting him on the same level as Naomi Fried of Boston Children’s Hospital, Mark Kasdorf of Intrepid Pursuits and Sheila Rocchio of PHT Corporation.
Aside from the main awards, the awards gala also recognized five tech movers and shakers in the region, giving the 2015 Commonwealth Michael Stonebraker, a researcher MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s who won the $1 million A.M. Turing Award earlier this year for his groundbreaking work in database management systems.
The awards gala gave Distinguished Leadership Awards to John Harthorne, founder and CEO of MassChallenge; Charlie LaFauci and Shawn Szturma, Somerville’s STEM community leaders; and Debbie Theobald, executive director of Vecna Cares.
“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,” Hopcroft said. “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.”
Ten other companies were recognized for innovating in the following categories:
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
Image via Dylan Martin.