The New England Venture Capital Association on Tuesday announced the nominees for the fifth annual NEVY Awards, which recognizes “the most prominent and promising individuals and organizations from New England’s innovation economy.”
Onshape, the Cambridge-based cloud CAD software startup whose valuation is reportedly nearing $1 billion, is among the nominees for the NEVYs next pillar tech company — an honor bestowed upon companies that could have a major impact on the local innovation ecosystem. The other nominees are Rethink Robotics, Turbonomic, Actifio, Applause and Carbon Black.
The NEVYs, which divides its nominees between life sciences and tech categories, will also hand out awards for things like rising star venture capitalist, hottest early-stage startup, angel investor of the year and clean tech company of the year. While the life sciences category will hand out an award for exit of the year, there isn’t an award for that on the tech side.
The nominees were determined by two panels of business leaders and investors, representing tech and life sciences. The 2017 tech academy included Michael Skok, co-founder and partner at Underscore.VC; Rapid7 CEO Corey Thomas, ClearSky Data CEO and co-founder Ellen Rubin; and Steve Taub, managing director at GE Ventures.
The annual awards event can be a good barometer for which companies, venture firms and individuals to pay attention to in the coming years. Last year, CarGurus CEO and founder Langley Steinert won entrepreneur of the year on the tech side, and now the company is reportedly preparing to go public this year. Katie Rae, who was last year’s rising star VC, is now CEO of The Engine, MIT’s new venture fund and accelerator. Other notable past winners include Fuze, Toast and PillPack co-founders TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen.
This year’s nominees have also been making some big moves. NuTonomy, the autonomous vehicle startup, beat Uber in becoming the first company to start testing a fleet of self-driving taxis and it’s now preparing to test its tech more comprehensively in Boston’s Seaport. Turbonomic, a few months ago, raised a $50 million round led by former GE Chief Information Officer Gary Reiner as it experiences triple-digit revenue growth. Carbon Black confidentially filed for an initial public offering last year.
The awards take place May 17 at the Boston House of Blues.
Here are the nominees for this year’s NEVYs:
Rising Star VC
- Juan Luis Leung Li, General Catalyst
- Sarah Downey, Accomplice
- Ash Egan, Converge VP
- Payal Divakaran, .406
Hottest Early Stage Startup
Next Pillar Tech Company
Clean Tech Company of the Year
Angel of the Year
Fund of the Year
Entrepreneur of the Year
- Ric Fulop, Desktop Metal
- Jon Hirshtick, Onshape
- Rob Biederman & Pat Pettiti & Peter Maglathlin, Catalant
- Jeremy Hitchcock, Dyn
- Jason Robins, DraftKings