TAI’s Prometheus Awards highlight innovation throughout Iowa

Playing on its reputation as the “Academy Awards of Iowa’s high tech industry,” the fifth annual Prometheus Awards took place last night with a Hollywood-style theme, complete with a celebrity photo booth, award statues, plenty of tuxedos, and even a red carpet.

The awards are a production of the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) meant to highlight innovation throughout the state. “This showcase honors companies and individuals who represent the best and brightest in technology and business and have…

Playing on its reputation as the “Academy Awards of Iowa’s high tech industry,” the fifth annual Prometheus Awards took place last night with a Hollywood-style theme, complete with a celebrity photo booth, award statues, plenty of tuxedos, and even a red carpet.

The awards are a production of the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) meant to highlight innovation throughout the state.

“This showcase honors companies and individuals who represent the best and brightest in technology and business and have demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation.” Jennifer O’Connor, TAI’s director of programs and services, told me in a previous interview. 

The event was proceeded through the morning and afternoon by the inaugural Prometheus Pitch Refinement Session. Following an opening keynote where Bob Weinschenk, CEO of West Des Moines-based SmartyPig, shared his experience pitching multiple startups and high growth companies, 16 Iowa businesses shared their investment pitch with a panel of local experts. The panel critiqued them on their business model, presentation style, and pitch content.

The awards show was emceed by Nathan T. Wright, founder of Des Moines-based social media consultancy Lava Row, and entertainment was provided by Flatform, a local DJ and design team. In addition to the scheduled categories, surprise awards were given to recognize the efforts of Mike Colwell, executive director of the Business Innovation Zone, for “Investing in Iowa’s Future” and Paul Juffer, senior partner of LWBJ Financial, for his company’s work as a “Friend of the Industry.”

Silicon Prairie News would like to congratulate each of the winners:

Software Company of the Year (Small/Medium):

GlobalVetLink (Ames)

Software Company of the Year (Large/Enterprise):

GeoLearning (West Des Moines)

IT Service Provider of the Year:

ICE Technologies (Pella)

Health IT Innovation of the Year:

Geonetric (Cedar Rapids)

Top Growth Company of the Year:

Submittal Exchange (Waukee)

Clean Technology Company of the Year:

Ovation Networks (Cedar Rapids)

Green Company of the Year:

Phoenix Recycling (Des Moines)

Best Innovation in Government:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources (Des Moines), Global Reach Internet Productions (Ames)

Best User of Technology:

Iowa Telecom (Newton)

Innovation in Education: Best Use of Innovation in Teaching:

Dr. Thomas Daniels of Iowa State University (Ames)

Innovation in Education: Best Us of Innovation for the Teaching Environment:

StarrMatica Learning Systems, LLC (Clinton)

CIO/CTO of the Year:

Art Peters of ACT, Inc (Iowa City)

CEO of the Year:

Sheldon Ohringer of Caleris, Inc (West Des Moines)

Student Innovation of the Year:

Hatchlings, Inc (Ames)

Breakout Company of the Year:

SmartyPig (West Des Moines)

Outstanding Startup Company of the Year:

J & J Solutions, Inc (Iowa City), Energy Control Technologies (West Des Moines), KemPharm, Inc (North Liberty)

Life Sciences Company of the Year:

Exemplar Genetics (Sioux Center)

Technology Company of the Year (Small/Medium):

Security Coverage (Cedar Rapids)

Technology Company of the Year (Large/Entreprise):

PowerFilm, Inc (Ames)

Note: My startup, VolunteerLocal, LLC, participated in the Pitch Refinement Session and I participated in the evening event as the guest of TAI.

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