John Brickels' 2013 Jammy sculpture

One of the 2013 Jammies

The Vermont Technology Alliance received numerous nominations for this year’s second annual Vermont Tech Jam Innovator and Ambassador awards, aka the Jammies, sponsored by Merchants Bank.

The Innovation Award will be presented to the individual or business with the most innovative new product, application of technology, or way of doing business. The Ambassador Award will be presented to an individual or business whose leadership and actions positively represent Vermont as a home for technology business, and whose efforts help put Vermont “on the map” as a place for technology businesses to start, succeed and grow.
The judges would like to recognize three finalists in each category:

Innovation Award finalists:

  • BioTek Instruments, Winooski: This family-owned bioscience firm has a global reputation for its Vermont-made microplate instrumentation — a diagnostic tool with life-saving applications. The company’s latest product, the Cytation3, combines the multi-mode microplate reader and a high-powered digital microscope. Medical researchers report the more efficient device is saving them time and money in the lab.
  • Pwnie Express, Berlin: Pwnie Express is known for taking “black hat” hacker tools and packaging them in a creative way for “white hat” use, helping government and corporate entities protect their systems from attack. Their new PwnPad packs the company’s proven penetration-testing software into the body of a Nexus Tablet.
  • MBF Bioscience, Williston: MBF’s latest innovations, AutoSpine and SpineStudio software, analyze the size, shape and density of dendrite spines in brain tissue samples. Understanding changes in spine shape and density is key to research in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. More than 2000 labs worldwide use MBF products for life sciences research.

Ambassador Award finalists:

  • Found Line, Burlington: Web and mobile development shop Found Line has been instrumental in building the local tech community through its work organizing a PHP users group, Vermont Code Camp, BTV Gig, the National Day of Civic Hacking and Code for BTV. Found Line principal Bradley Holt is Chair of the Board at Vermont Community Access Media, board member of the Burlington Web Application Group and a member of the Burlington Mayor’s U.S. Ignite Advisory Committee.
  • FreshTracks Capital, Shelburne: For 13 years FreshTracks Capital and its partners have helped Vermont startups and growth companies — primarily technology companies — by providing advice and capital. FreshTracks also helps catalyze the creation of events and organizations which serve the entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting innovators to available resources. FreshTracks proudly promotes the fact that Vermont is a great place to start and grow a technology company.
  • MyWebGrocer, Winooski: MyWebGrocer provides e-commerce and internet marketing services to the grocery and consumer packaged goods industries; Inc. Magazine recognized it in 2013 as one of the country’s fastest growing private companies. MWG funded Vermont’s first hackathon in 2011 and hosted the 24-hour competition at the historic Champlain Mill — its Winooski HQ. MWG worked with other local companies to organize HackVT in 2012 and 2013.

The winners will be announced at the Vermont Tech Jam exhibitor reception at Club Metronome — sponsored by Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew — on Friday, October 18, at the end of day one of the Jam. The winner in each category will receive a hand-crafted robot statuette designed for the occasion by Burlington sculptor John Brickels.

Can’t come to the reception? Check the Tech Jam Facebook page and Twitter feed next Friday night for an announcement of this year’s Jammy winners.

Thanks to the Tech Jam award judges: IBM Fellow John Cohn, Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller, Google Community Affairs Director Matt Dunne and Seven Days publisher Paula Routly.

The 7th annual Vermont Tech Jam takes place on Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, at Memorial Auditorium in downtown Burlington. This job fair and tech expo is organized by Seven Days and the Vermont Technology Alliance and presented by and MyWebGrocer. Sponsors include BioTek Instruments, C2, Champlain College, FairPoint Communications, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Merchants Bank, the Vermont Technology Council, the Vermont Technology Alliance, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Agency of Education and the City of Burlington. Click here for more information.