For nearly two decades, OHTec has helped lead the charge toward a more connected tech community in Northeast Ohio. Run by COSE, the tech-focused economic development group offers a variety of programs, resources and events to help local tech companies navigate challenges, network and grow.
OHTec’s signature program, Tech Week, is an annual initiative to support and engage the local tech community through a series of educational events, panels and forums led by partner organizations across the region.
Each year, Tech Week closes with its culminating event, the Best of Tech Awards, which recognizes exceptional companies, innovative products and inspiring leaders, while also promoting Northeast Ohio as a wonderful place to live, work and accomplish remarkable things.
At the 11th Annual Best of Tech Awards Dinner on April 27, four JumpStart supported companies were honored as award winners or finalists in their respective categories.
JumpStart portfolio company OnShift is no stranger to success. After taking home awards for Best Emerging Company and Small Tech Company of the Year in 2010 and 2014, respectively, this year the company received the honor of Best Healthcare Tech Product.
Led by CEO Mark Woodka, OnShift delivers cloud-based workforce management software and proactive services to solve everyday workforce challenges in long-term care and senior living communities.
The company’s growth has been significant since being founded in 2009, but even more so over the last three years. During this time, the company has experienced 50 percent annual revenue growth, closed $25 million in venture capital and been named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ twice.
New to the Best of Tech Awards scene but not new to winning, Wheedle, a software app that helps restaurateurs, caterers and their potential customers make the right connections, received this year’s honor for Most-Promising Startup.
Last year, shortly after their launch, the young company took home first place at Chicago’s FUND Conference and was awarded $125,000 from the North Coast Opportunities Technology Fund. This year, they hope to raise between $3 and $7 million in additional funding.
Over the last three years, Wheedle founders John Weston and Brian Stein have worked with several area resources to launch and grow their app. The journey began at LaunchHouse, where the two met in 2014. Along the way, as they prepared to take their app to the next level, the two sought advice from JumpStart’s Venture Partner Team.
Today, the company resides within the Flashstarts accelerator and has plans to expand their service to the Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Orlando markets.
Honored as a finalist within the Most-Promising Startup category, Heureka Software was one of two JumpStart portfolio companies in contention for the award.
Founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Ron Copfer and led by CEO Greg Pacholski, Heureka Software provides organizations with unparalleled visibility and access into unstructured data throughout their network— a solution ideal for legal, regulatory, compliance and cyber security applications.
Since their launch, Heureka has gained significant market acceptance of their innovative data discovery tool, with promising opportunities in the manufacturing, IT and Healthcare spaces. During their most recent round of seed funding at the end of 2016, the company secured $1.1 million—including $250,000 from the JumpStart Evergreen Fund. Looking ahead, Heureka plans to seek additional funding in the form of a Series A round this year.
Akron-based Revenue Conduit was another JumpStart portfolio company vying for the night’s Most-Promising Startup award.
Launched in early 2013 by founders Daniel Kurt and Parag Jagdale, Revenue Conduit helps online retailers grow by automatically attracting, converting and retaining customers by seamlessly integrating an organization’s eCommerce platforms with its marketing automation platform.
Last summer, JumpStart committed a $250,000 investment to the company, which allowed them to accelerate product development and customer acquisition, and better position themselves for a Series A round in 2017.
Congratulations to all the winners. To learn more about other JumpStart supported companies, click here.