After reviewing over 120 nominations, TechUnited:NJ and its Selection Committee honored 12 winners at its 2021 Catalyst Awards, a virtual event on Thursday, May 20th, 2021.
“The definition of catalyst is ‘an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action’. The term catalyst couldn’t more appropriately represent the incredible leaders we celebrated at this year’s TechUnited Catalyst Awards. We are thrilled to showcase them all as exemplary members of our incredible technology community. Congratulations to all of our remarkable nominees and winners. You continue to inspire and catalyze us all. ” shared TechUnited CEO Aaron Price.
The TechUnited selection committee: community leaders Virginia Allin (PNC), Skip Braun (Grant Thornton), Kathleen Coviello (NJEDA) along with the TechUnited team reviewed all nominations to select the most promising individuals and organizations to honor with the 2021 mix of legacy and brand-new Catalyst awards.
To learn more about this year’s award winners and sponsors, keep reading!
2021 awards include:
The Co-Co is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst Of Empowerment Award, sponsored by KPMG. This award is presented to an organization that is a role-model for women in business, and was accepted by Suzanne Willian, Co-Founder & CEO, Lauren Decker, Co-Founder & CMO, Lynne Pagano, Co-Founder & Community Manager.
Rodney Priestley, Vice Dean of Innovation, Smith Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University is the winner of the 2021 Martinson-Ballen Award Award, sponsored by Tech Council Ventures. This award is presented to an individual, currently active in the tech community, who has demonstrated a significant commitment to the support and advancement of technology and innovation.
Benjamin Hecht, Founder, Best of the Best is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst Of Community Award, sponsored by Digital Realty. This award is presented to an individual working hard to bring together the tech community to build a better future for all.
Northpass is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst of Culture Award, sponsored by RSM. This award is presented to an organization with a great reputation including high employee happiness, inclusion, remote work practices, employee retention, and employment referrals, and was accepted by Stephen Cornwell, Founder & CEO.
Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Rutgers Business School is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst Of Progress Award, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP. This award is presented to an individual who promotes & actively supports diversity, inclusion, and equity.
The Hustlers Guild is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst Of Education Award, sponsored by BDO USA, LLP. This award is presented to a program which utilizes innovative technology while encouraging students to pursue higher education or training in science, technology, engineering or math, and was accepted by Yasmin Salina, Executive Director & Founder.
Donnelley Financial Solutions is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst Of Ventures Award, sponsored by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. This award is presented to a firm that brokers high-impact deals, and was accepted by Craig Clay, President.
AeroFarms is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst Of Innovation Award, sponsored by Valley Bank. This award is presented to an entrepreneur who successfully created an innovative solution to a problem that needed to be solved, and was accepted by David Rosenberg, Co-Founder & CEO.
OwnBackup is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst Of Technology Award, sponsored by PNC. This award is presented to an entrepreneur who successfully created an innovative solution to a problem that needed to be solved, and was accepted by Sam Gutmann, CEO.
RWJBarnabas Health & their partnership with Rutgers University is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst of Collaboration Award, sponsored by Yorktel & Caregility. This award is presented to an all-star organization that promotes collaboration and community growth, and was accepted by John Doll, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, RWJBarnabas Health.
@C19VaxxUpdates is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst of Hope Award. This award is presented to a company or individual who worked tirelessly during the pandemic to provide solutions, support, representation, & opportunity for their customers, employees, and community.
Governor Phil Murphy is the winner of the 2021 Catalyst of the Garden State Award. This award is presented to an elected official that promotes business in New Jersey.
TechUnited:NJ is a membership non-profit organization that offers opportunities for technology and tech-enabled companies and entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, and grow to propel the future of New Jersey and beyond. Currently, over 500,000 innovators belong to the organization.
TechUnited:NJ was founded in 1996 as the NJ Technology Council (NJTC). Over the last 24 years, the NJTC has established itself as the premiere advocate for the technology community around the region.
In 2005, the NJTC helped start a successful venture fund in Tech Council Ventures.
In 2019, the NJTC acquired the Propelify Innovation Festival to cast a wider net in the startup community of the region.
In 2020, the organization rebranded as TechUnited:NJ and redefined its mission to empower innovators and entrepreneurs who build a better future for all. Through membership, events, mentorship, content creation, advocacy, talent, awards, and innovative offerings, TechUnited:NJ represents the foremost leaders in the technology community. Our conferences, 8000-person Propelify Innovation Festival, intimate gatherings, and content, create unique opportunities for innovators to propel.