Tech leadership and innovation know No Coast, said Ryan Weber Friday night as the KC Tech Council revealed its inaugural award show honorees.
Beneath the glittering chandeliers of the Abbott luxury event space — and surrounded by elaborate set pieces and balloon art — Weber and the KC Tech Council team announced winners in four No Coast categories that enveloped industry, policy and workforce.
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“The story of Kansas City’s tech industry is being written at a rapid pace,” said Karen Hornig, CEO of KC-based insurance information tech services firm NIPR, introducing the Outstanding Contribution to Tech Award. “The story of the region’s future as a technology hub will be written by many of the people and organizations in this room.”
Friday’s family-focused No Coast celebration featured a number of youth award presenters, as well as a lively crowd of children in the audience. Fittingly, a keynote illuminated by Danielle Feinberg, a director of photography at Pixar Animation Studios, focused heavily on Feinberg’s experience working on such hit family films as “Wall-E” and “Coco.”
Loving that the @KCTechCouncil has embraced #InternationalWomensDay throughout their #nocoast19 event, featuring a female speaker, engaging women and girls, and making the event explicitly kid-friendly. And also, not pink. Tech event organizers, take note. #startupkc #techkc pic.twitter.com/WzsuvQ0heN
— Melissa Roberts (@msmeliss2024) March 9, 2019
“We hope to make our attendees feel comfortable to bring kids, nieces, nephews, you name it, because there’s going to be a great opportunity for them to experience the tech that’s created in Kansas City and be inspired,” Weber said before the event, which began with an interactive tech showcase featuring such KC companies as Dimensional Innovations, Garmin, VMLY&R, WeWork and Fishtech Group.
No Coast award winners included:
Outstanding Contribution to Tech
(Finalists: Alphapointe; and Stackify)
Tech Connector of the Year
Davyeon Ross, co-founder and COO, ShotTracker
(Finalists: Greg Kratofil, managing partner, Polsinelli; and Matt Watson, founder, Stackify)
Tech Champion of the Year
Brian Baker, lead government strategist, Cerner
(Finalists: Bob Bennett, chief innovation officer, City of KCMO; and Travis Fitzwater, member, Missouri House of Representatives)
Tech Educator of the Year
Jill Riffer, Blue Valley CAPS
(Finalists: Kevin Clevenger, Blue Springs School District; and Lisa Oyler, Summit Technology Academy)