Look, I’m not kidding around here. I’m officially lobbying hard for your vote for me as Yardmaster (Driving regional development and/or a type of technology) in the first ever WRAL Tech Wire Full Steam Ahead Awards.

I need to win this. My ego demands it. So vote for me, and if you don’t have a vote, email the Tech Wire and let’s take this thing viral.

Come on, who am I kidding? I’m in the “Group of Death” with Jim Whitehurst, Jason Caplain, and Jim Goodmon (and since he owns the Tech Wire I figure I can lobby my ass off). Oh, plus you know Robbie Allen and I will split the robot vote anyway.

Unless he gets the robots to rig it. I bet he rigs it.

In all seriousness (OK, some seriousness), it’s nice to see my name mentioned in the same bulleted list as those people, and it’s cool to have another local media outlet (at the last ExitEvent Startup Social we gave away a bucket of Rollos) recognizing startups from big players to early stagers.

For example, in the CEO category, Red Hat’s Whitehurst is up against Aderk’s James Avery.

That in a nutshell encapsulates one of the concepts I keep hearing about as necessary to the growth the ecosystem – getting the Redhats with the Adzerks. And in these categories you’ll find SAS with Boostsuite, Cree with Argyle Social, Channel Advisor with Shoeboxed, and so on.

I say we go Fight Club with it.

The ceremony is Thursday night at, and if you haven’t guessed it already you’re going to slap your forehead, Fullsteam Brewery. So you know I’m going to be there.

Oh yeah, and if I win, it’s tacos for everyone.

Really. Not. Kidding.