Through two previous “Full Steam Ahead Awards” events at WRAL TechWire, one photo has also struck me as the best:

City of Raleigh Chief Information Officer Gail Roper showing off her engineer cap. (See the photo posted with this story.)

A close second goes to Dr. Charles Hamner, the former head of the N.C. Biotechnology Center.

There are Oscars and Emmys. Then there is our coveted engineer cap. And we will be handing them out tonight at our “Full Steam Ahead Awards” in Durham. 

Who will win?

It’s not too late to register for the party.

Oh, and it’s free.

Rising and established stars in technology from the Triangle to Wilmington will be recognized at the third “Full Steam Ahead Awards” event. And the competition is tight with more people voting than ever before. In fact, there are two shared awards (one individual, one company) being handed out because the voting and selection process was so close.

Be sure to attend the party to see who wins.

More than 20 individuals are finalists for six awards, and more than 20 companies are in the running for the six corporate honors.

Need more reasons to attend?

Four special “Editor’s Choice” awards will honor individuals who deserve a special shout-out for contributions to the technology community.

Need hints?

How about bringing gigabit Internet to the Triangle?

Who is the “Walt Mossberg of the Triangle”?

If this person were on “The Voice,” the winning song from a big voice would be “I want to be an entrepreneur.”

And what two money guys have been delivering for startups since almost the dawn of the “dot com” boom in the southeast as well as a lot of entertaining events?

Remember, the party is free, but you must register to attend at:

The 2015 Full Steam Ahead Award finalists (drum roll, please) are:

For Startups and Emerging Firms:

  • Startup Engineer (top leader/executive, not necessarily a CEO): Daniel Jebaraj, Syncfusion; Robert Simora, WebAssign
  • Startup Express (fastest growing/most potential): nCino, Next Glass (both from Wilmington) and Raleigh-based WedPics
  • Startup Tycoon (founders/investors): David Jones and Jason Caplain of Bull City Venture Partners; Brooks Bell, Jesse Lipson and the founders of HQ Raleigh; Chip Mahan, Live Oak Bank.
  • Startup Freight (delivering success consistently): Syncfusion, the American Underground and UNC Wilmington’s entrepreneurship program.
  • Startup Subway (fast-growing startup emerging from stealth mode): nCino, Fusion 3 and K4 Connect.
  • Startup Conductor (CEO/Chairman): Joe DeSimone, inventor, entrepreneur and professor at UNC-CH as well as NCSU; Jim Roberts, formerly of UNC-Wilmington; George Taylor of NextGlass; and investor Scott Moody.

Enterprise/Large Company awards:

  • Enterprise Engineer (top leader/executive, not necessarily CEO): The team at Live Oak Bank; Jim Davis, vice president of marketing for SAS; and Prayson Pate of Overture.
  • Enterprise Express (established successful companies): Square 1 Bank, MaxPoint Interactive, Lenovo and Live Oak Bank.
  • Enterprise Tycoon (founders/investors): Susan Casey, co-founder of Square 1 Bank and Dennis Gillings, founder of Quintiles.
  • Enterprise Freight (delivering success consistently): Lenovo, SAS and Live Oak Bank.
  • Enterprise Subway (emerging companies, perhaps with IPO or exit potential): Bronto Software, nCino, Reverb Nation, Live Oak Bank and PowerSecure.
  • Enterprise Conductor (CEO/Chairman): Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina; Tom Pike, CEO of Quintiles; Chip Mahan of Live Oak Bank; Kent Hudson, Dude Solutions.

Be sure tor register today to attend.