RALEIGH – Fast-growing startups Pendo and K4Connect as well as “unicorn” (more than $1 billion in valuation) AvidXchange were among the companies recognized when the North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH) hosted its NC Tech Awards Gala on Thursday.

Bob Young, meanwhile, received the Beacon Award for outstanding achievement. The cofounder of Red Hat, founder of Lulu and former CEO of PrecisionHawk noted Red Hat’s recent $34 billion acquisition by IBM.

NC Tech Association.

“Red Hat was founded out of my wife’s sewing closet…and will now be sold to IBM,” he said. “That’s an out of body experience for me.”

Meanwhile, other Triangle companies like VitalFlo and Map My Customers were named among the top ten startups to watch.

More than 800 attendees packed into the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham for the annual event, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions over the past year to the tech sector, community and state.

“Year after year we continue to see a high level of excellence and innovation from the technology community in North Carolina,” NC TECH’s president and CEO Brooks Raiford said in a statement.

“We’re pleased to highlight such a diverse mix of companies and leaders at this year’s Awards event.”

The 2018 corporate winners are:

Use of Technology Awards:  

Recognizes companies, organizations and institutions for their use of technology.

Individual Award Winners

  • Beacon Award (Outstanding Achievement): Bob Young; Red Hat, Co-Founder and former CEO; Lulu, Founder and CEO; PrecisionHawk, Chairman; Needlepoint, CEO
  • Chief Information Security Officer of the Year: Rick Chilton; Chief Information Security Officer – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Private Sector CIO of the Year: Gregory Turner, Head of IT – Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub
  • Public Leader of the Year: Sen. Jeff Tarte, NC General Assembly – Chairman, Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology
  • Public Sector CIO of the Year: Tracy Doaks, Chief Deputy State CIO , NC Department of IT
  • Tech Educator of the Year: Casey Rimmer, Education Technology Leader, Union County Schools
  • Tech Woman of the Year: Jennifer Hewit, Head of Cognitive and Digital Services – Credit Suisse
  • Technology Executive of the Year: Greg Boone, President + CEO – iCiDIGITAL

Top 10 Startups to Watch Winners

In addition, NC TECH named the Top Ten Startups to Watch.  Companies recognized included:

The North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH) is a not-for-profit, membership-driven trade association and the primary voice of the technology industry in North Carolina. NC TECH’s mission is to foster growth and champion innovation in North Carolina’s tech sector, while providing a voice for the tech community through professional networks, government affairs, talent development and sector promotion.