neosa tech week enjoys record numbers, celebrates numerous companies for successes

The fourth annual NEOSA Tech Week saw record attendance, with nearly 2,000 people turning out to the various events held April 12 to 17 and eight companies earning honors in the Best of Tech Awards dinner on April 17.

“Our growth in Tech Week participation, quadrupling in just four years, really shows the energy, vibrancy and excitement of the local tech industry,” said Brad Nellis, executive director of NEOSA. “The diversity of programming, from start-ups to students to executives, educators and entrepreneurs, is very engaging and helps connect virtually all of the industry’s constituents.”
 
The Tech Company of the Year category was split into large and small categories, with MCPc winning in the large category and OnShift winning the small category. MCPc employs more than 500 people in its Cleveland headquarters and has offices across the country. The company develops software solutions that allow its clients to work remotely on any device. OnShift is a rapidly growing company with 70 employees that makes staff scheduling and labor management software for the healthcare and nursing home industries.
 
“This year we actually split the Tech Company of the Year award into small and large because it’s not really fair to compare an OnShift to an MCPc,” says Nellis.
 
The companies were judged not only on their successes but also on their community involvement. “OnShift CEO Mark Woodka is a business mentor and MCPc established a foundation to support the community,” explains Nellis of just some of the factors that made these companies winners.
 
Other winners included Onix Networking for best IT services company; MRI Software for best software product; Cleveland Museum of Art for best tech team; and Twinsburg-based SpearFysh for most promising startup. BoxCast and American Greetings shared the honor of best tech device/app innovation company.
 
Other highlights of the week included TechPint, which had the highest turnout of the week with 345 people. “It’s always so interesting and energetic,” Nellis says. “We were really happy to have them be a part of Tech Week.”
 
Nellis says he was also pleased with the inclusion of the Startup Weekend winner, Hotel Hounds, into three different Tech Week events. The company pitched at Pitch Night, and spoke at both TechPint and the Tech Awards.
 
Additionally, Team WeKan, students from North Royalton High School, won NEOSA’s CoolTech Challenge and then gave a presentation on their NASA-oriented project to 200 IT practitioners at the Get IT Here! Summit.
 
“It was exciting this year to see the integration and interconnectedness that took place among the events and programs,” says Nellis. “We successfully showcased StartUp Weekend winners as well as CoolTech Challenge winners throughout the week.”

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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