startGNV and Cox Business Announce Innovation Award winners from celebrateGNV event

Feathr won Tech Employer of the Year

Press release from startGNV

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – celebrateGNV, startGNV’s annual event, took place at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention on February 2, 2023, to a sold-out audience of over 200 attendees. The event featured a happy hour, networking, dinner, and a presentation that culminated in the 2nd annual Innovation Ecosystem Awards hosted by Cox Business.

The Innovation Ecosystem Awards featured 6 awards highlighting Alachua County individuals and companies who have made a significant contribution to innovation in our community. Among the awards was also a cash award of $5,000 to support a “Rising Star Startup.” Sybil Samuel, Strategic Account Specialist of Cox Business, presented the awards with Jon Church, startGNV Board President and emcee for the event.

startGNV also presented a new award at this event for “Board Member of the Year.” This inaugural award went to Christine Caven, VP of the startGNV Board of Directors and Director of Communications of PS27 Ventures. Christine’s dedication to the startGNV’s mission and exemplary service to the innovation community was highly visible during her 2022 board term. The intention of the award is to honor a board member for excellence in service to the mission of startGNV, which is to support and grow the innovation ecosystem of Greater Gainesville.

The complete list of Cox Business Ecosystem Award Winners are:

Startup Mentor of the Year: Ryan Kern
Professional Mentor of the Year: Jim Lilkendey
Ecosystem Hidden Gem: Bill Dorman
Tech Employer of the Year: Feathr
Community Impact Company of the Year: Infotech
Rising Star Startup: Thrifty

Left to right: Christine Caven, startGNV Board Member, and Rebecca Smith, founder of Thrifty