Thread's Ian Rosenberger

At its annual Tech 50 awards last night, the Pittsburgh Technology Council recognized companies that are driving technology innovation in southwestern Pennsylvania.

This year, the Tech 50 awards recognized finalists and winners across nine categories,  including Innovator of the Year – Advanced Manufacturing; Innovator of the Year – Life Sciences; Innovator of the Year – Consumer Products; Innovator of the Year – Health IT; Solutions Provider of the Year; Startup of the Year; Technology Business Product of the Year; Culture Leader of the Year; and CEO of the Year.

“We are honored to recognize the achievements of these awesome companies,”  CEO and President Audrey Russo said at the event gala, which drew nearly 700 people. “Both winners and finalists are amazing companies that are driving the future of our region’s technology industry. Tech 50 Awards honor those companies that demonstrated the strongest growth and advancement in product or sales success, financial strength, corporate citizenship, job growth and retention and innovative product or technology.”

Startup of the Year
Winner: Thread

Thread transforms trash from the poorest countries in the world into dignified jobs and useful stuff people love. From the moment a plastic bottle is collected in a poor neighborhood until a finished product lands in a customer’s hands, Thread measures its impact and shares the story of the people affected.

BOSS Controls
Identified Technologies

Industrial Scientific Innovator of the Year
Elizabeth Keblusek, corporate communications specialist at Industrial Scientific Corporation

Innovator of the Year – Advanced Manufacturing
Winner: Industrial Scientific Corp.

Industrial Scientific provides gas detection products and services that keep workers safe in hazardous environments. Industrial Scientific’s innovations revolutionize the market because everything it works toward aligns with the company vision of ending death in the workplace by the end of this century.

Advantech U.S. Inc.
EverPower Wind Holdings, Inc.
US Liner Company
WindStax Wind Power Systems

Innovator of the Year – Life Sciences
Winner: Cohera Medical

Cohera Medical, Inc. is a medical device company developing novel surgical adhesives and sealants that improve patient care and quality of life—for all surgical procedures, applications and specialties. Its products are based on a unique chemical design that is purely synthetic, easy to use and biodegradable.

Aesynt Inc.
Cognition Therapeutics
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Innovator of the Year – Consumer Products
Winner: Rinovum Women’s Health
Rinovum Women’s Health, LLC is a direct-to-consumer medical device company focused on reproductive health to aid in contraception in the privacy of the patient’s home with its lead technology, The Stork OTC.

Diamond Kinetics
MAYA Design
Trusst Lingerie

Innovator of the Year – Health IT
Winner: Net Health

Net Health is the leader in software solutions for specialized outpatient care, serving healthcare professionals in 3,000 urgent care, wound care, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, occupational medicine, employee health and workplace medicine facilities.

Health Monitoring Systems
Intelomed, Inc.
Touchtown, Inc

Solutions Provider of the Year
Winner: SDLC Partners, L.P.

SDLC Partners is a privately held business and technology consulting firm, founded on the belief that clients desired a cost-effective alternative to the large consultancies for the practical execution of process improvement, analytics and technology-based initiatives.

Chorus Call, Inc.
Regulatory & Quality Solutions, LLC

Jesse Schell of Schell Games. Photo by Brian Cohen.
Jesse Schell of Schell Games. Photo by Brian Cohen.

Culture Leader of the Year
Winner: Schell Games

Schell Games is a full-service game design and development studio with a focus on creating transformational games and innovative, interactive experiences. The studio heralds a highly talented array of artists, programmers, producers and game designers, who count some of the world’s most respected brands as clients.

Industrial Scientific Corporation
Newton Consulting
Summa Technologies

CEO of the Year
Winner: Jason Wolfe,, the highest-ranking and most-trafficked gift card website, is the one-stop shop for gift cards online. provides U.S. consumers with the widest array of gift card products. Wolfe has capitalized on the trend toward more value and convenience to customers through digital gifting, developing digital gift card platforms and products that open an entirely new channel for consumers. Under Wolfe, was awarded its 15th patent from the U.S. Patent Office, with another 45 patents currently pending.

Ron Bianchini – Avere Systems
Patrick Daly – Cohera Medical, Inc.
Gabriela Isturiz – Bellefield Systems, Inc.
Greg Petro – First Insight, Inc.
Ware Sykes – NoWait


Technology Business Product of the Year
Winner: Jazz

Formerly The Resumator, Jazz’s mission is to make recruiting and hiring easy, effective and scalable, no matter what growth looks like to a client company. Jazz has helped more than 4,000 fast-growth startups, well-established brands and presidential campaigns to find and hire brilliant people.

Bellefield Systems, Inc.
creehan and company
Matrix Solutions
SCA Technologies

NEXT staff

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.