Griffin lander over the Moon. Photo by Astrobotic.

In Pittsburgh’s bustling tech sector, even the award shows get regular upgrades.

On September 25, the Pittsburgh Technology Council held their annual Tech 50 Awards at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

First launched in 1997, the awards honor innovators across a wide variety of sectors and industries in the Pittsburgh region.

In keeping with the spirit of innovation and progress, this year’s ceremony included new awards for achievements in financial technology, or fintech, and community development.

“Every year, the Tech Council evolves and tweaks Tech 50 to accurately reflect our region’s technology ecosystem,” said Pittsburgh Technology Council President and CEO Audrey Russo. “Creating these new competitive categories spotlights our strengths in these fast-growing and ever-evolving sectors.”

Tech Elevator won the inaugural Community Tech Award for their work educating adults and small businesses. In a 14 week, in-person programming boot camp, they teach students from diverse backgrounds to become software developers while also helping them to build necessary career-readiness skills and career connections, according to their website.

Meanwhile, the first Fintech Award went to Honeycomb Credit, a digital crowdfunding platform that connects members with small, locally owned businesses. Local favorites such as Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, Iron Born Pizza and PRO BIKE+RUN have used the platform to gain critical support, and the company recently announced plans to expand into Detroit.

Here are the other winners:

-Astrobotic’s John Thornton won CEO of the Year, capping off a year of milestones for the commercial space exploration company.

-Rapid Flow Technologies took home the Startup of the Year Award for their work applying artificial intelligence to traffic control systems.

-Bossa Nova Robotics won in the robotics and AI category for their work in autonomous retail robots.

TeleTracking Technologies received the Culture Award for their three decades of using software to improve healthcare quality.

eResearch Technology Inc. (ERT) won the Health IT Award thanks to their use of data analytics to minimize risks in clinical drug trials.

ARIEL Precision Medicine, a genomics and healthcare company specializing in the monitoring and treatment of complex and chronic diseases, took home the Life Sciences Award.

GrayMatter was named Solutions Provider of the Year for their work helping a wide range of clients digitize and automate their operations, especially in factory and retails settings.

-The Dutch multinational company Philips won the Manufacturing Award, also known as the Kurt J. Lesker III Award for Excellence, for the work of their sleep and respiratory team, a group of 1,800 professionals based in western Pennsylvania designing and providing support for the company’s line of medical sleep technologies.

“We want to congratulate all of the category leaders and finalists,” said Russo. “They are defining our region’s tech sector.”

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.