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An Evening of Inspiration Celebrating #CVilleTech InnovationCBIC Awards Gala : Award Recipients

Thank you to everyone that attended and supported the 18th Annual CBIC Awards Gala on May 26, 2016 at Boar's Head Inn. The event honored the area's most innovative and inspirational entrepreneurs, companies, teachers and students.

News to know from the Awards Gala:
  • More than 400 local business, government and education leaders attended this year's sold-out awards.
  • A total of 19 companies showcased their products and services as part of this year's Innovators Row.
  • Since 2003, CBIC has gifted more than $35,000 to area teachers to help further the use of technology and learning in area classrooms, including this year's $2,500 Technology-in-Education grant awarded to Eric Bredder of Monticello High School.
  • New this year, the Student Entrepreneur grant awarded $1,000 to Kevin Eisenfrats for his work with Contraline.
  • Students Laura Habermeyer of Monticello High School and Robert Wright of William Monroe High School each received $2,500 Tech Tour scholarships.

The event was covered by the media, and you can read about it in the following news articles:

Photos of the 2016 CBIC Awards Gala, thanks to Tod Cohen Photography

Meet the Winners

#CBICGala Tweets

  • The 2016 CBIC Entrepreneur of the Year is Dr. Brian Wamhoff at HemoShear Therapeutics for a novel method of assessing drug candidates. It's too bad we don't have a similar method for assessing political candidates!
  • Suz Somersall took the top honor as CBIC Innovator of the Year for her work founding KIRAKIRA 3D Printing Academy teaching girls mechanical engineering through fashion design.
  • CBIC Student Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016, Kevin Eisenfrats, CEO of Contraline, is helping level the playing field in reproductive responsibility through the development of a unique male contraceptive that is long-lasting, non-hormonal, and reversible.
  • This year's $2,500 education grant went to CBIC Educator of the Year Eric Bredder, who will use the funds for technology in his Monticello High School classroom.
  • CBIC Volunteer of the Year goes to the amazing Kim Wilkens, who last year snagged the inaugural CBIC Social Good Award for her work with Tech-Girls and the SPARK Teen Hackathon. Kim was recognized by the CBIC Board of Directors for her generous service to the Council in the past year.
  • The CBIC Social Good Award went to Grow Oyster Reefs for its work creating patented tiles used in the restoration and repair of oyster reefs.
  • CBIC recognizes a Job Creator of the Year for not just bringing money and technology to the community but also well-paying jobs. App developer WillowTree took the title this year. A four-time INC 5000 company, WillowTree's website has a photo for every job they've created in the region: keep scrolling!
  • University of Virginia spinoff BrightSpec took the top honor as CBIC Startup of the Year. The company manufactures next-generation spectrometers that are cheaper, faster, and better at a variety of crucial chemical tests.
  • The CBIC Business of the Year recognizes maturation and growth in an area technology firm. The 2016 Award goes to Apex Clean Energy, builder and operator of utility-scale wind and solar power facilities. With a team of 200 professionals and the nation's largest wind energy project pipeline, Apex is a leader in the transition to a clean energy future.

Award winners were determined by a panel of judges with two exceptions: CBIC Volunteer of the Year, which was decided by the CBIC board of directors and the CBIC Social Good Award, which was determined onsite by Gala participants.

CBIC Awards

  • Business of the Year

    Recognizes one tech or tech-centric business or organization that serves as a model of achievement to which others can aspire, including such indicators as financial success, growth, healthy work environment, commitment to innovation, and contribution to the community.

    2016 Finalists

    Business of the Year
  • Educator of the Year

    Formerly the Red Apple Award, CBIC recognizes one K-12 educator who has set an example of incorporating the principles of innovation, entrepreneurship, invention, and/or technological achievement in a classroom setting.

    2016 Finalists

    • Eric Bredder, Monticello High School
    • Betsy Agee, Crozet Elementary School
    • Adam Mulcahy, Western Albemarle High School
    Educator of the Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year

    Recognizes one individual who currently embodies all the elements of successful tech-centric entrepreneurship, including innovation, employment, leadership, finance, determination, and persistence.

    2016 Finalists

    Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Innovator of the Year

    Recognizes an individual or organization for their creativity and resourcefulness in the development of a new product, service or product candidate, and can also include the means by which their innovation will reach its end user.

    2016 Finalists

    Innovator of the Year
  • Social Good Award

    CBIC recognizes one entrepreneurial effort that is focused on social good. While they might not have the financial success of other startups, their goal is improvement of the common good more so than private gain. Some classic examples of social goods are clean air, clean water and literacy, and can include access to services such as healthcare. Further, candidates for this award may include startup organizations enhancing our region's ecosystem for the common good. For the purpose of this award, a startup is defined as a breakout company that has been operational for 3 years or less, and preference will be given to those candidates that are tech and tech-centric businesses.

    2016 Finalists

    Social Good Award
  • Startup of the Year

    Recognizes one new technology or tech- centric business whose principals exhibit passion, devotion and innovation in planning and deploying their startup and have either made significant progress over the recent years, or have made an impact as determined by jobs created, revenue generated, or other metrics. For the purpose of this award, a startup is defined as a breakout company that has been operational for 5 years or less.

    2016 Finalists

    Startup of the Year
  • Student Entrepreneur of the Year

    CBIC recognizes one student entrepreneur - or a team of student entrepreneurs - who have successfully created or advanced the development of a new product, service or product candidate, providing an example to other students to pursue entrepreneurship while at school. Preference will be given to those candidates that are tech and tech-centric businesses.

    2016 Finalists

    Student Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Top Job Creator

    Recognizes one technology or tech-centric business for its noteworthy achievement of generating secure well paying, primarily tech jobs and retaining highly skilled workers that enhances our ecosystem and benefits the local economy.

    2016 Finalists

    Top Job Creator
  • Volunteer of the Year

    Recognizes one CBIC volunteer who has gone above and beyond the average to make substantial and lasting contributions to the cause of advancing the organization, which is recognizing and rewarding the innovative entrepreneurs in our community.

    Volunteer of the Year

Those interested in sponsoring the 2017 CBIC Awards Gala can contact Tracey Greene at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (434) 242-5886.

Trade Sponsors

  • McClung Companies
  • Flying Dog Media
  • Digico
  • Watermark Design
  • Cville Weekly
  • Rivanna Natural Design
  • Tod Cohen Photography
  • The AV Company
  • Boar’s Head Inn

    Sponsorship Opportunities

    Those interested in sponsoring a table, an award or the event can contact Tracey Greene at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (434) 242-5886.