Thursday, May 18
Boar's Head Inn

The Awards Gala is the largest and only one of its kind recognizing
the region’s most successful startups and innovators!

Charlottesville has all the ingredients to be a national leader in business innovation, venture capital investment, and high-wage job creation. CBIC members, sponsors and partners work year-round to nurture an atmosphere of innovation celebrated by the CBIC Awards and now a brand for our region and to ensure Charlottesville remains a leader in tech, innovation and startups.

Tracey Greene, CBIC Executive Director and co-chair, CBIC Awards Gala
2016 Gala Award Recipients

Title Sponsor

Felton Group LLC


SP Global


  • 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.

    2017 Finalists

    2016 Winner

    • Apex Clean Energy
    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.

    2017 Finalists

    • Jamee Freitag, Second Grade Teacher, Albemarle County Public Schools
    • Stephanie Passman, Gifted Resource Teacher, Albemarle County Public Schools
    • Matt Shields, Science Teacher, Charlottesville High School

    2016 Winner

    • Eric Bredder, Monticello 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.

    2017 Finalists

    • Mark Kester of UVA
    • Baron Schwartz of VividCortex
    • Jeff Tennery of Moonlighting

    2016 Winner

    • Brian Wamhoff, HemoShear Therapeutics
    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.

    2017 Finalists

    2016 Winner

    • Suz Somersall of Kira Kira 3D Printing Academy
    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.

    2017 Finalists

    2016 Winner

    • Grow Oyster Reefs
    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.

    2017 Finalists

    2016 Winner

    • BrightSpec
    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.

    2017 Finalists

    2016 Winner

    • Kevin Eisentfrats of Contraline
    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.

    2017 Finalists

    2016 Winner

    • WillowTree
    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.

    2016 Winner

    • Kim Wilkens, chair of CBIC's annual Tech Tour
    Volunteer of the Year



Get your gala tickets
before rates increase. Ticket prices increase May 1.

Each Gala ticket includes: One cocktail ticket, expanded reception with passed and stationed heavy hors d’oeuvres, a seat at the highly anticipated awards ceremony, individually plated tapas style foods with shared fruit and dessert platters, champagne, and coffee/tea service at each table.

New Feature: you may purchase drink tickets in advance via Eventbrite to avoid the lines at the Boar's Head Inn! A cash bar is also available throughout the entire evening.


  • 5:15 - 7:00 p.m. Registration opens. Reception with cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres in the tented portico in front of the pavilion featuring Innovators Row, a showcase of innovation-based startups and companies. One drink ticket provided per guest. Cash bar available. 
  • 7:15 - 9:30 p.m. Seated networking at your table followed by the Awards Ceremony in the pavilion ballroom. Following the reception, guests will move to the pavilion ballroom and enjoy individually plated tapas style foods for each guest along with fruit and dessert platters to share with tablemates, plus champagne and coffee. 
  • Coffee, Cocktails & Conversation Reception

The gala will once again feature:

  • Innovators Row – a showcase of innovation-based startups and companies
  • Ticket and table prices for both members and non-members
  • Early-bird, on-time and late ticket tiers – deeper discounts for early action.
  • A “Startup” ticket designed to accommodate up-and-rising tech startups (less than 5 years old)
  • Additional food offered at each table (and even more food than last year!)

Follow us on Twitter at @CBICouncil and follow the 2017 CBIC Awards Gala at #CBICGala.

Innovators Row

The CBIC Awards Gala pre-ceremony reception showcases Central Virginia entrepreneurs, innovators, and organizations that contribute significantly to the region's innovation ecosystem. As many as 30 representatives will be selected for an opportunity to showcase their products, ideas, services and innovations at CBIC's Innovators Row.

This is an amazing opportunity to showcase the innovation you have worked on and connect with individuals that could take your idea to the next level.

There is no cost to apply, but if selected, there will be a single Innovators Row Exhibit Fees of $250, which includes 2 all-access gala tickets.

Apply for Innovators Row

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.