The Stevie Awards Blog

Swiss Startup Makes Board Meetings More Efficient

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 10:47 AM

Even at companies that thrive on innovation, board meetings tend to be low-tech affairs.

Typically, directors are handed a thick stack of papers before the meeting to help them prepare. It can be a cumbersome task, one in which it’s hard to stay organized.

The Swiss firm Sherpany is transforming board meetings through Boardroom, its subscription-based software that’s designed to help members make more effective decisions, and without all the stress associated with a paper system. All the documents they need are easily accessible on their mobile device, whether it’s running iOS or Windows 10. Users can also sign in on other devices via the web using a recent browser.

Sherpany.pngThe tool comes packed with user-friendly features, like a personalized dashboard that allows the user to keep tabs on multiple committee matters at once. It also comes with a question-and-answer function that provides rapid feedback from members of the management team.

Board members can annotate documents or access the history of a topic with a swipe of their hand, a clear benefit to busy corporate executives. At a time when risk management is a top priority at many organizations, Sherpany believes having that information at one’s fingertips can be an invaluable asset.

The goal is to make meetings more productive by allowing participants to focus on the outcome, not the process. The company explains that its objective is to “encourage the evolution of meeting culture through a delightful, easy-to-use and secure meeting management SaaS.”

“We reduce waste by cutting administrative, organizational and repetitive work and spare resources like paper, shipping and transportation,” says Sherpany CEO Tobias Häckermann.

A Fast-Growing Market

Sherpany got its start in 2012 by launching the first software platform in which investors could cast their votes electronically. Soon after, it unveiled Boardroom, a product it saw as a game-changer in the way board meetings get done.

The market has clearly bought into the idea. Just five years ago, the company had a total of 10 corporate clients. Today, roughly 210 companies are using its technology, and its users include some of the biggest corporations in Europe.

Sherpany’s customer base and physical presence continue to grow. In addition to its Zurich headquarters, the company now has satellite offices in Paris, Milan, Lisbon and Wroclaw, Poland.

That success, the company says, is in no small part to the programmers, designers and engineers who make up much of its small staff. In total, the company has around 50 employees who have made Sherpany the fastest-growing startup in Switzerland.

Even the company’s name, a nod to the Sherpas who guide climbers up some of the most treacherous slopes on earth, suggests its emphasis on innovation. The company’s goal, according to its website, is to grasp for new frontiers and help those intrepid customers who have come along for the journey.

Considering the amount of competition hovering around the software-as-a-service market today, Häckermann is particularly proud of the business’s trajectory. “A potential customer may have to sort through hundreds of applications available in dozens of different app stores to find a solution to fit their needs,” he says. “You have to stand out from the masses, whether it be with a special feature or an outstanding service.”

Sherpany’s latest version of the app, Boardroom 3, recently earned the Silver Stevie® Award in the “Mobile Site and App” categories at The 2017 International Business Awards, which received entries from more than 60 countries around the world.

“It gave our staff the recognition they deserved for all their hard work,” says Häckermann. “It also provides prestige for our clients, who love to be associated with the award.”

Tags: app awards, website awards, top business awards

Revolutionizing Private Jet Ownership

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 03, 2018 @ 04:09 PM

Providing access to information by centralizing, standardizing and comparing aircraft cost data worldwide is no easy task. My Sky (formerly My Jet) is a company in Switzerland that offers financial controlling and benchmarking tools for jet owners and their representatives to optimize ownership costs. They do this by collecting, digitizing, analyzing and storing all relevant financial information online for a 24/7, user-friendly service for its customers. This work has led them to win the Gold Stevie® Award for “Startup of the Year - Business Services Industries” and a Silver Stevie Award for “Tech Startup of the Year" in The 2017 International Business Awards.

A Beacon of Trust
The concept of My Sky was first developed in 2014 by two entrepreneurs active in private banking and private aviation. Since its public launch in August 2015, My Sky has garnered business from an exponential number of business aircraft owners in Europe and beyond. Oksana Smirnova is the Head of PR & Marketing at My Sky and is excited about how quickly the company became a beacon of innovation and trust.

My Sky.png

“Today, My Sky is a dynamic company evolving in the sectors of business aviation and financial management with headquarters in Switzerland. It currently employs over 80 experts, including in-house auditors, analysts and IT specialists.”

All their data is proof tested against the largest companies in the industry cost database. My Sky services 50 private jets and employs 80 experts in Switzerland and Russia.

Taking Off
My Sky’s mission is to revolutionize private jet ownership through technology and expertise. This has helped the company earn three international awards in just 12 months. In August 2016, they won a Bronze Stevie Award, then a Sapphire Pegasus Business Aviation Award for Innovation in April 2017, and now it has won Gold and Silver Stevie Awards.

“Winning gold one year after bronze shows that our product and our company have evolved in a very positive way and is a very important milestone in My Sky’s development,” says Smirnova.

“We also have ambitious plans on geographical expansion, and this international recognition will obviously be an added value to our unique proposition.”

Their innovative and disruptive approach provides an opportunity to augment traditional cost management practices in the business aviation industry through a smart blend of technology, data analytics and best practices.

Finding the Missing Link
My Sky considers themselves to be the missing link between industry players and the owners that remove any inefficiencies to empower jet owners by giving them more control and absolute transparency. Smirnova highlights what makes them distinct from similar companies.

“We believe the key to our success is the fact that there are no direct competitors today adopting a client-oriented SaaS approach. Accounting digitization, dynamic reporting and cost benchmarking offered by My Sky are absolutely unique on the market.”

Their unique features have allowed jet owners and their representatives to be in full control of their assets to optimize future costs while correcting past discrepancies, making sure aircrafts fly at the best hourly rate.

Tags: company awards, Startup of the Year, startup awards

True Skyrocketing Success with RapidValue

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Dec 27, 2017 @ 04:37 PM

RapidValue is a leading provider of end-to-end digital transformation solutions for enterprises worldwide. Its digital solutions span across mobile, cloud, IoT and omni-channels to help improve productivity, stream business workflow, reduce operational cost and achieve higher ROI. They won the Gold Stevie® Award in The 2017 International Business Awards for Marketing Department of the Year.

Rapid Growth

RapidValue, headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, in the United States, was founded in 2008 and has grown year-over-year since its inception. With eight global offices, 450+ employees, 600+ projects delivered and 15+ international global corporate awards, it’s safe to say recognition is in order. Kavyanidhi Narayan is the Marketing Manager at RapidValue and is proud of the attention the company is receiving for its hard work.

RapidValue-1.jpg“RapidValue is extremely proud of winning the Gold Stevie Award for Marketing Department of the Year. This international award boosts company visibility in the global market and brings in confidence to the management and business development teams in upsurging the revenue for the organization.”

RapidValue is also proud to have some of the world’s top brands, Fortune 1000 firms and innovative product startups as their customers.

Driven by Innovation

Technology is evolving every day as businesses try to keep up. RapidValue considers itself to be a fast-paced emerging firm that builds solutions with cutting-edge technologies. Its collective enthusiasm is driven by its fascination of new marketing ideas for solution launches, branding and executing innovative ideas quickly. Narayan believes, “the most interesting part is incorporating new-age marketing solutions to increase brand awareness.”

Kavyanidhi supports the pursuit of balanced work-life relationships. RapidValue is rich in culture with a diverse team, so celebrating all festivals throughout the year is important to them.

“We have many talented employees. They perform dances, play musical instruments and participate in sporting events,” says Kavyanidhi. “This inspires the team to have bonding experiences that promote enthusiasm to work cohesively.”

Apart from leading the 17-member marketing team, Kavyanidhi is also an athlete and has won many championships in track & field events. She also has her own sports club for children called Galloper, which she pursues on the weekends.

From Small Beginnings to Big Destinations

RapidValue’s marketing team’s lead generation and brand building has upsurged the company revenue. In 2016-17, the team contributed 30% of the company’s revenue through marketing initiatives that netted five big customer wins. There has also been a 20% increase in sales compared to 2015 through 12 road shows, technology events and global awards

“RapidValue’s marketing team is closely knit with cross-functional teams to increase the visibility of RapidValue and the business development team, to generate leads and to drive customer wins. We motivate the entire organization to contribute through leadership articles and whitepapers.”

Kavyanidhi also believes that building the right relationship with stakeholders and working closely as a team is what brings success—not just for themselves, but also for the organization.

“This team has proved that a small group can make a difference in transforming a three-member startup into one of the fastest emerging companies in the world.”

Tags: marketing awards, marketing campaign of the year, marketing campaign

Pakistani Executive Connects Social Good with Business Goals

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 @ 02:24 PM

Syeda Amna Nasir Jamal knows things could have ended up very differently. Faced with the untimely death of her father, a young Jamal suddenly held the reins of the family textile business in Pakistan. Though she had started to work for him at age 13, it wasn’t exactly a role for which she was prepared.

“After the death of my father, there were difficult challenges in our lives,” Jamal says. “We had plenty of setbacks and disappointments.”

Instead of losing hope, she pushed forward. Jamal would have a hand in virtually every aspect of the business, from marketing to human resources, providing the steadying force it needed.

SAN enterprises.jpg“I overcame obstacles by being shrewd,” she concedes. In time, she would create her own agricultural and textile trading firm, the Karachi-based SAN Enterprises.

Despite her successes, Jamal wanted to do more. She found herself wanting to help the next generation of Pakistanis in overcoming their own obstacles ‒ be it poverty, a lack of education or gender biases ‒ to achieve success in life.

With that goal in mind, she set up a free school for underprivileged children on the SAN premises. Rather than being a distraction, she says the project had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the business. Jamal contends that it’s been a way to attract the sort of employees she values ‒ those wanting to make a positive change in the world.

“Initiatives for social good are one of the ways that you can show a job candidate what it is like to work at your company,” says Jamal. “Candidates want to know they work for a company whose values are aligned with their own.”

Eventually, Jamal created an NGO called the Tavuun Welfare Association so that she could make an even bigger impact within the city and nationwide. Through Tavuun, she’s helped set up a second school in the high-crime Lyari district of Karachi, which promotes academic achievement and civic engagement among women.

“Pakistani society has traditionally been patriarchal, where a female child is often regarded as an ‘unwanted’ being,” Jamal says. “Due to cultural and religious practices, gender discrimination and socioeconomic disparities are very visible.”

As the organization has developed, it’s taken on numerous other projects as well. Among them: a free clinic where low-income residents can receive medical care and a program that provides blankets and other necessities to disaster victims.

Changing hearts and minds

Alongside her work on the ground, Jamal is hoping to bring broader awareness to these issues in Pakistan. She’s created a policy and research organization that shines a light on the downtrodden in Pakistan and often writes for local news outlets on education, health and gender-related topics.

“Unfortunately, human rights is a concept that is still trivialized in the sub-continent,” she explains. “That’s why the current generation of young people has grown up without developing a sense of collective responsibility for social change.”

Changing those ingrained attitudes is a significant task, to be sure. For inspiration, Jamal says she turns to the ancient proverb: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

What she has done so far is nothing short of extraordinary. For her tireless efforts, Jamal won Silver for “Female Innovator of the Year” at the Stevie® Awards for Women in Business in November, 2017. Her NGO, Tavuun Welfare Association, earned the Bronze Stevie for “Organization of the Year.”

Jamal says the recognitions will only help bring more attention to the organization and the causes that she’s trying to remedy. She’s also confident it will boost the morale of her staff and help make it easier to recruit and retain workers.

“Confidence begins with faith, self-determination and dedication to success,” she says. “Winning is an amazing feeling because it says that I am capable of bringing something special to the table.”

Tags: stevie awards for women in business, Organization of the Year, womens awards, innovator of the year

The Great Disruptor: Female Entrepreneur Shakes Up the Specialty Finance Sector

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 @ 10:49 AM

“Complacency” is not a word in Renee Tocco’s vocabulary.

Whether it is using her skills to encourage people to live healthier or supporting any number of philanthropic causes ‒ from helping low-income children to protecting rainforests ‒  the energetic Aussie is keen to make a difference wherever she can.

It is no surprise when it comes to her main career as a business executive, Tocco does not settle for the status quo. A former sales and business accounts manager for Telstra, Australia’s largest telecom company, she started her own commercial finance brokerage, Loanezi, in 2014. In the process, she is bringing a fresh approach to an industry that is not necessarily known for innovation.

In three years, her company has become one of the fastest-growing players in the country’s asset finance industry. “Loanezi is my greatest achievement so far,” the entrepreneur says, proud of the success her venture has earned.

Loenzi.jpgFor as long as she can remember, dreaming big has been one of her character traits. “I always believed that I will one day build up an empire or disrupt an industry with a revolutionary invention,” concedes Tocco, who lives on The Gold Coast, a metropolitan area on Australia’s eastern shore.

Loanezi is the marriage of that enterprising spirit with the industry knowledge she acquired at Telstra. It was there Tocco realized the impact information and communication technology could have on businesses ‒ particularly smaller ones. For clients, new equipment was often the difference between growing or falling behind the competition.

Tocco vividly remembers her first client, a woman who was starting her own real estate practice. “Without a new phone system and printer, this new little real estate business literally would not have been able to successfully function,” Tocco told her hometown newspaper, The Gold Coast Bulletin.

Three years later, the company’s trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. In early 2016, Loanezi was already generating enough revenue to pay back all borrowed capital, becoming 100% self-funded. During the 2016-2017 financial year, Loanezi generated 450 commercial loans, outpacing its own ambitious sales goals.

What makes Loanezi different from the competition? Tocco says it is, in part, the novel use of technology, something that is transforming what had long been a “staid” finance broking sector.

The company also offers a large panel of vendors, enabling it to serve customers with a wide range of needs, including new businesses that sometimes have trouble getting financial support.

Despite the success the firm is enjoying, Tocco makes it clear the company is not pulling off the accelerator pedal. “My goal is to become the largest commercial asset finance broker in Australia within the next three years, a humongous goal that I am focused on achieving.”

In August, Tocco and her team found out they won the Silver Stevie® Award in the “Startup of the Year – Business Services Industries” category of The 14th Annual International Business Awards.

“These awards have a great impact when building a brand and trying to stand out from the crowd,” says Tocco. “The day we added the Silver Stevie seal to the website was such a fun moment, as we appreciate the impact this has in building my profile and that of Loanezi.”

Thinking Big

For Tocco, one of the biggest benefits to the company’s success is the opportunity to give back. The business has partnered with the business giving initiative known as Buy1Give1 (B1G1), providing donations for every corporate loan it settles.

Among the results of its B1G1 gifts so far: 175 days of shelter and 225 days of education for children in need, as well as the protection of 45 square meters of rainforest and 2,000 meals for orphaned children.

“My desire is to change as many lives as possible, directly or indirectly,” she says. “The bigger Loanezi grows, the more impact we can have.”

Tocco is also using her experiences to help other female entrepreneurs achieve a similar level of success. “Through my blogs in the finance industry, I am already mentoring several females and believe that will foster into perpetuity the gift of shared knowledge.”

In that same spirit, she is hoping to offer traineeships to help students achieve their business goals and tackle important challenges around the world.

“I believe young people, offered the novelty of mentorship, will thrive in whatever industry they choose as their end goal,” says Tocco. “I hope my company will be the launching pad of future leaders with a global conscious mindset.”

Tags: entrepreneur, company of the year, Startup of the Year, startup awards

Ex-Footballer Showcases Australia’s Hidden Gems for Hit Travel TV Show

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Dec 06, 2017 @ 02:25 PM

Swimming next to crocodiles? Traversing giant rock formations? Boogie-boarding on whitewater rapids?

It’s all part of the job for Peter “Spida” Everett, a longtime star in the Australian Football League, and his wife, Sheree. As hosts of the hit TV and radio show “The Great Australian Doorstep,” the couple explores the country’s unique destinations and take on whatever adventure they find along the way.

Great Australian.jpgPast destinations have included Australia’s natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock, as well as many of the charming small towns that dot the countryside. Wherever they go, the couple travel by car or RV, soaking up the land’s distinct character and meeting locals along the way.

From one episode to the next, the couple could be hiking Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory or exploring the wild and majestic Kimberley region in Western Australia. In recent years, they’ve ventured beyond the Great Down Under, filming episodes in New Zealand, China, Canada and the state of Alaska in the U.S.

Now in its tenth season, the show’s unique mix of cultural exploration and thrill-seeking has clearly struck a chord with audiences. The program is a staple on the television station 7TWO and on more than 40 radio stations across Australia. The show recently broke into the Chinese market, where they’ve inked a five-year deal with China Central Television, and have become the first Australian travel show to be picked up by iTunes.

Those remarkable achievements earned the admiration of jurors for The 14th Annual International Business Awards, which featured nearly 4,000 nominees. “The Great Australian Doorstep” came away with the Bronze Stevie in the Travel and Tourism Video Awards category.

“With his steely determination, Spida has taken on some of Australia’s biggest travel media outlets and come out on top,” says Sheree, deflecting her own sizeable contribution to the show’s success.

Overcoming Obstacles

Everett’s 16-year football career, in which he played for the St. Kilda Saints, Hawthorn Hawks and Sydney Swans, provided the kind of fame that certainly helps when you’re pitching a new media venture.

But Sheree insists his high profile could also be an obstacle at times, especially when the pair would try to garner seed money. “People would often say, ‘Oh, he has millions. We don’t need to support him,’” she says. But after a costly divorce, she says, that wasn’t the case.

As a result, the couple had to take on considerable financial risk to make their venture work. “When he retired, we put our entire life savings and have worked tirelessly, often with little support from the industry,” she says.

It’s fitting then, that the show caters to audience members who are looking to travel on a budget. Rather than flying from place to place and booking luxury hotels, the Everetts opt for the modest confines of an RV park and favor unpretentious local establishments. That stripped-down approach has also made the program more fun they say, allowing them to interact with everyday people and experience the countryside up close.

The attention the show is receiving is just icing on the cake, they insist. The Stevie® Award, in particular, plays a major role in helping to boost the program’s profile, says Sheree.

“It has given us higher global exposure as well as huge applause from media and travel industry personnel here in Australia,” she explains.

And its proof, she insists, of what can happen when you believe in your ideas and are willing to work through the struggles. “It’s about focus, vision, hard work and never losing sight of the big goal,” Everett says.

Tags: marketing awards, communication awards, The International Business Awards, australia business awards

Introducing the 2018 Silver and Bronze Stevie Medals

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Dec 04, 2017 @ 12:21 PM

We're pleased to share with you the first photographs of the Silver and Bronze Stevie® medals that will be presented to Silver and Bronze Stevie winners in all of our 2018 competitions.

The medals are diamond-shaped, evocative of the Stevie Awards logo, a break from the triangular medals of 2016-17.  The Silver Stevie medal will be conferred in a powder-blue presentation box, and the Bronze Stevie medal in a hunter-green box.

The medals will first be presented to Silver and Bronze Stevie winners at the 12th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service in Las Vegas on Friday, February 23.

As in the past, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners will automatically receive one medal.  They'll have the option to purchase additional medals, or corresponding Silver or Bronze Stevie Award trophies, through the Stevie Awards Store.

Bronze_and_silver_2018.jpg

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Bronze_2018_ver.2.jpg

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, Awards, medals

Giving Entrepreneurial Youth a Fighting Chance with RAK SME

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 @ 01:13 PM

RAK SME was established in 2007 by Amiri Decree in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates to support young entrepreneurs with start-up projects. They provide small and medium enterprises with everything from quick and easy steps to simplify their procedures, to market entry resources. Their efforts have enabled the youth in their communities to establish and develop projects to enhance sustainable development in the Emirates. This work led them to win the Bronze Stevie Award for Company of the Year in the Small, Nonprofit or Government Organizations category of The 2017 International Business Awards.

Achieving Sustainable Development

Rak SMK.jpgIn order to provide an attractive environment for Emirati youth entrepreneurs, RAK SME supports a mission to strengthen the national economy through the Saud Bin Saqr Foundation for the Development of Youth Projects. RAK SME is also an initiative of Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry by incorporating a wide range of services to the members of their corporation. Rashed Sawaqed is the Business Development Consultant for RAK SME, specifically focusing on Feasibility Studies and Business Development Consultancy which aims to support and develop SME's in Ras Al Khaimah.

“From facilities and exemptions to commercial license fees, industrial and sustainable development, RAK SME makes annual goals for clear and distinctive imprints during the process of promoting and supporting youth enterprises. In addition to encouraging nationals to lead businesses, diversify the economy, and achieve sustainable development.”

RAK SME services provided for its’ members include exemptions from the payment of commercial license fees, economic and legal consultancy, business incubators and business admin services, training and development programs, workshops, discounts on various services (including participation in local and external exhibitions) and free industrial and commercial plots for development.

Playing a Major Role

Saud Bin Saqr Foundation for the Development of Youth Projects is one of the initiatives of the Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Foundation aims at developing the business sector and contributing to the government's policy in the development of youth projects in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, where small and medium enterprises play a major role in the development of the national economy. Sawaqed comments on how winning a Stevie® has made a positive impact on achieving their goals.

“Winning the Stevie Award was an enormous achievement for our organization and continues to prove beneficial to our operations. The awards raised our customers’ confidence in our business and our capabilities.”

RAK SME is now organizing a practical training course entitled "Making Financial Decisions for Your Business Project" for entrepreneurs. Those interested in the business community within the framework of the plan can develop and qualify small and medium enterprises under the umbrella of the Foundation.

Tags: company awards, management awards, company of the year, entrepreneur awards

Stevie Awards for Women in Business Winners Announced in 14th Annual Competition

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 @ 09:33 AM

Shining a spotlight on women executives, entrepreneurs and organizations run by women, winners in the 2017 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business  were announced on Friday, November 17.

See the full list of winners here.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business is an international competition produced by the creators of the prestigious International Business Awards and American Business Awards. The Stevie is widely considered to be the world’s premier business award.

Stevie Awards for Women in Business ceremony 2017.jpgWith more than 500 businesswomen and their guests in attendance, the awards were announced at a gala dinner at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Nations represented at the event include Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Iceland, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, U.S.A., and the United Kingdom.

The presentations were broadcast live worldwide.

More than 1,500 nominations from organizations and individuals in 25 nations were submitted to the awards this year for consideration in categories including Entrepreneur of the Year, Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year, and Startup of the Year, among others. More than 170 professionals around the world participated in the judging process to determine the Finalists and then the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements.

Grand Stevie Award trophies were presented to the five organizations that submitted the best body of entries to the competition, in their own names or in the names of one or more clients. Winners were determined by the number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards won in the competition. The Grand Stevie Award winners are:

  •         FIS, Jacksonville, FL USA (#1)
  •         Pink Elephant, Burlington, ON Canada (#2)
  •         Jeunesse Global, Lake Mary, FL USA (#3)
  •         Clariti Group, Brisbane, QLD Australia (#4 tie)
  •         Accenture, Chicago, IL and New York, NY USA (#4 tie)

Notable Gold Stevie Award winners from this year’s competition include:

  • Therese Tucker, Founder & CEO of BlackLine, Woodland Hills, CA USA - Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services
  • Martha Herrera, Corporate Director of Social Responsibility of CEMEX, Mexico City, Mexico - Most Innovative Woman of the Year – Industry
  • Chargeback Gurus, McKinney, TX USA - Company of the Year – Business Products – More Than 10 Employees
  • Good Food Enterprise Co., Ltd, Taipei, Taiwan - Startup of the Year - Consumer Services Industries 
  • Huda Ali Al-Husaini, Head of Training and Studies for Jordan Engineers Association, Amman, Jordan - Employee of the Year - Government or Non-Profit
  • Little Medical School, St. Louis, MO, USA – Best New Product or Service of the Year - Consumer Services
  • Nissan North America, Franklin, TN USA - Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Marketing - Consumer Products
  • Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director of Creative Industries for Promote Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland - Female Innovator of the Year – Government or Non-Profit –11 to 2,500 Employees
  • Allison Grafton, President and Partner of Rockwood Custom Homes, Calgary, AB Canada - Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Canada
  • Sarah Lance, Founder of Sari Bari Private Limited, Kolkata, India - Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand
  • Katlin Smith, CEO of Simple Mills, Chicago, IL USA - Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Consumer Products –11 to 2,500 Employees
  • Michelle Visco Bauyon, CEO of The Alpha Enterprise, Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines - Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Products –10 or Less Employees
  • Jess Tomlin, President and CEO of The MATCH International Women's Fund, Ottawa, ON Canada - Most Innovative Woman of the Year - Government or Non-Profit

The 2017 Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners reflect a diverse group of large and small organizations from around the globe. Organizations that won more than one Gold Stevie Award include Accenture, BioSafe Technologies, Inc., Clariti Group, Envolve, Inc., FIS, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, GingerMay PR, Jeunesse Global, Pink Elephant, Sari Bari Private Limited, Science Exchange, and The Author Incubator.

For a complete list of Stevie Award winners and more information, visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/Women.

Entries for the 2018 edition of the awards will open in May.

Tags: women awards, women in business awards, executive of the year, Woman of the Year, employee of the year

Gamers Rejoyce! AI Tool Matches Players with Mobile Games

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 @ 02:35 PM

With more than 1.2 million titles available on Apple and Android devices, the problem video gamers face today isn’t the lack of choice ‒ it’s having more than they can handle.

Enter ANDi. The one-and-a-half-year-old UK firm that recently launched a “personal mobile gaming assistant” Gameway that helps users find new games based on their preferences and provides a single, convenient platform from which to launch them.

The London-based company says it takes the typical player anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to find a new game. And after all that effort, 72% of the games get deleted after two uses. 

gameway.jpegBy leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, ANDi is hoping that its Gameway app will lead to better matches, in a fraction of the time it usually takes to find a game.

“Data is collected from the games our users swipe, install and play,” says Benjamin Woolf, ANDi’s co-founder and CEO. “Machine learning algorithms process the data and display the right games to the right people at the appropriate times.” The company calls the feature “Tinder-For-Games,” a nod to the popular dating app.

Woolf, a graduate of Leeds Business University, says the the software can recommend games in under a minute, and with greater success. When using ANDi, people keep games for 25% longer, on average, than competitors.

An untapped market

The direction the company took was, its founders admit, somewhat accidental.

When Woolf and friend Sam Koch, who has a computer science background, volunteered together at a 2015 TechCrunch convention, they talked about the idea of creating a new mobile game together.

But when they visited the Google Play store to see what was already on the market, they found themselves swimming in a sea of choices. With that amount of selection, zeroing in on a particular type of game was virtually impossible. What people needed, they believed, was a more efficient way to find what they were looking for.

In a matter of just a few months, the pair was able to cultivate a team and put out the first prototype. Woolf says the community user base has grown by more than 15% month-over-month since being released.

Fostering collaboration 

The company’s speed-to-market is the result of a “work hard, play hard” approach. Product development centers on intense two-week “sprints,” in which the team discusses a new feature, designs it and then carries out a test so it can analyze results afterward.

The founders also carve out time for team-building. Employees regularly get together for team lunches where they can air out their concerns. Once a month, staff members will huddle around a video game console and hold friendly competitions.

“All this builds collaboration and fearless positivity, which allows all members individually to want to give their all,” suggests Woolf.

Already, ANDi’s gaming assistant is shaking up the industry, he says. “The larger game studios, publishers and other media sites are concerned how this could equalize the market for the small niche game developers and medium-sized companies who are not able to gain the same face-time due to financial restrictions,” he explains.

Thanks to its innovative solution, the company has recently earned multiple high-level honors. Among them: “Most Innovative Mobile Gaming Application 2017” by Softech and “Best Free Gaming App” at the TMT Global Excellence Awards 2017.

ANDi adds to its trophy case with the Bronze Stevie® Award received for “Startup of the Year - Consumer Products Industries” at this year’s International Business Awards.

“Winning an award as prestigious as the Stevies was a huge inspiration to our team,” says Woolf. “To be recognized by others in the global business community for our hard work is something we very much appreciate.”

Tags: company awards, tech awards, startup awards

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