Jim Heppelmann, chief executive at PTC, is CEO of the year, according to his Massachusetts tech peers.
Dubbed the “Academy Awards” of technology, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council hosted its 18th annual technology leadership awards gala and crowned winners in 16 categories on Wednesday night.
Fantasy sports company DraftKings earned the “private company of the year” title and Admetsys, which developed the first-of-its-kind artificial pancreas for hospital and surgical patients, is MassTLC’s “startup to watch.”
“Massachusetts is well poised to lead in this area,” Tom Hopcroft, president of MassTLC, said in reference to the Internet of Things. “A lot of companies moved here because we have a blend of mechanical and software engineering. There is uniqueness to our talent pool.”
Over the last five years as CEO, Heppelmann has transformed PTC, a $3.8 billion company, from a computer-aided design company into a business that allows companies to create, connect, and operate smart products, all areas that encompass the Internet of Things. Heppelmann was named a top-100 CEO in 2013 by STEMconnector, an organization for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics information.
MassTLC, a networking group for tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy leaders with more than 550 company members, received hundreds of submissions through the open nomination process. Fifty to 60 judges in the technology industry narrowed the field down to five finalists in each category, and then determined the winners.
“This is an opportunity for us to take some of the best and brightest, and put them on a stage for the world to see,” Hopcroft said.
Michael Stonebraker, a leader in data management systems and winner of the 2014 Alan M. Turning award, is the recipient of the 2015 Commonwealth Award, chosen by the MassTLC council. Stonebraker has founded nine companies, including Massachusetts-based Streambase (now Tibco), Vertica, which was acquired by HP for $350 million in 2011, VoltDB, Tamr, and Paradigm4.
“I am delighted to be in the same company as [former governor] Deval Patrick, who won last year,” said Stonebraker, who has been involved with MassTLC for several years. “They do a valuable service in facilitating technology transfer and dissemination of information.”
The Commonwealth Award, started in 2008, recognizes individuals dedicated to innovation that improves the community and economy of Massachusetts.
Four additional members of the technology community were named 2015 Distinguished Leadership winners for their work in advancing and supporting innovation: John Harthorne, founder and chief executive of startup accelerator MassChallenge; Charlie LaFauci and Shawn Szturma, who brought the national computer science program Hour of Code to Somerville’s public schools; and Debbie Theobald, executive director of Vecna Cares, a nonprofit that provides technology and training to support health systems.
“If you are trying to set up that web 2.0 company, there is probably a deeper bench in Silicon Valley,” he said. “But if you are thinking about the future and sustainability, a lot of that is being driven by the future technology and health care” developments in Boston.