The New England Venture Capital Awards took place on Wednesday night, May 13, 2015, at the House of Blues in Boston. The event’s theme, “Solid Gold,” featured gold-clad dancers, pounding club music, an open bar and an opportunity to see venture capitalists in their “natural habitats.”
Online pharmacy startup PillPack took home the NEVY for Hottest Tech Startup. “Elliot and I were pretty excited about the award and always enjoy being nominated in the tech category rather than the ‘healthcare’ category,” said CEO TJ Parker. “We tend to attribute that to the fact that we’ve created something that consumers want, which isn’t quite as easy to do in healthcare. We were also thrilled to be featured alongside our two earliest investors, FKA and Founder Collective – who split the title of Fund of the Year.”
Another Boston company getting a lot of attention these days is ZappRx. CEO Zoe Barry took home the gold as the Rising Star Entrepreneur. “Boston is the perfect city to launch a Digital Health startup – and to be honest, I do not believe ZappRx would have been as successful if I had chosen to found the company in another city,” Barry says. “Boston is a healthcare Mecca: from academia to biotech and biopharma, the city has attracted the brightest minds in Life Sciences.”
She went on the explain that because ZappRx is a high tech company applied to hardcore Life Sciences, which puts it in the cross hairs of Boston’s two leading industries, she has been able to leverage both sides of the equation. “This has enabled me to hire an amazing team – ZappRx engineers are 50% exGoogle and the team is 50% women,” Barry says. “We are positively disrupting healthcare and I couldn’t be more excited to be recognized yesterday with the Rising Star Entrepreneur yesterday at the NEVY’s.”
Brian Gallagher, a member of the Healthcare Academy and venture capitalist with GlaxoSmithKline’s SR One, was also in attendance at the event. “Boston has become the epicenter for biotech and the key investors in early stage biotech startups,” he says. “The NEVCA has done an outstanding job of celebrating all the great things that are happening in the Boston startup community in both healthcare and tech. This evening’s celebration is a fitting recognition of all the great things that have occurred in the startup community in the past year.”
This feeling was echoed by Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, who was awarded the Deal of the Year prize. “The NEVY awards is a great opportunity for the Boston biotech and tech community to come together to celebrate the women and the men who make a difference in the world and to create momentum for Boston to reinforce its leadership. The next 10 years are going to be very special.”
Robert Schultz has an MBA in Information Systems from University of Massachusetts-Boston and a BS in International Business from Northeastern University, where he served as Business Manager for the university’s largest student publication, The Northeastern News. Schultz is an experienced healthcare technology startup enthusiast who was involved with the patient monitoring company Aware Engineering through the MassBio MassCONNECT program.
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