The MassTLC Leadership Awards recognize and honor “the best and the brightest” of the Massachusetts tech ecosystem each year. On July 18, after months of nominations and judging, the finalists in each of fifteen different categories were announced (learn more about the selection process, here).
Who will be crowned the winners? Find out on October 3, 2018, at the 21st annual Mass Tech Leadership Awards Gala.
In the meantime, let us introduce you to our finalists and the great work that they are doing here in Massachusetts.
In the words of their nominators, meet the 2018 “Influential Consumer Tech of the Year” finalists.
Coravin for The Coravin Model Eleven
Coravin is transforming the way the world drinks and thinks about wine by allowing consumers to pour a glass of wine without removing the cork. The Coravin Model Eleven is the first fully automatic wine preservation opener featuring Bluetooth connectivity to the Coravin Moments app.
For hundreds of years, consumers have been constrained by the way wine is sold to them: by the bottle. The Coravin Wine Preservation System is the first system that allows wine drinkers to pour a glass of wine without removing the cork. With Coravin, consumers can drink any wine, in any amount – without wasting a drop and preserve the wine remaining in the bottle for weeks, months or even years.
Coravin is changing the way that wine is served, sold and enjoyed. With the Model Eleven, wine lovers and connoisseurs can explore food and wine pairings, throw unforgettable wine tasting parties, or use their favorite wines for cooking – all without wasting a drop. The Model Eleven gives users even more freedom of choice to drink the wine they want, whenever they want.
Cybereason for RansomFree
Cybereason’s RansomFree is the world’s first free anti-ransomware product that detects never-seen-before/previously unknown ransomware before it can infect a computer. RansomFree is able to prevent ransomware attacks using behavior-based analytics, rather than just typical and outdated antivirus software.
RansomFree was developed as a public service to protect consumers from ransomware attacks. It was built to reach the single largest audience possible; it is available for Windows and stops ransomware from encrypting files on networks. The tool was designed to be easy-to-install and takes up less than 5 MBs of space on a computer. If a consumer is hit by ransomware, RansomFree immediately alerts them and asks if they want to stop the threat. RansomFree is always running in the background, watching for behaviors specific to ransomware.
Today, more than 800,000 consumers are using RansomFree, and Cybereason has saved people from paying more than $25 million in ransoms. Cybereason’s RansomFree is making ransomware attacks unprofitable.
iZotope for Spire Studio
Spire Studio is a portable, wireless, multitrack recorder that pairs with a free iOS app. With Spire Studio, any musician can quickly and easily capture inspiration outside the confines of a recording studio. They can achieve professional-sounding audio, personalize their sound with creative effects, easily mix and layer their tracks, and share their music with bandmates for collaboration or straight to storage services, social media, or SoundCloud.
Traditionally, the process of recording presents musicians with a unique set of challenges that inhibit spontaneous creativity. iZotope had to create a whole different way of looking at and interacting with music recording—one that would be comfortable to newcomers yet not alienating to experienced musicians.
In the way GoPro opened a market for DIY video capture, Spire opens a new market segment for DIY creatives working with audio.
Sheprd for Sheprd
Sheprd is modernizing the School Bus by making it safer, more efficient, more enjoyable, and more convenient by matching students with others going the same way to dedicated drivers (background checked, pediatric first-aid certified, 7D licensed) that provide transportation in a fleet of safe, fully-insured and licensed Land Rover SUVs (seatbelts, airbags, AWD).
Sheprd offers a unique combination of trust and availability. Sheprd’s service allows parents to manage their busy lives, along with, the busy lives of their children. With Sheprd, parents can take 3 minutes to sign up for a ride and then not worry about their child getting from point A to point B for the rest of the day. Sheprd calculates optimal routes that allow multiple children going in the same direction to be picked up on the same trip. This process allows rides to be more efficient which results in lower prices for consumers.
Sheprd holds the potential to shift the overall market away from primarily parental transportation for students in grades K-12. In the current state, parents provide around 70-80% of student rides in most given areas. Sheprd offers an alternative so that parents do not have to choose between their careers and their children’s opportunities.
Root Robotics for Root
Root is a drawing & driving, creativity fueled robot and iPad app that develops logic and problem solving skills while teaching coding. By using a single app with three levels of programming interfaces, anyone, at any skill level – from pre-readers to adults – can learn to code by interacting with the robot.
Root’s custom app transforms the skills required to code into real-world physical experiences that take advantage of the robot’s 50+ sensors and actuators. Coders as young as four can use Root as their creative tool to defy gravity and climb walls, or move about on smooth surfaces to draw artwork, scan creations, play music, respond to touch and color, or use many of its other unique abilities.
Root introduces an ongoing opportunity to learn new logic, problem-solving and coding skills through creativity and imagination as a coder’s skills and knowledge improve.
The demand for skilled workers in the STEM fields, especially within technology and engineering, is drastically increasing. Root inspires kids at an early age and integrate their love of art and music with robotics.