Diversity & Inclusion
Awards / Startups

Here’s who won the Brooklyn Innovation Awards last night

Color us proud.

Winners of Technical.ly's 2016 Brooklyn Innovation Awards. (Photo by Brian James Kirk)
More than 150 of Brooklyn’s brightest startuppers, artists, nonprofit-ers, coders and designers converged last night at the WeWork in Dumbo Heights for the second annual Brooklyn Innovation Awards.

Perhaps the most conspicuous and most telling part of the night was the diversity of thought in the room, and what that means for the Brooklyn tech scene.

Diversity and the tech sector have a fraught history, but something we kept overhearing in conversation after conversation was how nice it is to have artists and coders and government and businesspeople in the same room, with similar interests. Numerous comparisons to San Francisco and even Manhattan were made, with the point being that it was a night where diversity meant not LinkedIn and Facebook and Google, but people coming from very different schools of thought and experience. Eight of the 15 winners last night were women or came from female-led companies.

Brooklyn Innovation Awards crowd.

Brooklyn Innovation Awards crowd. (Photo by Brian James Kirk)

Building a community is hard work and people have to opt in. That’s why it was such a pleasure to walk through the event and hear social impact leaders talking to coders, real estate developers interested in coworking spaces talking to designers or internet artists talking to urban farmers. So many startuppers here are head down in their computers 14 hours a day, hustling, grinding, making it happen. But what people find, when they come up for air, is that they live in a place abundant in resources, thriving with creative ideas. And the more people help each other, the better everyone does.

A non-trivial number of the people in the room last night will be mega successful and famous in the next five to 10 years. It’s rewarding for us to be able to be on the ground floor, writing about them when no one knows who they are and awarding the tremendous work they do.

Last night was good.

Lead reporter Tyler Woods emcees.

Lead reporter Tyler Woods emcees. (Photo by Brian James Kirk)

The Winners

Entrepreneur of the Year: Allison Kopf

Agrilyst founder explains why farming is ripe for analytics.

Scientist of the Year: Danielle Trofe

These gnarly lampshades are made of ‘shrooms and they’re weirdly perfect.

Tech Mission Org of the Year: Brooklyn Public Library

The Brooklyn Public Library is funding a bunch of neighborhood tech programs.

Maker Space of the Year: Genspace

Head to Genspace for some genome engineering.

Colocation Community of the Year: Made in NY Media Center

Check out the new crop of startups from the Made in NY Media Center.

Tech Startup of the Year: Paperspace

This startup wants to be your computer. All you need is a screen and a keyboard.

Design/Dev Firm of the Year: Pensa

Pensa’s Marco Perry on the little white lie he tells when he needs a break.

Best Web/Mobile Product of the Year: Croissant

Croissant, coworking’s all-access pass, is expanding to D.C.

Artist/Creative Group of the Year: Swale

A food forest floats in Brooklyn.


Swale. (Screenshot)

Civic Startup of the Year: Propel

EBT startup Propel wins Make It in BK pitch competition.

Jimmy Chen of Propel.

Jimmy Chen of Propel. (Screenshot)

Product of the Year: EcoHelmet

This paper bike helmet could seriously change the game for bike shares (and riders).

Isis Shiffer, inventor of the EcoHelmet.

Isis Shiffer, inventor of the EcoHelmet. (Screenshot)

Thinker of the Year: Francis Tseng

A Brooklyn-made ‘dystopian business simulator’ is a Kickstarter top pick.

Indie Video Game of the Year: Two Dots

Dots CEO on the pros and cons of being a startup in Brooklyn.

Tech Business of the Year: Livestream

#HulkvsGawk was a major event for Brooklyn’s Livestream.

Technologist of the Year: Veronika Harbick

This startupper has a completely new idea about the future of retail.

Companies: WeWork
Series: Brooklyn

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