Awards / Communities / Events / Jobs / Makerspaces

DC, meet your 2022 Awards winners

You made your voice heard during the public voting round — now see who took home the (virtual) gold across five categories.

Rahama Wright (center) and her team. (Courtesy photo) Awards 2022 are underwritten by Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs. This article was independently reported and not reviewed by Comcast before publication. Comcast is a Ecosystem Builder client.

After weeks of sitting on the edge of our seats, we finally have the announcement you’ve all been waiting for: our 2022 Awards winners!’s annual event takes a look at all of the achievements of local tech community players in 2022. This year, we took a look at the individuals and companies who represented DC’s technology and entrepreneurial scene in all the best ways.

Across five categories, our 25 nominees were selected via newsroom curation and submissions from the public focused on who they thought was best at boosting all things DC. This year, we announced our winners via an event in our public Slack (which you can join riiiiight here).

After our biggest year of voting ever — seriously, y’all really showed up, we counted over 8,000 votes across five markets — it’s finally time to reveal the results. Below, meet your 2022 Award winners:

Invention of the Year — Yeleen Beauty Makerspace

The makerspace, created by Rahama Wright, is currently under construction at Benning Road NE. The space is designed to help local beauty entrepreneurs, with 3,000 square feet featuring a teaching lab, manufacturing facility, retail space and a media room for founders. Wright’s fans showed her so much love that she received a whopping 90% of the votes in this category.

Tech Community Leader of the Year — Darius Clair

Man in green shirt holds hands up in front of grey wall and items

Darius Clair of D.E.A.L.S. Venture Group. (Courtesy photo)

DC native Clair is a well-known face around DC entrepreneurship as part of the core team for DC Startup Week, small business development and community for WeWork and the founder of angel investor connector group D.E.A.L.S.

“Thanks for the honor and recognition!” wrote Clair during the Slack event. “Just doing what I’m purposed to do.”

CTO of the Year — Gina Guillaume-Joseph

The CTO of government at cloud enterprise software company Workday, Guillaume-Joseph is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University. Previously, she’s held roles including director of technology at Capital One and principal engineer and manager at MITRE.

Tech Company of the Year — DwellWell

The DwellWell team poses in two rows.

The DwellWell team. (Courtesy photo)

From three-time entrepreneur Dan Simpkins, the Bethesda startup developed a residential property management technology platform. Its “check-engine” device helps owners keep track of their properties, potentially preventing the need for repairs.

“We are floored, excited and honored,” DwellWell’s Rebecca Chanin wrote on Slack. “Thank you SO MUCH! We had some stiff competition.”

Culture Builder of the Year — Ayanna Smith

A waist-up shot of Ayanna Smith.

Ayanna Smith. (Courtesy photo)

Smith supports the inclusion of women and nonbinary folks in tech as the managing director of GET Cities and has accomplished so much in her few years in the role. She’s also a supporter of underrepresented founders and a Techstars mentor.

Join the Slack
Companies: GET Cities
Series: Awards

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