Awards / Events

Philly, meet your 2022 Awards winners

After an exciting nominations and voting period, find out who took home the virtual gold across five categories.

Philly, your 2022 Awards winners. (Courtesy images; collage by 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.

It’s that time of year again, folks — time to announce the winners of the 2022 Awards.

Our annual year-end awards series honors people in our tech community who are doing important and prominent work in the local technology space.

We started out the process by taking suggestions for nominations in November. Then, our newsroom combed through our own coverage from the past year and the nominee suggestions to curate the perfect list of nominees for each category. See Philly’s 2022 finalists across five categories.

We invited the community to vote for their favorites, and you all didn’t disappoint! We received over 8,000 votes across all five markets.

To close it all out, today we hosted a live event on’s public Slack (which you can join right here) to announce and honor this year’s winners. Here’s a recap of who won in Philly.

Invention of the Year — Vasowatch

Stefanie Modri standing in front of a white background.

Stefanie Modri, cofounder of Vasowatch. (Courtesy photo)

This wearable monitor aims to provide risk assessment of a postpartum hemorrhage in people who are giving birth. The company is cofounded by a nurse, Stefanie Modri, who saw the issue in patients firsthand.

Tech Community Leader of the Year — Alex Wermer-Colan

(Image via “Philly Community Wireless” short film, produced by Big Picture Alliance and directed, filmed and edited by Eli Laban)

Wermer-Colan is the administrative lead of Philly Community Wireless, a community-based effort to bring free mesh internet infrastructure to neighborhoods in North Philadelphia. He also works as the digital scholarship coordinator at Temple University Libraries’ Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio.

“Wow! Thank you so much everyone! All of us at Philly Community Wireless are so grateful for your support,” said Wermer-Colan during the Slack ceremony. “It’s an honor to be among such amazing nominees!”

CTO of the Year — Mitch Stewart and Sarah Foss

That’s right, we had a tie this year.

Cofounders Mitch Stewart (L) and Rick Nucci at Guru’s Center City HQ. (Courtesy photo)

Stewart is the cofounder and CTO of Guru Technologies, and was the first engineer at Boomi, who later went on to lead engineering at Dell after its acquisition. He and cofounder Rick Nucci often set the tone on company culture, like when they spoke out against Basecamp’s memo from last year that told employees to leave politics out of work.

Sarah Foss. (Courtesy photo)

Foss joined Audacy this year as its first ever CTO, heading the company’s efforts to differentiate its products and services in its tech sector. She’s also the cofounder of Tech Bae, a women-focused mentorship and networking community.

Tech Company of the Year — Viora Health

Deboleena Dutta smiling in front of a white wall.

Deboleena Dutta. (Courtesy photo)

This startup, which is focused on improving access to healthcare and reducing costs of care, is specifically for people facing social and behavioral barriers to health. Viora aims to ease these barriers, like social isolation, food insecurity, transportation needs, low health literacy and socioeconomic disadvantages by partnering with clinics and medical practices within healthcare systems. The company was named a 2022 winner of Johnson & Johnson’s Health Equity Innovation Challenge.

Culture Builder of the Year — Joelle Tolifero

Joelle Tolifero in front of a blurry room background

Joelle Tolifero. (Courtesy photo)

Tolifero is the founder of Your Care Collective, an anti-burnout platform. She participated in Philly Startup Leaders’ MVP-stage accelerator in 2021, and produced the WorkWell Summit in October, focused on personal, professional and organizational well-being.

“So grateful to be a part of this amazing city and space,” Tolifero said on Slack. “Thank you all for the support and CONGRATULATIONS to every nominee and winner. Philly is the really MVP, let’s keep building awesome tech & communities!”

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! We look forward to continuing our coverage of you in 2023.

Join the Slack
Companies: Philly Community Wireless / Audacy
Series: Awards

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