2019 Best of Tech Winners Revealed

Six innovative organizations from across Northeast Ohio took home awards during the 13th annual Best of Tech Awards hosted by OHTec on April 11.

 

A crowd that numbered in the hundreds inside Signature Flight’s hangar at Burke Lakefront Airport watched as awards were handed out in the categories of: Most Promising Start-Up; Best Tech Services Company; Tech Company of the Year – Large; Tech Company of the Year – Small; and Best Technology Solution, Product or Device. In addition, a special award honoring Best Community Collaboration & Innovation was also presented. 

 

Honoring the region’s most innovative companies and leaders and hosted by noted radio and TV personality Mark Nolan, the Best of Tech Awards promote Northeast Ohio as a remarkable place to work at savvy companies that are doing great things. The Best of Tech Awards are a staple of OHTec’s Tech Week—an annual weeklong initiative to support, celebrate and engage the local tech community through a series of events hosted by OHTec as well as a number of community partners.  

 

A list of the organizations honored as winners and finalists during the 2019 Best of Tech Awards are below.

 

Most Promising Start-Up

Award winner: Indago—A next-generation medical device company seeking to revolutionize the operating the room via the use of smart surgical tools.

 

Best Tech Services Company

Award winner: 121eCommerce—From quick fixes to site rescues to migrations, 121eCommerce’s team of Magento-certified developers help companies get their eCommerce site up to peak performance.

 

Large Tech Company of the Year

Award winner: OnShift—OnShift provides intuitive software and proactive services to solve workforce challenges in healthcare.

 

Small Tech Company of the Year

Award winner: Vizion Solutions—Vizion works with companies of all sizes to overcome the struggle of finding and using data companies need to make important decisions.

 

Best Technology Solution, Product or DeviceAward

Award winner: n2y, LLC—n2y has changed the way special education is taught and is proud to help teachers and families inspire moments of discovery and wonder.

 

In addition to these awards, special recognition was also given to the Cleveland Museum of Art, which was honored with the Best Community Collaboration & Innovation Award for its work creating a museum experience that leverages cutting-edge technology while also aligning and partnering with a number of technology companies across the region.

 

A number of future tech leaders were also recognized as part of RITE's 11th annual CoolTech Challenge sponsored by MCPc, which gives high school students the opportunity to solve a community, business or school problem through tech.

 

The 2019 winners of the CoolTech Challenge are:

• Best Mobile Application—Track My Mood, Brunswick High School

• Best Concept—The Balls Out App, University School

• Best Website—CSE Analytics, Mayfield Excel T.E.C.C.

• MCPc Challenge Winner—Unsafe Smart Toys, Padua Franciscan High School

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  • Next up: 2019 GCP Board of Directors Ballot
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  • 2019 GCP Board of Directors Ballot

    As the designated representative of a member company of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), you are entitled to vote in the election of the GCP Board of Directors. As indicated in the ballot, 25 nominees will be elected to three-year terms that expire in 2022, which includes new Directors and those being re-elected to the GCP Board. There are four nominees to be elected to fill open seats in the class of 2021 and four nominees to be elected to fill an open seat in the class of 2020. Pursuant to the Code, candidates have been recommended by a nominating committee and notice was given to the membership inviting additional nominations. No nominations were received from the Members.

    Vote for the candidates who are listed in the table below. By checking the appropriate box below, you may either submit proxy instructions to vote for the entire slate of nominated candidates or submit proxy instructions to vote for individual nominees. Please return your completed ballot and proxy to the GCP offices by mail, email jguyer@gcpartnership.com, or fax (216-687-6788) on or before May 24, 2019.

    Learn more and download the 2019 GCP Board of Directors Ballot & Proxy.


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  • Next up: 24 Million Reasons to Attend the Cleveland B2B Matchmaker
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  • 24 Million Reasons to Attend the Cleveland B2B Matchmaker

    Because of Cleveland’s B2B Matchmaker, Northeast Ohio’s V2 Technology along with an extended team secured a $24-million NASA contract. Read on below to learn how they did it and how your business could be this year’s big B2B winner.

    Are you looking for a reason to attend the 13th annual Cleveland B2B Matchmaker Event taking place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 14 at the Terrace Club inside Progressive Field? You need look no further than Northeast Ohio-based V2 Technology for 24 million good reasons why your company needs to be a part of this unique event.

    As a result of connections and a relationship that formed at Cleveland’s B2B Matchmaker Events, V2 is part of the winning team that landed a five-year, $24-million contract to provide technical support services to the NASA Safety Center (NSC) located at the Glenn Research Center (GRC). Through the contract, which came about as a direct result of V2’s participation in the B2B Matchmaker, V2 will support the NSC and Banner Quality Management, Inc., by providing support for training and development; information dissemination and knowledge sharing; operational support of information technology systems; mishap investigation; data mining analysis and trending; and project management. 

    V2 and the extended team were chosen for the NSC contract based both on their company’s IT strengths and capabilities as well as its previous experience working with NASA, which dates back to V2 and NASA officials first meeting during the 2010 B2B Matchmaker. Additionally, V2 is a part of the winning team currently performing the 5 year $110 Million PACE IV contract with Nasa Glenn Research Center in Cleveland Ohio. 

    “V2 is very pleased to be supporting NASA, one of the premiere and historic scientific research agencies in the world,” according to V2 Founder and CEO Patrick Golembiewski. “Working to support the scientific and strategic missions of this agency is a source of pride for all our employees.”

    Golembiewski added: “The B2B Matchmaker has been an integral part of V2’s success. The ability for a small business to have targeted, direct access to major companies that are looking to buy is invaluable. This is a must-attend event for small businesses.

    2018 B2B Matchmaker details

    Presented by COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the 13th annual Cleveland B2B Matchmaker Event is a unique small business contracting event that presents a tremendous opportunity for small businesses to gain access to buyers representing millions of dollars in purchasing. The event’s goal is to create future contract opportunities for your small business through one-on-one sessions between buyers and sellers. 

    These timed, 15-minute sessions are targeted as both parties register with North American Industrial Classification (NAICS) codes that represent what they are looking to buy and sell, so you know that you’re meeting with a good potential partner for your business, with no standing around and waiting in line like at other events.

    Register for this year’s B2B Matchmaker on June 14 by clicking here. Contact Adina Magda at amagda@gcpartnership.com for more information or if you have any questions about the B2B Matchmaker.

    The Cleveland B2B Matchmaker is one example of the signature events hosted by COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership intended to provide small businesses with the resources they need to be successful. Click here to view a list of other upcoming events designed specifically with small businesses in mind.


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  • Next up: 3 Ways Small Companies Expand Their Reach: Presented by GTS
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  • 3 Ways Small Companies Expand Their Reach: Presented by GTS

    For retail giants like Walmart and Amazon that have significant logistics expertise, customer demand for fast or even same-day delivery is by no means impossible—but for SMBs (Small and Medium-sized Business) with fewer resources, this can be very challenging. The reason big companies devote so much money to honing in on their logistics operations is because of its complexity. For most SMBs, the expertise, staff time and money necessary to handle logistics properly is far out of reach—especially when SMBs are focusing on developing and improving product lines and the effectiveness of marketing and sales teams.

    For retail giants like Walmart and Amazon that have significant logistics expertise, customer demand for fast or even same-day delivery is by no means impossible—but for SMBs (Small and Medium-sized Business) with fewer resources, this can be very challenging. The reason big companies devote so much money to honing in on their logistics operations is because of its complexity. For most SMBs, the expertise, staff time and money necessary to handle logistics properly is far out of reach—especially when SMBs are focusing on developing and improving product lines and the effectiveness of marketing and sales teams.

    SMBs that want to extend their reach without investing large amounts of capital into their own logistic operations often turn to third-party logistics providers (3PLs) for the boost they need to compete with the big guys.

    Below are three major reasons why more SMBs are partnering with 3PLs more than ever before.

    Access to Large Network

    Partnering with a 3PL grants SMBs access to large-scale resources that are not easily obtainable on their own. Since 3PLs service many shippers, they have enough volume to negotiate more favorable transportations rates. For 3PLs like GTS - who have a billion-dollar buying power in the market and over 10,000 strategic partnerships with carriers, they can provide options in both service and cost.

    Leverage Services

    One way for SBMs to benefit the most from a 3PL is to leverage the services they provide and treat it as an expense of doing business.

    3PL’s help navigate the complicated requirements involved with getting products from a warehouse or storefront to customers. Part of this includes managing freight claims, invoicing, the insurance processes and negotiating rates. SMBs also benefit from the labor they won’t have to devote to understanding and executing logistics. By leveraging the expertise of a 3PL, SMBs are able to better compete with larger companies.

    Feasible way to support Growth

    Implementing supply chain operations requires a substantial amount of upfront capital and as your sales increase and more space and people are needed, securing a loan to finance expansion can be difficult. When partnering with a 3PL, logistics turn into an expense rather than capital costs making it a more feasible way to support growth.  

    It is unlikely that logistics will get any simpler in the future. The traditional hub-and-spoke delivery system is already being transformed, and who knows what the future holds as technologies such as drones and 3-D printing evolve. Working with a 3PL allows SMBs to pay only for the services and capacity they need so they’re able to better allocate resources to support core competencies.

    Still not sure if a partnership is right for you? Learn more  or request a free consultation today with one of GTS’s experts and learn how you will benefit when making GTS your one stop shipping resource.

    This blog was originally posted at blog.onestopshipping.com. Visit to learn more about how shipping and logistics impact your business.

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  • Next up: Third Annual 'We Solve Problems' Essay Contest Empowers Students to Solve Critical Problems
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  • Third Annual 'We Solve Problems' Essay Contest Empowers Students to Solve Critical Problems

    Northeast Ohio high school students and the business community will come together for the third year to raise awareness and provide realistic solutions to critical issues facing the nation’s teens. High school students from Aurora, Beachwood, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Kenston, Newbury, and Orange school districts will be given a voice and the power to solve, through an essay, a problem they see impacting themselves, their peers and their community, through the “We Solve Problems Essay Contest.”

    Created by the Gertsburg Law Firm and The Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, students’ 600-word essays will be judged by business and government leaders. Finalists will receive cash awards or scholarships and the school with the winning essay will be rewarded. 

    The contest has doubled in size each year – impacting more than 4,000 students and 200 business leaders in the past two years. This year, 6,000 students will be encouraged to solve a problem of their choice.  

    Not only will these students be given a platform to share their ideas, but also they will learn two sets of critical business skills – problem solving and persuasive communication. “One day these students will be future employees, professionals and business owners. This contest gives them the opportunity to train now on the essential problem solving and communication skills they’ll need to succeed for years to come,” said Molly Gebler, director, Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce.

    The success of the contest relies on judges and generous donations from the community and businesses. Business, government, and community leaders are asked to read about 10 one-page essays – from the comfort of their home or office - over a two-week period in February 2018.  Winners will be announced in May. Jeff Hoffman, an inventor and serial entrepreneur with accomplishments going back to Priceline.com, will serve as the final judge.

    Additional information about the contest, including how to become a judge or sponsor, can be found at www.wesolveproblems-essay.com/  

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  • Next up: 4 Simple Steps to Maximize Profits with Free Shipping
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  • 4 Simple Steps to Maximize Profits with Free Shipping

    As a small to medium size business it can be hard to compete with larger firms, especially when free shipping is offered. Bigger firms have the ability to offer free shipping since they operate on such a large scale.  If you want some of the market share these days, it is almost a must to offer free shipping especially if your competitors are. What are the costs to offering free shipping? The biggest and most obvious cost sellers would pay is the loss of profit margins due to absorbed shipping expenses. So how can you offer free shipping without killing your profit margins?  According to Kissmetrics, there are four simple steps that sellers can use to maximize profits on free shipping. 

    4 simply steps to Maximize profits on Free Shipping

    As a small to medium size business it can be hard to compete with larger firms, especially when free shipping is offered. Bigger firms have the ability to offer free shipping since they operate on such a large scale.  If you want some of the market share these days, it is almost a must to offer free shipping especially if your competitors are.

    What are the costs to offering free shipping? The biggest and most obvious cost sellers would pay is the loss of profit margins due to absorbed shipping expenses.

    So how can you offer free shipping without killing your profit margins?  According to Kissmetrics, there are four simple steps that sellers can use to maximize profits on free shipping. 

    Before we dive into these steps, the first thing to do is define a clear goal. Are you looking to optimize margins or a customer’s LTV (Life time value)?  After you develop a goal, use these four simple steps to help maximize profits on your free shipping offer.

    1. Establish a baseline – This is to test and see if free shipping is even profitable for your business. One way is a/b testing to see if not only free shipping is profitable for your business, but by how much will an offer will lift your conversion rate. A simple baseline price can be found when you take the average order amount and raise it by 5-10%.
    2. Test thresholds – Raising thresholds will help to save profit margins. Again this can be done by conducting a/b testing to see which price had the best conversion rate and profits margins. You want to make sure the price is not too low when margins suffer, but not too high to discourage conversions.
    3. Restricted shipping – The next step is to offer free shipping on items that already have low shipping costs. This might be safer to implement since you can afford to make this type of long term offer depending on how much it cuts into margins (or whatever your set goal is). Typically, restrictions work best when you have one type of product that dominates your sales and has low shipping costs.
    4. Raise product prices – Once again, perform a/b testing to make sure raising the price (to help offset shipping costs) aligns with your goal.

    Depending whether your niche is competitive or not, these steps may not work but are still worth testing. Maybe you’re implementing something similar. It doesn’t hurt to continue testing to find that perfect threshold, price, and item to squeeze some additional profits on your free shipping. 

    Besides staying competitive, free shipping offers other benefits. One is the short term gains generated by an immediate boost in online sales, leading to more orders and more profits. If the seller has a minimum threshold, it can lead to larger orders in terms more generated revenue. Another benefit is long term gains. Free shipping helps to acquire new customers who purchases frequently adding to their overall lifetime value of those buyers who may not have otherwise been a customer if free shipping was not offered.


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