Tonight in San Francisco, many of the Valley’s stars are coming together for the second annual TechFellow Awards, a fellowship designed to help recognize some of the most accomplished leaders in technology — and to help foster further innovation by granting them $100,000 to invest in startups.
The awards program, which TechCrunch co-hosts along with Founders Fund, has been expanded this year to include New Enterprise Associates. Together, Founders Fund and NEA will grant each TechFellow $100,000 to invest in a start-up of their choice, which more than doubles how much each winner is being granted. The fund structure has also been adjusted to allow each TechFellow to share in the success of all 2010 TechFellow companies. Last year’s TechFellows helped fund and found fFlick, Bidfire, Quora, Flipboard, HipChat and others (you can see a list of last year’s winners here).
The awards this evening were broken into four categories, encompassing Engineering Leadership, Product Design and Marketing, General Management, and Disruptive Innovation. Below is a listing of the winners by category.
This category is meant to highlight the visionaries, the starry-eyed fools who believe when no one else will. They are undaunted when told NO by stern parents, when told it WON’T WORK by a thousand dismissive VCs, when failure after failure would dash the hopes of lesser mortals. These are the men and women whose incredible ideas burst forth like Athena from their foreheads, and they know what it means to make Fire, the Wheel, and the Printing Press.
Engineering Leadership candidates are people who have demonstrated technical excellence, built amazing technology infrastructure and products, or led teams that together built complex and elegant solutions that changed our lives. They are the uber geeks who calculate 10-digit squares in their heads, and write a thousand bug-free lines of code on the fly without skipping a beat.
Product Design and Marketing
Product Design and Marketing candidates are people who have designed insanely great products, who have made technology beautiful, who have created the marketing campaign that blows you away and make you want to go out and buy ten of them for your whole family. These are the storytellers, the artists, the people who make our dreams come alive.
General Management candidates are people who have built the teams and organizations that create and deliver great technology and products to the world. They are company builders who provide foundations and processes for all the rest of the geeks and dreamers to make their dreams reality. They are the folks who wake up at 6am and open the doors, make the donuts, play reveille, and lead the charge to take the hill. They make it *happen*.