Startups

And The Winners Of The 9th Annual Crunchies Are…

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Silicon Valley is getting dressed up tonight to celebrate startups, their founders and CEOs, VCs and angels, and the products they make during our 9th Annual Crunchies awards show at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. Tonight’s show is hosted by comedian Chelsea Peretti.

After an open nomination process, the members of our Crunchies board put in their votes for the finalists over the last few weeks and tonight we’ll announce the winners.

Some of the categories on the list include “Best Technology Achievement,” “Best New Startup,” “Best CEO,” “Best Hardware,” “Best Social Impact” and more. For the first time this year, we also have the Include Diversity Award.

The show starts at 8pm Pacific and we’ll keep a running tab of all the winners in the list below.

We will update this post throughout the evening.

Congratulations to all our winners!

Fastest Rising Startup

Winner: Slack

Slack is a team communication and sharing app that is trying to help change the way we work. It features real-time communication and collaboration tools, letting users collaborate and share files easily. And, everything shared is searchable to team members can always find what they need, when they need it.

Also nominated were: Postmates (runner-up), TransferWiseYouNow, and Zenefits.

Founder Of The Year

Winner: Stewart Butterfield

Stewart Butterfield set out to change the way colleagues communicate when he co-founded Slack in 2013. The popular team communication tool has drawn the attention of a number of investors, including Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and Social Capital, and raised $340 million. The Slack boss, who recently discussed his company’s plans for an IPO, is also popular among his staff. He penned an internal note explaining why he closed the office on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Also nominated were: Jessica LivingstonNatalie MassenetTristan Walker (runner-up), and Anne Wojcicki.

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Include Diversity Award

Winner: Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code

As founder and CEO of Blacks Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant is on a mission to change the face of technology by introducing girls from underrepresented communities to coding. Black Girls Code does this through a series of workshops, hackathons and summer camps. Now in its third year, Black Girls Code has reached over 3,000 girls. Through Black Girls Code, Bryant hopes to teach 1 million girls across the world how to code by 2040.

Also nominated were: Erica BakerJoelle Emerson, ParadigmLaura Weidman Powers (runner-up), Code2040Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Trans*H4CK

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Hardware Of The Year

Winner: Samsung Gear VR

Samsung launched the second generation of the Gear VR virtual reality headset in November for $99. The slimmed-down version of the Gear VR weighs just 0.62 pounds, and it’s compatible with a wide array of Samsung’s current and previous lineup of smartphones and phablets so more users can partake in the Gear VR experience. You can read Drew’s hands-on with Gear VR here.

Also nominated were: Apple PencilDevialet Phantom speakerParrot BebopSphero BB-8 (runner-up).

VC Of The Year

Winner: Bill Gurley

Bill Gurley is a partner at Benchmark and famous for his “doom and gloom” punditry about the impending startup bubble. He regularly rails against startups buying Kind Bars and other such office luxuries with their VC dollars instead of saving up for end times. Gurley is also considered to be a top deal maker in Silicon Valley, investing early in Uber, Zillow and a number of other successful companies.

Also nominated were: Marc AndreessenSonali De Rycker,, Mary Meeker, and Chamath Palihapitiya (runner-up).

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Best New Startup

Winner: Honor

Looking to help deliver healthcare to the aging population, Honor is a service that provides on-demand caregivers to help with things like medication reminders, meal preparation, transportation and companionship to those in need.

Also nominated were: EazeJetOperatorRobinhood (runner-up).

Biggest Social Impact

Winner: Code.org

Code.org is the nonprofit founded by the serial entrepreneur and investor Hadi Partovi back in 2013. The organization is dedicated to increasing access to computer science with a special focus on elevating the participation by women and underrepresented students of color in computing. Partovi and his fellow travelers share a vision that every student in every school should be able to learn computer science.

Also nominated were: Google.org, Fast Forward, Thorn, and Frida Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor (runners-up)

Best Angel Investor

Winner: Scott and Cyan Banister

Seed investors Cyan and Scott are an investment power couple with money in Uber, SpaceX and many other high-profile startups. Scott sits on the boards of Postmates and PayPal and Cyan is the founder and EIC of photography social network website Zivity.com.

Also nominated were: Naval Ravikant, Gil Penchina, Joanna Wilson, and Chris Sacca (runner-up)

Best Mobile App

Winner: Facebook Messenger 

Facebook’s Messenger service grew at an incredible rate in 2015, going from 500 million users in November 2014 to over 800 million users at the end of 2015. Messenger added a slew of new features to the platform in 2015, including video calling, conversation customization with emoji, the ability to send and receive payments, and the M virtual assistant, which is currently being tested in the Bay Area.

Also nominated were: Citymapper, Robinhood, Wish, and Periscope (runner-up)

Best Technology Achievement:

Winner: SpaceX Falcon 9

Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX to transport satellites and the company’s Dragon spacecraft into orbit. The Falcon 9’s first stage rocket is designed to be reusable, and in December, the Falcon 9 achieved a huge milestone by successfully launching and landing the rocket on land for the first time.

Also nominated were: Apple’s 3D Touch, Microsoft’s Hololens, Transatomic Power, and Tesla’s Autopilot (runner-up)

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CEO Of The Year

Winner: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

When the Crunchies began in 2007, Facebook was just a couple of years old and had 58 million monthly active users. Fast forward to the present and their last reported MAUs was 1.55 billion. Mark Zuckerberg has been at the helm of the social media giant since he helped found it in his Harvard dorm room. He’s a two-time Crunchie winner, and this year he has seen such milestones as the explosive growth of Facebook Video, Instagram and Messenger, as well as newer initiatives surrounding Facebook’s virtual reality company Oculus.

Also nominated were:  Tim Cook (Apple), Jack Dorsey (Twitter/Square), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube), Elon Musk (Tesla) (Runner-up)

Best Overall Startup

Winner: Uber

If you don’t know what Uber is by now, you’ve definitely not been paying attention. The concierge transportation service connects passengers with drivers at the tap of a button on Uber’s mobile app. The whole transaction is cashless and seamless, and users can rate their experience so the company and its drivers get feedback about how they’re doing to provide a better experience.

Also nominated were:  Docker, Snapchat, Xiaomi, Slack (Runner-up)

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