Silicon Valley is already knee-deep in flattery. Between 30-under-30 lists, award shows and yearly roundups, the startup scene is pretty good at giving praise where it is (or isn’t) due.
Except for one issue — most of the recognition typically goes to founders and executives. There’s nothing wrong with this — everyone knows founders are the heart and soul of successful startups. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a team behind the scenes that also is responsible for building the products we know and love.
This is the purpose of The Rise Awards, a new award series started by Erik Torenberg, formerly of Product Hunt.
The series will recognize employees from 15 categories, with 15 winners being featured from each category. These categories are essentially every department you’d find in a successful tech startup: Design, Product Management, Data Science, Mobile Engineering (iOS/Android), Front-End Engineering, Back-End Engineering, DevOps, Operations, Human Resources, Sales, Business Development, Public Relations, Recruiting, Marketing and Community.
What makes the award series particularly unique is the lineup of judges that Torenberg and his team have recruited to participate. More than 80 judges from across the tech industry will give their input on deciding who the winners are. Judges include Chris Sacca, Arielle Zuckerberg, Gary Vaynerchuk, Alexis Ohanian and a lot more influential people in tech. The full list can be found here.
In terms of specifics, people can nominate anyone they want, and in early October the group will tally the nominations, as well as ask for input from judges. The result will be a list of 15 winners from 15 categories (225 people total) that the tech community has deemed the best of the best at their specific positions.
Because it’s a crowdsourced awards show (and not sponsored by any one company), don’t expect winners to walk away with a huge check. But, the series will be hosting private events where winners can meet other winners and judges, which is a nice networking-oriented reward.
The series will also recognize companies with the most employees nominated, in an attempt to reward the companies that recruit and retain great employees.
A Silicon Valley tech awards show isn’t exactly a groundbreaking idea. But the fact that this one will forgo all-star founders and try to shine the light on the people behind the scenes makes it a worthy cause, and one you should probably check out (even if it’s just to nominate your favorite tech superstar).