These Startups Won Awards for Best Workplace Culture, Civic Savvy and More

This year's Philly Startup Leaders' Summer BBQ was action-packed, with more than 400 attendees. The group also announced its launch of the Philly Tech Guide.

Photo by Fabiola Cineas

Photo by Fabiola Cineas

Standouts in the startup community had reason to rejoice on Thursday evening. At Philly Startup Leaders’ annual Summer BBQ at The Piazza at Schmidt’s, the organization doled out awards to members of the community.

But leaders weren’t recognized for traditional markers of success. Instead, they took home gold medallions — shinier and twice the size of Olympics gold medals — for quirkier, more comical accomplishments.

“The Emerging Politician” award presented by UKTI went to Curalate for their civic pride. According to PSL, the company is closely tied to the local government — the CEO, Apu Gupta, wrote an open letter to Mayor Jim Kenney, and it hired Luke Butler, former Mayor Michael Nutter’s special assistant. The company was also named the official tech partner of the DNC. Curalate beat out Azavea and Skyless Gaming for the prize.

The restaurant delivery network Zoomer took home “The Building Burster” award presented by Saul Ewing, over other nominees Sidecar and Relay, for its hasty company growth. It is now at 195 employees after just two years.

The “Eternal Winner” category, presented by Pepper Hamilton, went to MilkCrate, ROAR for Good and Scholly. These companies never fail to rack up awards, so how could they not all win? 

Biomeme, Inc., BioBots, and ThirdEye Technology were nominated for the “Brave New World” award presented by Safeguard. Biomeme snagged it for their dystopian ability to know so much about humans and their DNA, PSL said.

And lastly, the organization’s “Happiness Heroes” award went to for setting a high bar for workplace culture in Philadelphia. beat out RezVilla and Seer Interactive.

Aside from celebrating leaders for unconventional aptitudes, PSL also announced the launch of its latest project, “Philly Tech Guide,” a website that showcases the players in Philly’s startup community and the moves they make. “This is a resource for people who aren’t here in Philadelphia and who want to understand what’s going on here,” said Rick Nucci, the CEO and co-founder of Guru, who announced the new site to the crowd.

The idea for the guide was born out of the realization that Philly needs to do more to promote what it’s producing. “People outside of Philly need to know about the startup scene,” Nucci said. Visit the user-friendly guide here.

The BBQ drew a crowd of more than 400 industry professionals who were eager to network and spread ideas. (And also drink beer, of course.)

“The PSL BBQ … is an opportunity for people to engage with the Philly tech community and support each other, some for the very first time, said Ali Greene, PSL’s event director and a senior people operations manager at the search engine Duck Duck Go.

“Last year, I was new to the area and the BBQ was the first tech-related event I went to. A year later, not only am I involved in planning the event, but doing so while working at a company whose team I met at the BBQ last year.”

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