Of the six award winners announced, four were recognized for their contributions to the business startup ecosystem.
Community leaders Eric Van Otteren, Economic Development Manager for the City of Snellville and Dan King, chapter leader of the Gwinnett Angels, were both recognized for their facilitation of startup initiatives.
Van Otteren founded a young entrepreneur alliance that has resulted in a student shark tank and a special class of business licenses for student businesses.
Gwinnett resident and board member of Atlanta Technology Angels, Dan King, led the charge to create a Gwinnett Chapter of ATA. Since its launch, members have seen presentations from eleven companies have invested more than $200,000, with approximately half that figure directed to Gwinnett startups.
In the Innovation category, Jose Hevia, owner of Cheeky Mexican Taqueria in Suwanee, was recognized for the RFID-enabled beer wall concept he invented. DraftServ Technologies has garnered nationwide attention from the likes of Major League Baseball, Good Morning America and even late night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon.
Lawrenceville entrepreneur Sam Tesh was recognized for his innovation as the CEO and founder of Loudfund, a new model of financing artists where fans fund projects and artists share royalties and rewards with their investors. This innovative startup is similar to other crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, but caters specifically to musicians.
“The recognition of our efforts on behalf of Partnership Gwinnett are just another example of the momentum of the tech and start up ecosystem in this community,” said Tesh. “We launched Loudfund here because we knew that Gwinnett’s support of and engagement with entrepreneurs would help maximize the success of our company.”
Eagle Rock Studio Atlanta and Gwinnett County Public Schools rounded out the list of 2014 award winners.