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Tampa Bay Tech unveils most innovative local companies, execs

Veronica Brezina



Downtown Tampa. Photo by Veronica Brezina.

Non-profit technology council Tampa Bay Tech will host its 20th annual awards event Nov. 10 at the Armature Works venue in Tampa, honoring winners across six award categories.

Fifteen different companies and entrepreneurs bringing innovative solutions to the market, from mitigating cybersecurity crimes to leveraging artificial intelligence to track data, will share the spotlight at the event. 

Nearly 450 of the most influential local tech leaders will come together to recognize the achievements of some of the area’s largest tech companies and emerging startups.

A record-breaking 160 nominations were received. 

Tampa Bay Tech will simultaneously celebrate the growth and evolution of the Tampa Bay tech community over the past two decades. 

Meet the 2023 awardees: 

Tech Leader of the Year

  • Paul Maglionico, vice president of software engineering and Tampa development center leader at Penske Truck Leasing: Maglionico has 25 years of direct management experience in the logistics, transportation and truck leasing and rental industries. 
  • Andrew McIntyre, senior vice president of technology and innovation at Vinik Sports Group: McIntyre oversees the information technology and video production of the group, which is the parent company of the Tampa Bay Lightning. 
  • Stephen Gorham, COO at cybersecurity company OPSWAT: Gorham has implemented an organizational support structure and workforce plan at the firm, helping boost the cybersecurity staff by 350% and business application staff by 200% since 2021, according to his biography. 

Emerging Tech Leader of the Year

  • Samantha Ramos, founder and CEO at Tampa Bay Techies: Tampa Bay Techies is a 501 (c)(3) organization founded this year with the mission of connecting the area’s entrepreneurs and building networking opportunities. The organization initially started as an IT study group. Ramos currently serves as the Cyber Security Risk Manager at the Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute as a part of its cyber risk management team. 
  • Amit Agrawal, director of investor relations and platform operations at startup incubator and accelerator Tampa Bay Wave: Agrawal is an expert in project management, digital marketing and investment strategy. He previously launched a digital app and managed a $1 billion global supply chain through a merger. At TBW, he facilitates engagements between startups and investors. 
  • Aaron White, CEO and co-founder at White, who led edtech startup Script’s exit in 2021, has created a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup serving the marketing industry. 

Tech Company of the Year 

  • BlueCloud: BlueCloud is a global leader in cloud-native solutions. The company has partnerships with industry giants such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, AWS, Snowflake and ThoughtSpot. 
  • Geographic Solutions: The business’s initial focus used geography to map out the location and population of jobs in certain areas, bringing a new concept to the labor market industry. The company now creates tools for case management, federal reporting, job and candidate search, reemployment and measuring economic development. 
  • Abacode Cybersecurity and Compliance: The company provides a fully managed cybersecurity and compliance platform, seamlessly integrating cyber defense with continuous compliance and third-party risk management.

Emerging Tech Company of the Year 

  • Maya AI: The startup offers a generative artificial intelligence platform that provides real-time insights to companies. Maya AI is primarily working with companies in the pharmaceutical space. 
  • Lazarillo: The Chilean-founded Lazarillo startup helps the visually impaired community navigate destinations via an app that provides audio messages and alerts. The company launched a pilot program with the City of Tampa in December 2022. 
  • BŪP: The BUP application is a hands-free way people can transfer contact information through the tap of a band that’s digitally connected to a person’s phone. The information is stored, and the product then uses artificial intelligence to automate messages that can be sent to the new contact. 

Tech Project of the Year

  • PikMyKid’s 911 Alert: PikMyKid, a Tampa company with a mobile app and platform that makes school transportation more efficient, has partnered with intelligent safety platform RapidSOS to securely connect data directly to 911 and first responders during school emergencies.
  • The Children’s Trust’s Integrated Data Repository and Visualization by System Soft Technologies: The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue derived from property taxes. With the System Soft Technologies partnership, the Trust now has updated data management and analytics, making it a real-time data-driven organization.
  •  The Dream Tapestry by the Dalí Museum: Late last year, the museum launched an AI experience called the “Dream Tapestry.” Visitors follow prompts and reveal moments from their own recurring dreams. Every few minutes, the computer creates a “painting,” a tapestry weaving together interpretations of several visitor dreams. 
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