On December 8th, Tech in Motion is proud to present their 2nd Annual San Francisco Timmy Awards, which will be held at the Autodesk Gallery (One Market St., 2nd Floor). The “Timmys” are hosted by Tech in Motion in tech hubs across North America, with the goal of acknowledging the local companies and individuals that strive to create the best places for technology professionals to work in. After all the votes are in, the finalists in each city come together for one celebratory evening where the winners are crowned as the best (1) technology manager, (2) technology work culture, and (3) tech startup. Here are San Francisco’s impressive finalists.
Best Tech Manager
Ayori Selassie- Senior Solutions Engineer of Salesforce
“Solve big problems both inside the workplace as it relates to diversity and inclusion and outside the workplace by applying their top professional talent”
Ayori developed a framework to promote Work Life Integrity called the Life Model Canvas® and has been very integral at Salesforce in helping employees understand the difference between Work Life Integrity and Work Life Balance. She developed and delivers workshops on Work Life Integrity where employees use the Life Model Canvas® and the Work Life Integrity Assessment tool to develop alignment of their personal life, family and career goals. Her workshops have been requested throughout the company and have been delivered to many employee groups at Salesforce beyond her own team including Employee Resource Groups, Lean In Circles, the Women’s Technology Leadership group, Business Development group, as well as external audiences at Dreamforce and the Computer History Museum.
Ayori is a standout thought leader for Work Life Integrity who encourages employees to solve big problems both inside the workplace as it relates to diversity and inclusion and outside the workplace by applying their top professional talent to end violence in America with #ThinkDontSqueeze.
Cassy Rowe- Head of UX of Scoop Technologies
“Ownership over work and support in career building”
At Scoop, career growth is one of Cassy’s main focuses for her team. She collaborates with employees to discover what their strengths are and where they want to grow. She then identifies which projects allow her employees to leverage their strengths and watches out for ones that target their desired areas of growth. Her goal is to set her team up for success while allowing them to try new things, step out of their comfort zone, and learn and grow with the support of her expertise.
Scoop leverages today’s advance technologies to create commute relationships between neighbors and co-workers.
Eva Pagneux – Product Manager of Hexo+ by Squadrone Systems
“Common values and vision are key to success”
Eva focuses her energy on empowering her team to deliver smart devices that simplify people’s lives, setting product vision and supporting their needs. She recently used the design thinking methodology on a purpose exercise where each of team member listed what defines them, what drives them, what the world needs, and then led the exercise to realign together on key themes for their future developments. She also organizes a lot of events – team games, contests, etc. where they have the opportunity to play together and spark ideas. Because they’re about creating the intelligent systems that do not exist yet, it’s part of her role to stimulate out of the box thinking.
Hexo+ is the first self-flying camera, following and filming you automatically while you focus your energy on the action. After a very successful Kickstarter raising $1.3million in June 2014, they managed to create and deliver 3000 units within a year.
Joanne Pons – Senior Director, Software Engineering of MyVest
“All should share their opinions, whether they have been with the company for years or they are on day one.”
At MyVest, all team members are paired with a mentor, so they have the opportunity to learn from more experienced team members and peers. MyVest provides a very generous professional development budget for all employees, and Joanne strongly encourages her team to take full advantage of outside learning and development opportunities, such as conferences and technical workshops, to build their domain expertise.
MyVest helped an existing customer take advantage of the emerging robo-advisor trend to quickly build their own automated investing offering through their enterprise software platform.
Karl Thomsen – CSO of Infuse
“Discussing career growth openly, both formally and informally”
Karl promotes career growth by arranging formal and informal check-ins with every Infuser. The room in these conversations for the discussion of career growth is infinite. It is up to the employee to decide how deep into the topic of career growth they want to go into with Karl. Karl is known to be extremely easy to talk to about anything, especially career advice. He wants every team member to succeed in their role and his or her professional career.
One of the products Karl and his team have created for clover is Charity Checkout: Clover’s first and only charity app. This app enables merchants to accept $1 on top of each transaction to donate any of the 60,000+ charities in our database.
Mark Towfiq – SVP, Product Engineering of UserTesting
“Always looking for ways to improve”
UserTesting’s Engineering Team is based in many different locations (Mountain View, San Francisco, Atlanta) and yet the team is consistently engaged and productive in the company. Every week the Product and Engineering squads sit down and talk openly with each other. This fosters a culture of comfortable and candid communication.
UserTesting’s Product and Engineering Team are working on perfecting transcriptions of user behavior analytics videos.
Minnie Ingersoll – Founder of Shift Technologies
“Striving to be a role model”
Minnie created a “management rotation” program for associates one to two years out of school modeled off of Google’s APM program. She leads both the Shift surf trip to Pacifica before weekly All Hands meetings, and Shift’s running club (while pushing a stroller).
Her team has made it easy to sell used cars from the press of a button. Shift has a sophisticated pricing algorithm that can instantly price cars simply by scanning a car’s VIN from an iphone app.
Prathibha Deshikachar – Director, Engineering of AdRoll
“Dedicated and open to hearing likeminded and different minded contributors”
Prathibha leads career growth for the engineering and product team at AdRoll by encouraging outside activities within the Tech community. She is an active member of the internal Tech Ladies organization. As the company grows she strives to continue improving and sharing.
Adroll’s platform specializes in retargeting customers and works with 15,000 advertisers around the world.
Sebastian Tron – CEO of Hopsy
Sebastian promotes growth through his ecstatic attitude. He pusheshimself beyond the limits of what a manager does in the workplace, and supports personal growth by taking weekly meetings to develop strategies for each employee’s self-growth within the company. He is very attentive to personal needs. He listens to his employees and takes care of them through rewarding them and letting them take time off at any point.
Hopsy has created an intersection in tech and craft beer. Sebastian has created a company that not only supports fresh product, but one that supports the local community.
Susan Mernit – CEO of Hack the Hood
“A framework of innovation and social justice/racial justice”
Susan and Hack the Hood developed two processes that have been huge in creating a strong team culture: a power-sharing process where an elected member of the staff serves a six month rotation on the lead/senior team which ensures that the perspectives of grassroots staffers are heard, and a program called circling up, or clean talk, where staffers can meet in a safe space to talk openly about conflicts and issues as an entire team, without worrying about retaliation or censure. These processes have helped make Hack the Hood a place where people like coming to work and feel safe, seen, and valued.
Hack the Hood connects low-income young people of color and local small businesses through technology, in order to create opportunities for all the people who live in the Bay Area, and beyond, to take part in and lead the change that is happening around them. In 2016, they worked with 9 partners and served 220 youth around the region.
Best Tech Work Culture
“Promoting creative growth by maintaining skillsets”
AppDynamics offers a mentorship program that allows higher level employees to train and work with newer employees that are eager to gain professional insight. Their WiT (Women in Tech) initiatives launched a program targeting women excited about tech positions, allowing for discounted coding classes and promoting cross function from within.
AppDynamics measures application performance management and IT Operations Analytics for small to big enterprises. Some clients include Microsoft, Salesforce, Glassdoor, and more.
“A supportive, positive work environment which allows underrepresented groups to thrive in the company; namely women, LGBTQ and people of color”
Carbon Five hosts company summits twice a year featuring a “codeo” event. At these events, team members are presented with a theme or a set of projects from which to pick and then implement. There is always a wide range of resulting projects, some of which are turned into real products. When team members are between projects, Carbon Five encourages its employees to make the most of their bench time, such as writing a blog post, working on an internal project, or researching new ideas .
Carbon Five is a digital product development consultancy, partnering with clients to create exceptional products and grow effective teams.
“Experiment and try new things”
Capital One has several programs in place that foster innovation and creativity in technology: from a yearly technology wide innovation challenge, to numerous hackathons, and other forums to experiment and display new ideas.
Capital One provides digital banking products that are continuously evolving and based on the latest technologies. They were the first large national bank to start moving production workloads to the cloud.
“Applying design to create innovative and inspiring work cultures and redefining entire industries”
Cooper is a company that fosters technical creativity through a number of outlets, including their commitment to pair design, thought leadership, and overall work culture. Their practice is founded on striking the balance between championing designer autonomy and pushing pair design to foster a truly innovative environment for technical creativity.
Cooper is a design and business strategy consultancy, with the mission of helping organizations think big, create delight, and achieve success.
“Embracing a positive work environment and a work to live philosophy”
Each of the developers at CrossInstall get to own and design their projects end to end, bringing their vision to the development, implementation, and design of the product. CrossInstall gives its employees the freedom and they support the need to tackle hard problems.
Offering a holistic ad solution for mobile gaming companies, CrossInstall utilizes PrePlay ads it creates with its programmatic, performance-based bidder to ensure that the ads hit the right target audience.
“Encouraging participation in a wide variety of emerging and creative technology learning opportunities.”
Stimulant’s environment is highly collaborative and creative. They hold daily company-wide “scrum” meetings where everyone is encouraged to share their feedback. Each team member contributes creative ideas or technology solutions for all active projects. Aside from their daily meetings, they continually encourage open communication when it comes to technical creativity throughout the life cycles and in day to day activities in the studio.
Stimulant uses emerging technologies to transform static physical spaces into dynamic interactive environments. They craft human-scale, site-specific digital experiences that tell stories in unique ways, drive face-to-face interaction, and create lasting memories.
“Constantly looking for ways to be more creative”
Treasure Data’s whole company is based on technical creativity. Treasure Data constantly encourages feedback on how processes are being run and management is always available to answer one’s technical questions no matter how small or large.
Treasure Data a cloud infrastructure for analytics at scale. They are able to collect data from most of a company’s inputs, store that data, and send it to a BI tool using SQL.
“Innovation is core of culture”
Employees of Trulia are always working together to create and build the next big thing, and they have a lot of fun along the way. For instance, Trulia hosts a quarterly “Innovation Week” as dedicated time for all employees to experiment with new product ideas or work on projects they’re passionate about. They postpone regularly scheduled meetings and encourage participants to instead work on big ideas and with new technologies and teammates.
Earlier this year, Trulia rolled out a brand new product for the online real estate industry, called Rent Near Transit. This new feature helps users find rental listings within a 15-minute walk of the transit stops.
“Fostering out-of-the-box thinking and crowdsourcing ideas”
At WalkMe technical creativity is highly valued. WalkMe has always promoted technical creativity, whether by hosting their annual hackathons or by encouraging collaboration between technical departments globally. They work to develop a customized solution using WalkMe in new ways to help clients improve their UX and reach their business objectives.
WalkMe’s platform simplifies the online user experienceby driveing users to action with an online experience that is personalized, effortless, and error-free.
“The importance of family and work-life balance is built into the culture.”
To get so much information at scale, Winnie engineers have had to be very creative — from building robots to collect some of this information to pulling in massive amounts of data from publicly available (but very inaccessible) data sources. Because Winnie is such a small startup, everyone is encouraged to understand and be involved with the entire stack. For example, the same person who works on the website also works on infrastructure and backend. Winnie encourages employees to stretch and learn about new areas of the stack.
With a database of information on over 1 million places, Winnie gives parents the information they need to travel, explore, or even just run errands with their kids.
Best Tech Startup
“Freedom and flexibility to execute ideas”
The CEO and co-founders of AppLovin employ an open-door policy. Team members can address their concerns or talk about sports with the co-founders. Everyone is trained and stimulated to grow and have a voice in the product.
Applovin’s marketing platform provides marketing automation and analytics for brands to reach consumers on mobile.
“An open door to discuss ideas and challenges”
The founders of BlueCart give credit to their strong, intelligent, and supportive team as one of their main reasons for success. In the land of high-tech, forward thinkers are essential to the development of the company. Every year, the three offices (SF, NYC, & DC) gather together to conjure up new strategies and innovative ideas to take BlueCart to the next level.
BlueCart digitizes the back of house process for the hospitality industry. That includes restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, country clubs with cafes, and more.
“By nurturing the creativity, employees can realize their greatest strengths and discover common goals”
Madefire recently announced the launch of its virtual reality comics platform at the 2016 Comic-Con in New York. The revolutionary idea to leap into the third-dimension was born of the late-night musings and tinkering of one of the company’s engineers. Inspired by some of Ben’s panoramic illustrations, Diego Medina engineered a GearVR prototype of comic panels whizzing through the blackness of space. They immediately recognized the potential of VR to propel the medium. Madefire provides an end-to-end digital comics publishing platform that is available free to anyone with a web browser, an Internet connection and a story to tell.
“Create fiercely loyal employees”
The Metromile office is open, welcoming, and collaborative. The leadership fosters a work environment that is all about enabling the team. They provide context and coaching, including clear goals, defined roles, and expected metrics. Leaders are sources of knowledge, conduits for effective communication, and great coaches.
Metromile is a car insurance startup that offers pay-per-mile insurance and a driving app.
Monday Motorbike utilizes open seating to facilitate cross-department brainstorming. This helps to increase the company’s efficiency and the implementation of new solutions across the entire company. Currently, Monday Engineers in collaboration with Intel are developing cloud connectivity that will enable riders to connect their phone directly to their bike to get instant riding metrics, remotely unlock the M-1, locate their M-1, program Geo-fencing, and performance.
The M-1 is the only e-bike with the feel of riding a motorcycle to create a bridge between bicycle and motorcycle riders. Not only is Monday Motorbikes including the newest technologies, but main parts are made in house and patented.
“Show don’t tell attitude”
PagerDuty has a collaborative work environment with a “show don’t tell” attitude. PagerDuty champions customer experience, and emphasizes depth in building markets, driving operational excellence, and cultivating high-performing teams.
PagerDuty is the enterprise incident resolution service that integrates with ITOps and DevOps monitoring stacks to improve operational reliability and agility. From enriching and aggregating events to correlating them into incidents, PagerDuty streamlines the incident management process by reducing alert noise and resolution times.
“Six core values: be curious, own your impact, act with integrity, love your neighbor, grit – have it, and accelerate as one.”
One of the most important traits the Stitch Labs team looks for when interviewing prospective employees is curiosity. To be forward thinking, a person must be curious about how a product, team, or even industry could be different—and then think creatively and strategically about how to create change. The Stitch Labs team is constantly iterating and expanding their product offerings. They’ve created an advisory panel from their product and engineering teams to work with clients to better understand the problems, address them , and drive their product in the right direction.
By automating, centralizing, and streamlining multichannel inventory and operations into a single platform, Stitch Labs provides retailers with the visibility, control, collaboration, and insight needed to drive profitability and scale growth.
“Creating a foundational change in how business is done”
Tradeshift is committed to transparency. Traditional all-hands meetings have been kicked to the curb. Instead, they have monthly “Big Syncs” that include a different set of executive speakers and last anywhere from one to two hours. Big Syncs are highly interactive. Forty-eight hours in advance of each one, a sheet is shared with the entire company for employees to post questions principally for the CEO, Christian Lanng, but he opens the floor for others to answer and discuss/debate.
Tradeshift is taking a fresh approach to buyer-supplier processes. They help companies transform their operations and rapidly adapt to the new digital reality that’s changing business worldwide.
“Concentration, stimulation, and productivity”
The environment at the Upload Collective has the feel of working at your best friend’s loft – a vibe of relaxed concentration in a stimulating space that’s also extremely productive with access to the most cutting edge equipment available. Upload VR is the product of industry development vision and work that started well before most people were even aware that VR was finally becoming a viable technology.
UploadVR’s product supports the entrepreneurs of the future with deep emphasis in immersive tech. The unique blend of hardware and software support they offer helps to ensure that the companies in their ecosystem succeed.
“A work environment that fosters the passion”
At VoiceBase, it doesn’t matter whether you work from the office or home, if you travel often or even the number of hours you work. VoiceBase team members are all available when needed and are expected to perform on individual goals as well as team and companywide goals.
VoiceBase is an API solution for speech recognition and speech analytics.
The Timmy Awards ceremony will celebrate the local technology community and also recognize not only the winners, but the entire San Francisco community for creating a great business environment to thrive in. The event itself will be a great opportunity to network with finalists and other members of the tech community.
RSVP here to attend the SF Timmy Awards and meet all the finalists in person!