After months of fierce competition, four companies have been named winners of Destination Innovation, Capital Business and the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s search for the region’s most innovative companies. Fairfax County Public Schools, Unisys, Kajeet and Cybertimez each won their category.
In the apps and platforms category, Fairfax County Public Schools won with Bring Your Own Device 2.0. The initiative encourages students to bring their laptops, tablets and smartphones to class, setting up an automatic registration system that eases students’ access to online educational resources.
In the safety and security category, Unisys won with its Stealth application. Stealth is designed to protect a company’s IT resources from a cyber-attack by hiding critical endpoints from potential attackers.
In the health, education and energy category, Kajeet won with its education broadband technology. The company provides take-home WiFi devices for school districts around the country.
In the wearables and robotics category, CyberTimez won with its CyberArmz technology. Cyberarmz is an in-home system designed to make everyday household actions like opening doors and cabinets voice-operated via smart-watch.
The competition started March 15 with the first week of voting, and readers voted 16 companies in four categories through to the April 29 event at The Washington Post’s headquarters at 15th Street NW. All 16 finalists pitched their products to a room of onlookers, and the audience narrowed the field to eight.
The top two in each category faced questions from a panel of local tech experts: Sherry Altman of Booz Allen Hamilton, Nelson Ford of LMI and Matthew Kroll of 410 Labs grilled each finalist about what sets their product apart and how they plan to scale it up.
Before companies pitched their products, contestants heard from Tony Moraco, chief executive of defense contractor SAIC and Paul Singh, managing director of start-up incubator 1776, on the challenges of innovation.
Moraco offered congratulations for each firm’s success in the competition, and emphasized that the real struggle starts now.
“The challenge is not so much the creativity as the getting to market,” said Moraco.
Both speakers agreed that the District’s tech scene has no shortage of great ideas; the next step is for the region’s innovators to go out and share their product with the world.