NonProfitEasy (NPE) - a technology solution that helps organizations develop and manage relationships with volunteers, donors, members, etc. within one simple, cost-effective and integrated application - won the 2012 North Bay iHub Business Plan competition recently.
The showcase is a partnership with the School of Business and Economics, iHub and Sonoma County BEST. All are in the business of building businesses.
Close to 200 business people, regional officials, other iHub representatives, and community partners cast their votes via a live text system in the final round of "Innovation Idol" as iHub Director Micheal Newell termed it. Presentations by the four finalists included Purevin, Shoestring, and Sonoma Hot Cones.
"NPE's advantage is that it's an affordable and powerful cloud-based technology platform that enables small to medium sized nonprofits to efficiently manage and scale their operations to better serve their communities. That creates a positive impact for everyone," says founder Lomesh Shah.
They were not the only winner, however, at the Innovation Showcase.
Steve Weiss, Chairman Emeritus and co-founder of the North Bay Angels received the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship, an international award that recognizes outstanding individuals who combine innovative business achievement with service to humanity.
"Steve has been an incredible mentor and supporter of mine and the University's, as well as for many in the room and even more around the region," shared School of Business Dean Bill Silver, who introduced Weiss. Jim Viehland, executive director of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national honor society for accredited business schools around the world, presented the award.
Weiss, who noted he was humbled to be nominated, said, "The message I'd like to leave you is that although this award has been given to a single individual, entrepreneurship and innovation are a team sport. The fact that you are here means you are all part of this team; we don't win by ourselves. It's great to see the support of everyone here for entrepreneurship in the region. It has been central to our economic success and I know it will continue to be the future for our community and this country."
Weiss built a successful career ranging from working as a design engineer in the aerospace industry, to helping young entrepreneurial companies with health care investing and partnering assistance, to becoming chairman of the North Bay Angels which has invested over $40 million in more than 50 companies.
The Innovation Showcase started with an expo that highlighted regional success stories that included companies like Indigenous Designs, Pocket Radar, Inc., Skip to Renew, TastingRoom.com, VinPerfect, and X2nSat. Entrepreneur and NFL veteran James Kovach spoke about the journey from ideation to commercialization and what lies ahead for the North Bay.
"The up-and-comers, the successful companies, and the entrepreneurs that participated in today's showcase are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of our innovation ecosystem in the North Bay," concluded Silver. "Today's event is the culmination of a lot of work with visible success, but this is just the beginning."
BGW Entrepreneurship Medallion Winner Steve Weiss (center) with Dean William Silver (l) and Jim Viehland of BGS (r).