CTA celebrates 4th annual Innovation Entrepreneur Awards
The Consumer Technology Association announced the winners of its fourth annual Innovation Entrepreneur Awards on Wednesday morning. The program, launched in 2012 by CTA’s flagship magazine, It Is Innovation (i3) and the CTA Small Business Council, recognize entrepreneurs and businesses with revenues under $30 million for the contributions they make to the U.S. economy. Each year, a panel of judges selects one executive, a small business, and a startup company. This year, because of the deep talent pool of contenders, the panel picked two startups to honor.
“This year’s Innovation Entrepreneur Awards winners demonstrate the exciting possibilities of the technology industry,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA, said in a statement.
Here’s a look at each of the honorees along with a short video of each produced by CTA:
Small Business Executive of the Year: Hong Lip Yow grew up in Malaysia and was influenced by his Chinese immigrant father, who ran a lumber shop and taught him about responsibility to the local community and his employees. Yow draws on those origins to create a vibrant culture at Trident Case, which is excelling at creating local jobs, charitable partnerships, as well as innovative products. Currently Trident’s Made in the USA program accounts for half of the products, and Yow expects that to increase to a majority of the product line next year. In addition to his role as CEO, he contributes to a number of non-profit charities.
Small Business of the Year: AcousticSheep – Family physician, Dr. Wei-shin Lai, struggled to fall back asleep after late night patient phone calls. She tried listening to relaxing music in bed, but there were no headphones or earbuds comfortable enough for sleeping. With no product in the market that fit her needs, she worked with her husband, Jason Wolfe, to create a unique solution, SleepPhones. The company strives to create a world of happy, healthy, well-rested people with their ‘sleep category’ of headphones. The company also has an app with soothing sounds and the next app in development senses when you’re restless and works harder to help you sleep.