Like last year, I was once again lucky enough to attend the VenturePrize Awards Luncheon today with Dickson, and Chris, Don and their team from ProTraining. I hadn’t paid the competition much attention this year until recently, but it was good to see some familiar faces and meet new ones at today’s event. I’m also really happy it was once again in Hall D, easily one of our city’s nicest venues.
The grand prize winner for 2008 was DataGardens, a company that hopes to help companies manage their IT infrastructure more effectively. At first glance, they strike me as somewhat similar to one of last year’s finalists, Nirix. I wrote a bit more about the event (and the new TEC VenturePrize branding) at Techvibes, so check that out if you’re interested.
The event was once again hosted by Citytv’s Paul Mennier, and he did a great job. The guest speaker was Jim Carroll, a futurist and trends & innovation expert. He’s a great speaker and kept my attention throughout his presentation, but I have to say I didn’t enjoy him as much as Leonard Brody last year. Jim also got a few things wrong – he described Guitar Hero as a Nintendo innovation, and he claimed that we’re insulated from the rising energy prices here in Alberta. The latter remark was made off-the-cuff (“Hey, I’m in Alberta, let’s make it relevant”), and I think he probably feels pretty embarrassed about it now.
Lunch was similar to last year, though I don’t think I enjoyed it as much this time around. We started with Romaine Lettuce and Spinach Leaves with Grapefruit Dressing. The main course was Seared Thai Chicken Breast served with Tomato-Chili Jam, Coconut Rice, and Seasonal Vegetables. Dessert was Lime Meringue Pie with Fresh Berries and Raspberry Coulis.
The competitor videos this year all rocked, in my opinion, so kudos to whichever company helped to put those together. The music they played as the winners were announced was just a bit odd, though. Something to improve upon for next year!
Thanks again Chris & Don!