SOURCE: International Business Forum

May 20, 2011 09:00 ET

Voting Officially Opens for the Innovator Awards Finalists

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - International Business Forum (IBF), a business research group and full-service conference production company, announces today the finalists for the inaugural Innovator Awards, which recognize the contributions of entrepreneurial and venture capital leaders.

"This year's finalists represent diverse sectors with one thing in common: they are all making a significant impact on technology innovations," said Craig Simak, President of IBF. "We will be recognizing each finalist and honoring the category winners at our upcoming awards dinner."

Finalists were identified by their peers in the venture capital and entrepreneurial community through a secure nomination voting process and are as follows:

The Big Idea Award: Honoring the CEO/Entrepreneur with the most disruptive business model in the past 12-18 months

  • Danny Zappin, Co-Founder, Maker Studios
  • Andrew Mason, Founder, Groupon
  • Andrew Thompson, President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Proteus Biomedical
  • Dag Kittlaus, Co-Founder, Siri

Social Impact Award: Honoring the CEO/Entrepreneur of an up-and-coming start-up with the greatest potential to improve the quality of life

  • Jeffrey Stein, CEO, Trius Therapeutics
  • Jason Gorevic, CEO, Teladoc, Inc.
  • Mariana Gerzanych, CEO and Tim Mason, President, 350 Green
  • Julie Corbett, CEO, EcoLogic Brands, Inc.

Turnaround of the Year: Honoring the CEO with the best come-from-behind story

  • Doug Donzelli, CEO, Apprion, Inc.
  • Jay Shepard, President and CEO, Nextwave Therapeutics
  • Kevin Systrom, CEO, Burbn
  • Ron Andrews, CEO, Clarient, Inc.

"MVB" - Most Valuable Board Member: Recognizing a board member who's been the most proactive and strategic in helping a portfolio company achieve/exceed its goals and milestones

  • Sami Hamade, Partner, Aberdare Ventures
  • Mike Brooks, Venture Executive, Chevron Technology Ventures
  • Hank Plain, Partner, Morgenthaler Ventures
  • Norm Fogelsong, General Partner, Institutional Venture Partners

Rising Star Award: Honoring a venture capitalist (under 40) that has made an impressive contribution to the firm's portfolio and is on the fast track to stardom

  • Ifty Ahmed, General Partner, Oak Investment Partners
  • Roger Lee, General Partner, Battery Ventures
  • Shawn Carolan, Managing Director, Menlo Ventures
  • Dennis Phelps, General Partner, Institutional Venture Partners

RiskMaster Award: Honoring a VC or CEO that made the riskiest investment pay off in the last 12-24 months

  • Jim Healy, Managing General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures
  • Yuri Milner, CEO, DST
  • Mark Siegel, Managing Director, Menlo Ventures
  • Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO, Tesla

Winners will be announced June 7th at The Innovator Awards Dinner at the Sofitel Hotel in Redwood City, California.

"The Innovator Awards is a unique opportunity for the venture community to recognize significant accomplishments by our entrepreneurs, CEOs and peers," said Scott Sandell, General Partner at NEA.

Voting is limited to qualified venture capitalists. For more information on voting or attending TIA please contact Danielle Pappas 516-765-905 x 250,

About International Business Forum
IBF is a business research group and a full-service conference production company with a focus on technology innovation and venture capital investing. Founded in 1989, International Business Forum has been organizing conferences that provide attendees with strategic information, key business contacts and the opportunity to gain access into the highest level of business intelligence from global industry leaders. IBF's ability to facilitate strategic gatherings has resulted in countless business relationships and transactions over the years.