…And the Winners Are: Celebrating TechOhio’s Inaugural Startup Culture Awards


You voted, you Tweeted, you sent us your best gifs and funniest pictures. And now, TechOhio is pleased to announce the winners of our inaugural Startup Culture Awards! In a statewide competition driven by voters, the community selected Wiretap in Columbus as the early-stage winner, and Global Cooling Inc., parent company of Stirling UltraCold in Athens as the late-stage winner. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what makes the culture at these companies so great:

Wiretap, an AI-infused platform that helps companies keep their communication secure and compliant, is no stranger to the Columbus startup scene. The company was recently named a 2018 Gartner Cool Vendor, and has tapped big-name clients like Astra Zeneca and Oxfam International. Though they have a button-up solution which aims to prevent security risks by flagging questionable file shares or sensitive information for collaboration players like Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Yammer and Teams, their enviable startup culture lets them balance work and play. When asked to prove they had what it took to earn the top spot, the Wiretap team said, “There isn’t a sense of ‘living for the weekend,’ or ‘dreading going to work on Monday.’ Wiretap consists of a tight-knit team that balances celebrating wins with good, old fashioned hard work.” With a shuffleboard and video games in their home office, it certainly sounds like Wiretap has earned their title.

“We are truly honored to be recognized for a TechOhio Startup Culture award. Building a great company starts with culture. Not only do we want our employees to come together to build something amazing—but to create memories while they are doing it,” said Jeff Schumann, CEO.

For Global Cooling, the parent company of Stirling Ultracold, culture is all about sustainability and community. The company manufactures environmentally-friendly ultra-low freezers that operate at around -80°C. These cooling systems are used in laboratory settings and help to advance research using less energy than traditional freezers. After receiving their industry’s first ENERGY STAR® partnership and the honor of the 2017 Equipment, Instruments and Chromatography Supplier of the Year from VWR, it’s no surprise the Athens-based company has found themselves in the top spot. In the voting round, team members had this to say about the culture: “Stirling Ultracold is a great, modern space with an amazing team that continually pushes toward excellence.” With portable, undercounter and upright ultra-low freezer models, the company’s efforts to improve sustainability certainly reflect their mission of quality and environmental responsibility.

“We are delighted to be recognized with TechOhio’s Startup Culture Awards. We are committed to developing our teams and creating the culture we need in order to be a world-class organization. It is great to know these efforts are engaging the team to create a culture of aligned goals, transparency, accountability and execution,” said Neill Lane, CEO.

The first Startup Culture Awards have been quite the ride, and we’ve loved learning about the perks of startups across the state! Thanks to everyone who participated, congrats to the winners, and here’s to the people and culture that make Ohio the place to innovate and build great tech companies!

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