Bring Your Best: TechOhio’s Startup Culture Awards are Back!

Can new companies show they have what it takes to earn top spot?

Last year, TechOhio introduced companies across the state to the Startup Culture Awards, a search for the Ohio startup with the best company culture. After thousands of votes were cast, Aware (formerly Wiretap) in Columbus and Global Cooling Inc. in Athens were chosen as winners, dazzling Ohio’s tech-savvy startup community.

For the companies involved, the win served as both a standalone accomplishment and confirmation that their employees love where they work.

“Winning was very rewarding,” said Global Cooling president and CEO Neill Lane. “We have earned awards for our products and as a supplier, but it was especially satisfying to receive this based on employee input. With the right culture, many goals are achievable. With the wrong culture, almost nothing innovative or groundbreaking is achievable. The Startup Culture Award certainly says we’re on the right track.”

Now, the Startup Culture Awards are back and better than ever. We want to hear from you. Do you wake up excited to go to work? Are your office perks more than just potlucks and birthday cake? Do you work better with your dog sleeping under your desk?

We can’t choose the company with the best culture in Ohio without you, so once again we’re turning to the startup community for your nominations and votes. Does your team have what it takes to knock off last year’s champions and be crowned one of the 2019 Startup Culture Award winners? Let us know!

Here’s how it works:

Phase One

Nominations accepted (September 30, 2019 – October 20, 2019)

  • Submit your nominations for best startup culture through a submission form on our website. Keep an eye out for the announcement of the official launch on TechOhio Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook!
    • One nomination is all that’s needed for a company to be considered.
    • You will be asked to write a brief sentence or two about why you feel this startup exemplifies the “Best of the Best” in company culture — as an employee or admiring onlooker.
  • Submission window will close on October 20th and nominees will be organized by “Early-Stage” or “Late-Stage” startups.

Phase Two

Voting period (October 23, 2019 – November 10, 2019)

  • Voting will take place through a poll on the TechOhio site. You can vote as many times as you’d like and remember to encourage others to do the same!
    • Companies will also be encouraged to demonstrate their company culture, through photos, in response to prompts put out through TechOhio on social media. These prompts will touch on categories like gamification in the office, teamwork, staff social activities, and more!
  • Voting period ends on November 10th.

Phase Three

Winners announced (December 2019)

  • Early-December: Winners will be notified first by email, and then announced publicly via the TechOhio website, an email blast and through TechOhio social channels.
  • Winners of TechOhio’s “Startup Culture Awards” will be awarded:
    • Public announcement on TechOhio site and social channels
    • Video spotlight on the winning companies produced by TechOhio and partner agency.
    • Certificate sent by mail.
    • Bragging rights across the state until next year’s competition!

For a complete list of the contest’s official rules, click here.

In addition to bragging rights for the year, winners in each category will be highlighted through a promotional video produced by TechOhio.


We want to hear from you! Spread the word and let’s shine a light on the great work being done at startups around the state, recognizing especially those companies that take great care of their employees by fostering excellent workplace cultures across Ohio. Your participation in this event will help show the tech community the type of world-class innovation that’s taking place in Ohio.

Stay tuned for the voting window to open—September 30, 2019!

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