Silicon Valley’s ‘Crunchie’ awards honor innovation, entrepreneurship

Global Business

Silicon Valley held its own version of a celebrity awards show in San Francisco, celebrating achievements of tech entrepreneurs and startups with an award called “The Crunchie”. Mark Niu reported this story from San Francisco.

The 8th annual Crunchies awards, sponsored by tech websites TechCrunch and Venturebeat, were hosted by T.J. Miller, comedian and star of the HBO Show Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley's 'Crunchie' awards honor innovation, entrepreneurship

Silicon Valley's 'Crunchie' awards honor innovation, entrepreneurship

Silicon Valley held its own version of a celebrity awards show in San Francisco, celebrating achievements of tech entrepreneurs and startups with an award called “The Crunchie”. Mark Niu reported this story from San Francisco.
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“This is Silicon Valley literally buying and renting the space at the most beautiful concert hall in the Bay Area to throw a fake awards show to give themselves,” Miller quipped.

The Crunchies celebrated the best in cutting edge tech as Solar Team Eindhoven took home the award for best technology achievement.

The startup has created Stella, the world’s first solar-powered family car.

“We wanna have in the future driving the car, you can drive for free actually for free in a tribute to this environment. That’s our dream,” Roy Cobbenhagen, co-Founder of Solar Team Eindhoven said.

The Crunchie for fastest rising startup went to Theranos, which is transforming lab testing by performing speedy and complex tests on as little as a single drop of blood.

Theranos’ 31-year-old founder Elizabeth Holmes already has 18 patents and 66 non-U.S. patents in her name, and is America’s youngest self-made, female billionaire.

“I’m humbled every day by the people we get to work with and the people we are surrounded with in this place we call Silicon Valley,” Holmes said.

Meanwhile outside the celebration venue, protestors argued that the tech world has increased inequalities between the rich and poor in Silicon Valley. Many protestors targeted the mobile car service Uber — which won best overall startup at the Crunchies — for skirting regulations that require taxi drivers to pay for licensed medallions.

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick thanked his employees and customers for helping make his vision of “pushing a button and getting ride” a reality.

The awards did bring out the charitable side of tech as Salesforce.com Founder Mark Benioff, took home CEO of the year. Benioff spearheads the SF Gives campaign and has pledged 1 percent of his companies’ time, equity, and profits to charitable causes.