Crunchies 2017: Tech industry’s premier awards event turns political

Global Business

Screen shot at ‘Crunchies’ awards

Tech’s version of the Academy Awards hit San Francisco in the form of the 10th Annual “Crunchies.”

The event, sponsored by the website Techcrunch took on an irreverent attitude, especially in light of the current political landscape.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports from San Francisco.

Crunchies 2017: Tech industry's premier awards event turns political

Crunchies 2017: Tech industry's premier awards event turns political

Tech's version of the Academy Awards hit San Francisco in the form of the 10th Annual "Crunchies." The event, sponsored by the website Techcrunch took on an irreverent attitude, especially in light of the current political landscape. CGTN's Mark Niu reports from San Francisco.
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Even though self-driving semi-truck company Otto won “hot new startup,” it wasn’t enough to keep them out of the cross hairs of Crunchies host, comedian Chelsea Peretti.

“Otto is a self-driving trucking company. They’re nominated, which is cool because truck drivers have a lot of other employment opportunities. So you’ve done them a real solid,” Peretti said.

“I mean it’s an extraordinary privilege by investing in entrepreneurs by helping create these new startups, by building these startups we are helping build a better world of tomorrow,” Fabrice Grinda, Angel Investor of the Year Nominee said.

And for the first time, several Chinese companies have earned nominations here at the Crunchies. It all goes to show that Chinese startups are starting to assimilate mainstream Silicon Valley culture.

Chinese-developed social network Musical.ly was the runner-up for best app. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer presented the best app award to Pokemon Go.

But it wasn’t all fun and games.

The Crunchies gave out awards for advancing inclusion in the industry and another for best use of technology to make a social impact.

“Diversity is much more than numbers. You can see the team I rode in with. Women of color, students of color. We need tech to see us as people. We need tech to respect us as people and there’s more talent from pipelines that they don’t know yet,” social impact nominee Shaun Tai of Oakland Digital said.

Nearly 100 tech companies have filed a court document to oppose U.S. President Trump’s immigration ban on seven majority Muslim countries.

With that in mind, Twilio CEO and co-founder Jeff Lawson accepted his award for Founder of the Year.

“It’s really easy to fall into the trap of feeling like the enemy is the other colored states. Red states, blue states. All this stuff. Fellow Americans are not the enemy. It is the people who profit by dividing us. Remember that,” Lawson said.