(company with fewer than 250 employees)

A qualified Nominee is an executive (CEO, CIO, CTO, CFO, CLO, or President) of a COMPANY WITH FEWER THAN 250 EMPLOYEES who has achieved significant business success within the Qualification Period, though the executive need not have been in the role of executive for the entire term of the Qualification Period.



Rescentris, Inc.

Jeff Spitzner, President & CSO

Under the leadership of Jeff Spitzner, President, Co-Founder, and Chief Science Officer, Rescentris has become a leading global provider of enterprise Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) software solutions for R&D organizations. 90% of scientists developing the next generation of inventions, discoveries, and new products for research organizations still use paper lab notebooks. Productivity and collaboration are limited because data and Intellectual Property are scattered across paper and computer file systems and unsearchable.

Over 100 sites in commercial, academic, government and nonprofit research labs in biology and multidiscipline research now utilize Rescentris’ award-winning product CERF to achieve efficient, paperless laboratories. ELNs are a rapidly growing segment of the $17 Billion lab informatics market. As product visionary, Spitzner guided development of CERF’s unique platform, including semantic technologies, mobility and SaaS options, and innovative user interfaces and tools to win competitive deals. In 2011, Dr. Spitzner expanded Rescentris’ management team, raised new equity funding, and boosted sales revenues. Jeff received his Ph.D. from Ohio State and post-doctoral research at MIT. He has co-founded five technology companies and is a recognized worldwide technology leader.



2Checkout.com, Inc.

Tom E. Dailey, CEO

Tom is CEO of 2Checkout.com, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio.


Buckeye Interactive

Brad Griffith, President

Brad Griffith is a engineer by education, specializing in web technologies. He takes pride in teaching and empowering clients to manage their own web presence with user-friendly technology, training, and ongoing service and support. With his unique combination of business strategy, web development and interactive marketing expertise, Brad has a proven expertise in web solutions with a significant return on investment.


Columbus Idea Foundry

Dr. Alexander R. Bandar, Director

The Columbus Idea Foundry is a public facility for the technological, creative, entrepreneurial and educational communities in Central Ohio. We host conventional as well as digital design and fabrication resources (from welding, woodworking, and metal casting to CAD/CAM/CNC machining, 3D printing and laser cutting), offer affordable classes to the general public in the use of these tools, and then provide workshop access to members for a monthly fee and an hourly rate. We host rental studio and production space for 30+ individuals, small businesses, artists and innovators; perform micromanufacturing services for a number of businesses in Central Ohio and beyond; provide design/prototyping consultation; offer technology transfer services and educational outreach opportunities. In the last year, the Columbus Idea Foundry has expanded its brick-and-mortar workshop space ten fold (to 24,000 square feet), and Dr. Bandar’s novel social entrepreneurship business model has attracted the attention of representatives from Battelle, the Columbus Foundation, the Nation Science Foundation, the US FabLab Network, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and other technological, entrepreneurial, educational and creative organizations.


e-Cycle, Inc.

Christopher J. Irion, CEO

e-Cycle empowers businesses and organizations to take a more responsible, secure and profitable approach to wireless recycling. Founded in 2005 by current CEO Chris Irion, e-Cycle was established on three guiding passions: a love of technology, environmental protection and charitable giving.

Through extensive quantitative and qualitative research, as well as hands-on entrepreneurialism, Irion identified a critical need in the marketplace that crystallized e-Cycle’s business model helping enterprises turn old wireless technologies into new revenue while protecting their corporate reputation and safeguarding the environment. Today, e-Cycle has become the trusted wireless asset recovery and recycling partner to many of the largest organizations in the world.

e-Cycle was recently ranked the #5 fastest growing, privately held environmental services company in the U.S. by Inc. magazine, and the #3 fastest growing, privately held company in Central Ohio in the Business First Fast 50. Irion recently won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Cleantech category for the South Central Ohio and Kentucky Region, and was honored at the national awards ceremony in Palm Springs.


Founders Factory Ltd.

Brooke Paul, Founder

Founders Factory was established to help early stage companies rapidly become viable and sustainable businesses. We have a blend of what early stage companies require: expedited angel funding, agile technology development, lean acceleration and world class mentors.

Our approach has been uniquely designed from best practices only true entrepreneurs know. Each member of Founders Factory is a seasoned, serial entrepreneur. We provide quick idea evaluation, fast funding, assistance in obtaining strategic first customers, development of products and the essential elements of starting and maintaining your company.



Jeff Lusenhop, Founder & CEO

Janova is a provider of web-based, automated testing software designed to streamline the cumbersome task of software development and implementation. Located in New Albany, Ohio, Janova’s offerings are based on years of experience consulting with companies who struggled to find an efficient way to test software. Leveraging the power of the Cloud, Janova’s offerings are English-based and easy to implement, with no equipment investment and nothing to download. Janova does not require a long-term commitment and offers free support with packages available to fit any size organization, from a single user up to the enterprise.


The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research

Dr. Giorgio Rizzoni, Director

The OSU Center for Automotive Research, CAR, is an interdisciplinary research center located in a 50,000 square-foot building complex on the west campus of OSU. CAR conducts interdisciplinary research in collaboration with the OSU colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Business, and Arts and Sciences. CAR research aims to: develop efficient vehicle propulsion and energy storage systems; develop new sustainable mobility concepts; reduce the impact of vehicles on the environment; improve vehicle safety and reduce occupant and pedestrian injuries; increase vehicle autonomy and intelligence; create quieter and more comfortable automobiles. A team of 30 administrative and research staff supports the research of 30 faculty, 70 graduate and 50 undergraduate students, and maintains and makes use of advanced experimental facilities. Dr. Rizzoni has led CAR for over a decade, growing its research expenditures from $1M per year to nearly $10M today, and engaging CAR in a broad range of technology commercialization activities, start-up company incubation and spin-out, as well as in providing a broad range of engineering services to the automotive industry in Central Ohio and beyond.


People To My Site

Jennifer Ridenour, CEO

People To My Site is a Digital Marketing company that specializes in the franchise industry. We offer a Franchisee Platform that combines the technology typically reserved for enterprise-level businesses with a targeted, localized marketing approach that’s critical to the success of a small business owner. The result is a comprehensive Internet marketing and technology solution for a business that breaks the mold of typical franchise Internet solutions in today’s market.


Pluto Networks

Larry Chaffin, CEO & Chairman

Larry Chaffin is the Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of Pluto Networks. Through his leadership the company has grown 42% from last year and expanded its customer base worldwide. Larry is an author and co-author of 16 published books, a judge at Interop Las Vegas, a writer for Networkworld and speaker. This is Larry’s fifth nomination for Executive of the Year and fourth in a row. Larry has lead his company to one great stat: over the last eight years he has added two Fortune 25 Companies as customers each year. Larry has also been nominated for Executive of the Year in the European Business Community. He has also been recognized by The Asian Technology Paper as one of the most influential people in the world for WAN Acceleration Technologies.


Quick Solutions, Inc.

Tom Campbell, CEO

Quick Solutions, Inc. is an information technology consulting firm headquartered in Westerville,Ohio. We provide technology consulting services in the following areas: Strategy, People, Processes, and Technology.

My innovation is developing superior internal and external business practices and process practices that are typically unprecedented in small, closely held companies. These innovations set the stage to accomplish our Vision to be the most valued business and technology partner while executing our Mission to create value for our clients and opportunities for our employees.

I am qualified for the award as I have personally created and driven this innovation and have achieved success within the Firm and recognition within the community.


Znode, Inc. (subsidiary of Yell plc)

Vish Vishwanathan, Executive VP

Znode, a Columbus based company, is an industry leading ecommerce platform. Our innovative solution enables leading global brands to significantly increase their brand presence and revenues using innovative online franchising software. Vish joined Znode as the CEO in 2007. Since then he grew Znode from a headcount of 2 individuals to over 20 in just under 3 years. During that period Znode acquired over 300 leading brand name customers and was also awarded the #223 rank in the INC 500 list. We were ranked #21 in software nationwide and #1 in Columbus, Ohio in the technology category. Based on this tremendous success, Znode was acquired in July 2011 by Yell, a global company that owns YellowBook in the US and YellowPages in the UK and has over 1.5 million customers world wide. In addition to the acquisition, the Yell executive team also promoted Vish to Executive Vice President within the Yell Group. In his new role, Vish will have global responsibility for executing Yell’s ecommerce strategy -- a coveted position in this $3 Billion organization.

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