Awato wins top prize in 2016 TechOut competition

Forcivity and KudosWall also earn awards at Manchester event
Awato co-founder Matthew Guruge|!!| center|!!| first-place winner in this year’s TechOut competition|!!| holds the check for the firm’s $50|!!|000 prize at the NH High Tech Council's and Alpha Loft's Oct. 5 competition. Also pictured are from left: Michelline Dufort of the NH High Tech Council and Cookson Strategic Communications; Toral Cowieson|!!| chair of the NH High Tech Council and the Internet Society|!!| Awato co-founder Tyler C. Hurst; Mark Kaplan of Alpha Loft; Matt Cookson of the NH High Tech Council and Cookson Strategic Communications; and Gray Chynoweth of SilverTech.

Awato, an online platform that automates quality academic and career counseling for colleges, took home the $50,000 first prize in the NH High Tech Council and Alpha Loft’s 2016 TechOut competition, held Wednesday night at Dyn in Manchester.

Winning the second prize was Forcivity, a cloud-based data reporting and access platform that makes the near-impossible reports and tasks of possible, and KudosWall, which automates student achievements into an online portfolio and resume, won the votes of the audience and a $20,000 prize.

More than 200 people attended the annual event.

Awato, presented by CEO and co-founder Matthew Guruge, is “building an automation suite that helps people find, identify and pursue careers they love,” he said in his presentation.

The online platform’s main feature is a series of dynamic assessments that learn and adapt to the user. “We want to next enter the college market to gather data and ultimately solve the happiness equation – to determines just how happy you’d be at a given job. We want to help everyone from high school students to retirees get jobs they love,” said Guruge.

The focus of second-place finisher Forcivity, presented by CEO and co-founder Steve Baines, is to unlock the “shackles” to your data, he said.

KudosWall, which was presented by co-founder Jag Vootkur and his son Nikhil, the company’s designer, co-founder and a middle school student, is an online portfolio for K-12 students and their achievements.

Heat Oracle and Near Field Magnetics were also finalists for the 2016 TechOut competition and demonstrated their products and presented at the event.

TechOut, now in its fifth year, is open to startups that have been in business for fewer than five years, raised less than $250,000 in funding and have less than $250,000 in revenue. It is produced in partnership with Alpha Loft, and has helped nine past winners launch and grow their businesses in the Granite State.

Lead sponsor was Borealis Ventures. Other sponsors included FairPoint Communications, Dyn, Cook Little Rosenblatt Mason, UBS, Dunn, Rush & Co., Entrepreneurs Foundation of New Hampshire, Berry Dunn, TD Bank, Meltwater and NH Business Review.

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