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Wilmington Businesses Take Home NC Tech Awards

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Nov 2, 2023
Apiture, Ohanafy, OpiAID (pictured above) and Reeds Jewelers were recognized at this year's NC Tech awards. (Photo courtesy of Janaiah Von Hassel)

The NC Tech Association held its annual NC Tech Awards Gala on Wednesday, celebrating the state’s tech sector in various categories including biotech, IT and fintech.

Wilmington had a healthy presence in the finalists’ announcement and was represented by six companies, one CEO and one CIO. Three Wilmington companies and one local company’s CIO brought home trophies Wednesday.

“This year’s NC TECH Award winners represent highly innovative and inspiring companies throughout the state,” said Meghan Hutchinson, NC Tech board member and Cherry Bekaert partner, in a release.

Winners were chosen from a two-stage review process by presenting sponsor Cherry Bekaert, a Raleigh-based accounting firm, and an independent selection committee, according to the release.

Wilmington-based Apiture was announced as one of five winners in the Great Tech Places to Work category ahead of the event and won in the Fintech/Insurtech company at the gala.

Apiture’s executive vice president of innovation, Daniel Haisley, attended the event on behalf of the company. He said he was proud of Wilmington’s representation at the awards. 

“It’s a fun recognition for all the work that the team has put in and also a testament to how much work we have in front of us, which is tremendous,” Haisley said. 

Life science company OpiAID won in the AI + Data Analytics category, the Wilmington startup was a finalist for its winning category and for the Tech for Good award, which went to Durham-based Kramden Institute.

“It was like the Grammys for tech in North Carolina,” founder and CEO David Reeser said about the event. 

Reeser brought more than 10 members of his team to receive the award. He said he was proud of the win because the AI category was so competitive. OpiAID uses machine learning to identify biomarkers in users’ biometric data to help treat substance use disorder, Reeser said. 

“It’s just equal parts cool technology and huge impact, and that is what I think sealed the deal for us,” Reeser said regarding OpiAID’s win. 

Software company Ohanafy was one of the winners in the Top Ten Startups to Watch category. The company launched in 2022 as the only software company in the craft beverage sector to build on the Salesforce platform, according to Ohanafy.

"I am immensely proud of the Ohanafy team for their unwavering dedication and innovative spirit, which has laid the foundation for building an industry-leading product," Ian Padrick, Ohanafy's CEO, told the Business Journal in an email. "This award is a testament to our collective passion for driving positive change and setting new standards of excellence in our industry."

Arthur Phidd of Wilmington’s Reeds Jewelers won Chief Information Officer of the Year, an award announced in September.

More information on the finalists can be found here.

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