November 24, 2023
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Dubroff: Innovation Awards will put spotlight on tri-county startups


Editor Henry Dubroff

Editor Henry Dubroff


The startup culture that’s taking hold across our region is worthy of much deeper news coverage than our business journal can provide on a weekly basis.

That’s why I’m delighted to announce that next year Pacific Coast Business Times will launch the Central Coast Innovation Awards, a program that will capture many of the new dimensions for business in our region.

Our inaugural Innovation Awards special report will be published in late February and it will be followed by an awards reception and program at the Bacara Resort & Spa on Thursday, March 24.
We’re producing the Central Coast Innovation Awards in partnership with the Office of Technology & Industry Alliances at UC Santa Barbara. UCSB has joined us as founding sponsor for the Innovation Awards and we’ve developed a shared vision about a program that is truly regional.

We’ve had promising discussions with our other major campuses about joining the Central Coast Innovation Awards effort. As part of that effort, we’re going to create a “Startup Village,” where we can use the time prior to our program to showcase business plan competition winners from the Highway 101 corridor, and host a VIP reception to introduce these innovators to funders and professional services providers.

“The Central Coast has become nationally recognized for the quality and diversity of the innovative technologies and startup companies it has spawned,” said Sherylle Mills Englander, director of the Office of Technology & Industry Alliances. “UCSB looks forward to working with the Business Times to honor and celebrate the breadth of Central Coast innovation and, through the Startup Village, give investors a sneak peek at the best and brightest technology companies emerging from our region.”

Our awards will recognize innovation not just in technology but also in agribusiness, energy/environmental sciences, design and bio-science, fields where the region has produced world-class companies.

To add a little drama to our awards we are going to be looking for nominations for a “Most Disruptive Technology Award,” a “No Boundaries Award” that recognizes innovation in the nonprofit or social business field and an “Early Stage Innovator” whose products have potential but are not yet on the market.

Finally, we’re going to honor one of our own innovation heroes with a “Spirit of Innovation” award that recognizes a leader with a track record of success.

We’re going to be talking a lot more about the Central Coast Innovation Awards in the weeks and months ahead. I couldn’t think of a better time to launch our program than with the current edition of the Business Times.

The 50 Fastest Growing Companies special report included in this edition demonstrates the powerful influence that innovation has in creating the emerging companies that are powering our economy.

A look ahead

Publication of 50 Fastest Growing Companies is the kick-off to our Fourth Quarter Editorial Calendar.

In October we’ll be publishing our Fall Economic Forecast, a section that’s packed with data and includes three roundtable discussions featuring top economists, investment professionals and CEOs.  We’ll also be publishing our annual Who’s Who in Professional Services special report.

November has our annual Who’s Who in Health Care, Insurance and Bio-Science followed by our 2015 Tax & Financial Planning Guide.

December offerings include Who’s Who in Nonprofits & Foundations and the granddaddy of all special reports, the 2016 Top 25 Book of Lists, the ultimate business-to-business guide for the region.

We’re excited about what we’ve accomplished in our 15th anniversary year. And with Central Coast Innovation Awards on the horizon, we’re looking forward to 2016.

• Contact Editor Henry Dubroff at