Success and Progress from the 2015 Startup of the Year Winners

September 16, 2016

1:30 pm

Another year to a startup can feel like a century with all the changes, milestones, challenges and knowledge a team gains. Learning how to pinch pennies where you can, finding talent, marketing your product and gaining traction is all part of the growth process.

Since our 2015 Celebrate conference, the Startup of the Year winners have continued to climb up the mountain of success. We talked with last year’s winners to get a sense of how their participation in the competition helped their company get a leg up and they gave us an update on their progress.


Blendoor is a mobile job matching app that hides candidate name and photo to circumvent unconscious bias & facilitate diversity recruiting. Sign up for the app through the website and their seed round is still open for interested investors.

“Winning startup of the year provided a lot of validation that what we’re building is valuable which helped us get into a top 5 accelerator,” said Stephanie Lampkin, founder and CEO of Blendoor. “It also connected us with big tech companies who are now on our beta.”


TurboAppeal is an online service that ensures homeowners are in the best position to maximize their property tax reductions. They are always looking to connect with new investors and property owners as part of their national expansions.

“It helped give us confidence in the validation behind our product as well as understand the reaction from the VC community as well as potential customers,” said Badal Shah, CEO of TurboAppeal. “We are grateful for the opportunity with Tech.Co.”


LiveAnswer offers a unified communication platform that integrates emails, SMSs, chats, and social media into one inbox. They are always looking for talented software engineers to grow their company even further.

“Since the contest, we experienced a lot of growth,” said Adam Boalt, CEO of LiveAnswer. “We had a lot of companies sign up for our service and it helped the growth of our company tremendously.”


SunPort is an IoT device giving easy and affordable access to solar energy without owning panels. Check them out on their website and get a SunPort if they want to use solar energy without owning panels. They have proven to be a part of a very exciting, high-growth market and are on the leading edge of this dynamic new market.

“The accolades and recognition were wonderful and very uplifting to the team, but the very best thing was the booth we received at CES in January,” said Paul Droege, founder and CEO of SunPort. “The fact it was free was nice but it had an amazing, high-traffic location which was awesome. We leveraged the location into great visibility, made some great connections and learned a great deal by interacting with people during CES, all of which came from our Tech.Co win.”

Read more about Startup of the Year on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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