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OneEvent Technologies beats out competition for Most Innovative Company award

OneEvent Technologies, a local software company that specializes in predictive security technology, beat out five other companies for the inaugural Most Innovative Company award.

This award was presented by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce this week as part of its Nex7 Stage event, which brought together innovative companies that made it through previous rounds of voting at the chamber’s nexxpo event in August. The audience decided the winner by texting in votes after the presentations were finished.

The event, which took place at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, featured presentations highlighting companies’ backgrounds, missions and innovative ideas.

“I’m very proud to be making a difference here in Madison and the world,” said Kurt Wedig, founder and CEO of OneEvent Technologies, as he held the microphone-shaped award.

OneEvent Technologies leverages its software through a variety of sensors, which are installed in businesses or homes to improve security and possibly stop a catastrophe before it ever occurs.

“We’ve changed the paradigm from the past, to the future,” said Jim Zirbel, a representative of One Event Technologies who delivered the winning presentation. “I am from the alarm industry, and I can tell you our industry uses an old adage: alarm, report and respond. Call the fire department, the alarm is going off, great. Bring a knife and fork, because it’s already toast.”

According to Zirbel, OneEvent Technologies ascribes to a new logic: predict, alert and prevent.

“Do something ahead of time; don’t wait until it blows up,” said Zirbel, who added that in a smoke test, his company’s technology can alert users of the system to an event 20 minutes before any other detector.

“Twenty minutes--that is a lifetime, literally, when there’s bad stuff going on,” said Zirbel.

The other five companies that presented were:

*Bendyworks, a software application development company based in Madison that has been awarded “Best Place to Work in Madison” twice by Madison Magazine.

“We just absolutely love Madison,” said BendyWorks CEO Brad Grzesiak. “When you love something that much, you have to act on it.”

One way Bendyworks does that is to invest in the Madison community, such as in Madison-based startup Chins Up, a nonprofit that connects underprivileged youth with college athletes in a pen-pal program.

“It’s something very important for us as a community to get behind, because this is one of those ideas that has positive impacts throughout generations,” said Grzesiak. “We wrote the entire website and mobile applications free of charge.”

*GigBlender, a company that connects talented workers with employers in an attempt to “see talent of color” and fight against “broad social inequities.”

“We love this community, but it’s well-documented the challenges that it’s facing,” Mark Richardson, CEO and co-founder of GigBlender. “While others focus on workforce development and workforce readiness, we focus on a ready workforce of color.”

GigBlender focuses on the “fit” between workers and employers, using an algorithm to match them through its online system. Employers pay an annual subscription to use the system, while those seeking employment use it for free.

“We don’t think there’s a talent problem, or an opportunity problem; we think there’s a connectivity problem,” said Richardson.

*Operation Fresh Start, a nonprofit that was founded in 1970, and has helped over 8,000 impoverished youth over decades.

The company gets kids who aren’t on track to join the workforce or even finish high school, and involves them in community projects.

“The most awesome part of it is we engaged our youth,” said Greg Markle, executive director for the organization. It has raised over $2 million in support of its new program, the Building Futures Campaign, which is expected to double the organization’s impact.

*Forward Health Group, a company that was launched in 2009 with the mission of fixing healthcare.

This company uses software systems to make health care data more accessible and easy to understand, organizing data on patients so that schedulers and clerks can have an easier time doing their jobs.

“We are grounded in community-based efforts, clinician engagement and moving the needle on results,” said Michael Barbouche, founder and CEO of Forward Health Group. “[Madison] is an unbelievably rich place to gather talent and grow.”

*AkitaBox, a building management information store that was founded in 2015. It already holds data from more than 900 buildings in 10 states.

This company’s system tracks building assets, looking at the location of building services such as heat and plumbing, and helps plan maintenance to keep everything running smoothly.

According to Luke Perkerwicz, vice president of sales and marketing for AkitaBox, Madison is the perfect place for small business because of its lively atmosphere, low cost of living and supportive startup community.

“I don’t know of any other city in the United States that brings that kind of value to entrepreneurs,” said Perkerwicz.

--By Alex Moe


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