TechCrunch, Founders Fund and NEA Partner for Second Annual TechFellow Awards Program

Exceptional Technology Innovators Will Direct Investments in Next Wave of Startups, Fueling U.S. Entrepreneurship

Nov 29, 2010, 13:46 ET from Founders Fund

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading technology blog TechCrunch and venture capital firms Founders Fund and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), announced the 2010 TechFellow Awards, an annual program honoring technology innovators for achievement and excellence in high-tech entrepreneurship.

The awards recognize individuals who have played a critical role in developing breakthrough products and services, with honorees selected in each of five categories: Engineering Leadership, General Management, Product Design, Disruptive Innovation, and Life Science Innovation.  An open nomination process is underway and the community is invited to suggest potential fellows; winners will be selected based on the recommendations of a committee comprised of top technology entrepreneurs, investors and journalists.  

Final fellowship selections will be announced at an awards event to be held Thursday, Dec. 2, in San Francisco. Each TechFellow honoree will be awarded $100,000 to invest in technology startup companies – more than doubling last year's award size. Additionally, a new fund structure will allow each TechFellow to share in the future of all 2010 TechFellow companies.

"TechCrunch is excited to partner with Founders Fund and NEA for our second TechFellow Awards," said TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. "Last year's program honored some of the industry's most talented and deserving individual contributors, who in turn made investments in some promising startups. The program is a great way to reward innovation and promote entrepreneurship, and the new fund size and structure really sweetens the pot for this year's winners."

"It's been rewarding for us to see the impact the TechFellow awards have had during the last year, both for the winners and for the companies funded and founded, including fFlick, Bidfire, Quora, Flipboard, and HipChat," said Sean Parker, Managing Partner, Founders Fund and the co-founder of Napster, Plaxo, Causes, and the founding president of Facebook.  "Extraordinary companies are constantly being created and the TechFellow program helps ensure that those companies get the backing they deserve.  I'm very excited to see the portfolio created by the 2010 class of TechFellow award winners."

"A thriving entrepreneurial community is vital to maintaining our competitive strength in a global economy, and the TechFellow award creates a unique opportunity for honorees to seed innovation at an incredibly pivotal time," said Scott Sandell, General Partner, NEA. "Each winner, a recognized leader in his or her own discipline, will direct investments that may lead to tomorrow's breakthrough technologies and market-leading companies."

The 2010 TechFellow Awards Nominating Committee members are:

  • Michael Arrington (Founder/Editor, TechCrunch)
  • Peter Barris (Managing General Partner, NEA)
  • John Battelle (Founder/Chairman/CEO, Federated Media)
  • Ron Conway (Managing Partner, SV Angel)
  • Esther Dyson (Chairman, EDventure)
  • Shawn Fanning (Founder, Napster, SNOCAP, Rupture)
  • Drew Houston (Founder/CEO, Dropbox)
  • Max Levchin (Founder/CEO, Slide; Co-Founder, PayPal)
  • Andrew Mason (Founder/CEO, Groupon)
  • Dave McClure (Founding Partner, 500 Startups; Former Director, Founders Fund II Angel Program)
  • John McKinley (Founder/CEO, OurParents)
  • Jonathan Miller (CEO Digital Media, News Corp)
  • Tim O'Reilly, (Founder, O'Reilly Media)
  • Sean Parker (Co-Founder, Napster, Plaxo, Causes; Founding President, Facebook; Managing Partner, Founders Fund)
  • Aaron Patzer (Founder/CEO,
  • John Pleasants (CEO, Playdom)
  • Geoff Ralston (CEO, LaLa; former Chief Product Officer, Yahoo!)
  • Terry Semel (Chariman/CEO, Windsor Media; Former Chairman/CEO, Yahoo!)
  • David Sacks (Founder/CEO, Yammer; COO, PayPal)
  • Scott Sandell (General Partner, NEA)
  • Peter Thiel (Managing Partner, Founders Fund; Chairman & Co-Founder, Palantir Technologies; Former Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder, PayPal)
  • Michael Yanover (Business Development, Creative Artists Agency)

Nominations may be submitted to

About TechCrunch

TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news. Founded in 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites now reach over 10 million unique visitors and draw more than 33 million page views per month. TechCrunch operates a global network of dedicated properties from Europe to Japan, as well as specialized industry websites and sections, including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, and TechCrunchTV. CrunchBase, TechCrunch's database about start-up companies, people and investors, has become the leading statistical resource for technology companies and transactions. The company hosts major conferences and events, including The Disrupt series, The Crunchies Awards, and various meet-ups worldwide serving as community platforms for industry conversation and collaboration. For more information, please visit

About Founders Fund

The Founders Fund provides capital to transformational businesses run by world-class entrepreneurs.  Companies the firm has backed include Facebook (managing partner Peter Thiel was Facebook's first outside backer), Quantcast, SpaceX, Palantir Technologies, RoboteX, ZocDoc, Spotify, Yammer,, and Slide. The firm, which pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy, is overseen by four managing partners, all of whom have founded companies worth more than $1 billion: Peter Thiel (PayPal); Ken Howery (PayPal); Luke Nosek (PayPal); and Sean Parker (Napster; Plaxo, Causes; founding president, Facebook). Founders Fund was the first backer of the TechFellow Awards.

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About NEA

New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital and growth equity firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $11 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record of successful investing includes more than 165 portfolio company IPOs and more than 265 acquisitions. In the U.S., NEA has two offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and one in Menlo Park, California. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit


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