NCWIT Symons Innovator Award
Please join us in congratulating the winner of the first annual NCWIT Symons Innovator Award, Anousheh Ansari.
The NCWIT Symons Innovator Award honors an outstanding woman who has successfully grown and funded an IT business. This new Award, created by the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance, was designed to honor and promote women in IT entrepreneurship. It is named in memory of Jeanette Symons: founder of Industrious Kid, Zhone Technologies, and Ascend Communications.
Anousheh Ansari is Chair, CEO, and Co-founder of Prodea Systems, a company addressing the challenges of complex digital home and small-business environments. Prior to founding Prodea Systems, Ms. Ansari served as Co-founder, Chair, and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc., which in 2001 successfully merged with Sonus Networks, Inc., in a deal worth approximately $750M. Ms. Ansari also is the first woman private explorer in space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent. The Ansari family provided title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million award to inspire the first non-governmental, manned spacecraft, driving the commercialization of the space industry.
The art for the NCWIT Symons Innovator Award was created through a harmonious mash-up of high-tech and low-tech. We used Wordle, a Java-based web application, to create a word cloud using text from interview transcripts of the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Heroes podcast series, in which both Anousheh and Jeanette participated. The Wordle design was then hand-colored and hand-printed on a traditional Platen letterpress by Allison Bozeman (pictured above) of Bird Dog Press, who works with post-consumer recycled paper from her wind-powered studio in Lyons, Colorado. Allison blogged beautifully about the experience of creating the Award art, here.