April 30, 2010

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced the winner of its annual NCWIT Symons Innovator Award: Kim Polese. Ms. Polese is CEO of SpikeSource, Co-founder of Marimba, the original Product Manager of Java at Sun Microsystems, and one of Time Magazine's "Most Influential Americans."

The NCWIT Symons Innovator Award honors an outstanding woman who has successfully grown and funded an information technology (IT) business. The Award is named in memory of Jeanette Symons, founder of Industrious Kid, Zhone Technologies, and Ascend Communications. The 2009 NCWIT Symons Innovator Award winner was Anousheh Ansari, Co-founder of Prodea Systems and Telecom Technologies, Inc., and the first private female astronaut.

“By recognizing successful IT entrepreneurs who happen to be women, we hope to inspire more women to pursue entrepreneurship in IT,” said Lucy Sanders, NCWIT CEO. “Technology innovation thrives on a diversity of perspectives and solutions.”

Ms. Polese will be recognized at an award celebration on May 20, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, hosted by NCWIT and the Software Association of Oregon (SAO). The celebration is open to the public and tickets are available at the SAO website,

Nominees for the NCWIT Symons Innovator Award are selected from among NCWIT “Entrepreneurial Heroes,” a podcast series featuring interviews with notable women IT entrepreneurs (available free at iTunes). Other Heroes profiled in the series include Jessica Jackley, Co-founder of Kiva; Judy Estrin, Co-founder and CEO of Packet Design, LLC; Elisa Camhort Page, Co-founder of BlogHer; Heidi Roizen, CEO of Skinny Songs; Selina Tobaccowala, Co-founder of Evite; Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr and Hunch; Donna Auguste, Founder of Freshwater Software; Helen Greiner, Co-founder of iRobot Corp.; Elaine Wherry, Co-founder of meebo; and many more.


The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a coalition of over 200 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in information technology and computing. NCWIT believes that inspiring more women to choose IT careers will create a larger and more competitive workforce, and will foster the design of technology that is as broad and innovative as the population it serves. Our work spans K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. Find out more at