NCWIT Symons Innovator Award

The NCWIT Symons Innovator Award promotes women’s participation in information technology and entrepreneurship by honoring an outstanding woman who has successfully built and funded an IT business. By recognizing women IT entrepreneurs, the NCWIT Symons Innovator Award hopes to inspire others to pursue IT entrepreneurship, and increase awareness about the importance of women’s participation in IT innovation and business.

Congratulations to Kate Matsudaira, the 2016 NCWIT Symons Innovator Award Winner!

Kate Matsudaira is an experienced technology leader. She worked in distinguished companies like Microsoft and Amazon and three successful startups (Decide, acquired by eBay; Moz; and Delve Networks, acquired by Limelight) before starting her own company Popforms, which was recently acquired by Safari Books. Having spent her early career as a software engineer, Kate is deeply technical and has led work on distributed systems, cloud computing, and mobile. Additionally, she exhibits leadership through managing entire product teams, research scientists, and building her own profitable business. She is a published author, keynote speaker, and has been honored with awards like Seattle's top 40 Under 40. She sits on the board of the ACM Queue and also maintains a personal blog at


Listen to Kate's interview

The award is named for Jeanette Symons, founder of Industrious Kid, Zhone Technologies, and Ascend Communications, and an NCWIT Entrepreneurial Hero whose pioneering work made her an inspiration to many. Previous winners include Shellye ArchambeauKatie HallCaterina FakeJessica JackleyAudrey MacLeanKim Polese, and Anousheh Ansari.

The NCWIT Symons Innovator Award was created by the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance. For more on women and IT entrepreneurship, check out our research and listen to our Entrepreneurial Heroes interviews.