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Executives, Athletes and Startups Discuss Business at Innovate Celebrate

San Francisco, CA – October 13, 2017 – 
Hot holiday tech trends, sports technology, startup competitions and awards programs took center stage on Wednesday at Innovate Celebrate, an event bringing together the biggest global names in tech with the most promising startups. Co-hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and TechCo, Innovate Celebrate concluded today at the InterContinental in San Francisco, CA.

“Innovate Celebrate was a phenomenal success, with the top brands in technology collaborating with the most innovative startups to provide a glimpse into our industry’s bright future,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Our partnership with TechCo illustrates the true entrepreneurial spirit of our global industry. This week, we saw partnerships and interactions that will fuel industry growth, foster innovation, create new jobs and drive technology that will change our lives for the better.”

Cutting-edge startups were recognized and awarded this week at Innovate Celebrate, including TechCo’s prestigious Startup of the Year competition. The competition started that started with about 100 startups, was then narrowed down to five semifinalists that demonstrated how innovation can make our lives healthier and happier and our businesses more successful. Among the five semifinalists, Oska Wellness received the Startup of the Year award, taking home $150,000 in funding and other prizes. Unbound won first runner up in the competition, and Allergy Amulet earned a free booth at CES® 2018’s Eureka Park, home to startups at CES.

CTA recognized business leaders through its Innovation Entrepreneur Awards (IEA), sponsored by It Is Innovation (i3) magazine and the CTA Small Business Council. Industry veteran Tom DiVesto, founder most recently of Como Audio, was named outstanding Small Business Executive. Solar-powered cooking company GoSun, which was also a TechCo Startup of the Year semi-finalist, was named Small Business of the Year. And Aira, which empowers people with vision loss to greater independence, won IEA’s Startup of the Year.

Writer and actor Brent Rose announced the 25 contenders for the Extreme Tech Challenge, hosted by Sir Richard Branson. Ten out of the 25 will present live at CES in Las Vegas. Companies that make it past the CES pitching round will have an opportunity to present their ideas at Branson’s Necker Island.

CTA unveiled its 2017 holiday tech outlook outlining new consumer trends and forecasting a record number of U.S. shoppers planning to buy emerging technology gifts. CTA reports more consumers than ever expect to use new shipping programs such as two-day shipping, free shipping and same-day delivery. Also, 2017 is the first year drones, wearables and smart home devices join CTA’s top 10 list of most wanted tech, joining mainstays such as TVs, laptops and smartphones for what will be a record-breaking year for tech spending ($96.8 million). For more information visit CTA.tech/holiday.

Executives from Sports Innovation Lab, Isaiah Kacyvenski (former NFL player) and Angela Ruggiero (four-time Olympian for ice hockey), hosted Tracking Trends in Sports Technology with Brano Perkovich, CIO, San Francisco 49ers; Mounir Zok, director of technology and innovation, U.S. Olympic Committee; and Portia Blunt, sr. digital & wearables innovation manager, New Balance. The group discussed how technology is enhancing sports – from team owners to sports apparel brands, companies need to leverage data and technology to provide a competitive advantage. They also explored the influence technology has on the athlete, venue, fan experience and overall business.

Full event information and session details from Innovate Celebrate can be found at CTA.tech.

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