About 100 days ago, Alana Bly and Raavi Iqbal took a big risk. They quit their jobs to pursue a startup full-time. Luckily, it paid off.
The developer duo took home the Phorum Phorward Award last Thursday at this year’s Phorum, a technology strategy conference hosted in Philadelphia. They achieved the best in show for their app SocialLadder, basically a "match.com between brands and influencers," Bly said. It was no easy feat — SocialLadder was up against the likes of RJMetrics, BuyerMLS, Canvas and Yorn, among others in the demo pit. And, this year, Artisan’s Bob Moul, EvolveIP’s Scott Kinka and Osage Venture Partners’ Nate Lentz were on the judging panel.
Bly said she thinks SocialLadder received the prize (which PeopleLinx nabbed last year) because it spoke to this year’s Phorum theme: customer engagement in the digital world.
The digital world has created an interesting way for collaboration to exist between businesses and customers. It’s a trend that’s considered urgent in the minds of business and technology decision-makers, Suzanne Lentz, vice president of marketing at LiquidHub and a member of the Phorum 2014 advisory board, said in a press release.
The daylong event, hosted by PACT, also showcased speakers like Yahoo! technology columnist David Pogue, Peter Coffee, vice president and head of platform research at Salesforce, and Dan Hilferty, president and chief executive officer of Independence Blue Cross, among others. Aneesh Chopra, the first chief technology officer of the United States, also took time out of planning his new business Hunch Analytics(which he wouldn’t comment on) to encourage the use of open data.