The current founders of three successful New Hampshire technology companies have been selected by a panel of judges as finalists for the 2011 NH Entrepreneur of the Year. They are: Erik Dodier, co-founder of PixelMEDIA, Bill Rogers, founder of Ektron, and Jeff Sercel, founder of JPSA. The winner will be announced at the NH High Technology Council’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) Awards Dinner.
The 23rd annual NHHTC EOY celebration will be held on Monday, May 9, at 5:30 pm at the Radisson, Center of New Hampshire in Manchester. Bill Warner, super-angel investor, serial entrepreneur and founder of Avid Technology, Inc. and Wildfire Communications, will be the keynote speaker. Several FIRST Robotics teams will also be on hand to demonstrate their robots during the reception.
Launched in 1988, the NHHTC EOY celebration is the signature event for the NHHTC. Over the years, the NHHTC has recognized over 50 New Hampshire entrepreneurs for their significant contributions toward advancing technology and demonstrating leadership, ingenuity and innovation. The evening event attracts more than 300 tech industry leaders from across the region and includes networking, a banquet, the keynote address, and an awards ceremony recognizing this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
“We had a lot of very good applications this year, demonstrating the strength of innovation across New Hampshire. The selection committee had a hard time narrowing it down to three finalists. Eric Dodier, Bill Rogers, and Jeff Sercel really demonstrated their innovative approaches to business success, and the committee selected these three as finalists for the 2011 honors,” said James Cook, chair of the NHHTC EOY Committee.
Erik Dodier is co-founder of PixelMEDIA Inc., the largest web development company in New Hampshire. Located in Portsmouth and founded in 1994, PixelMEDIA has grown from a two-person multimedia company into the successful full service digital marketing studio that it is today. Today, the company employs 60 people and has four facilities. Spearheading the efforts to launch PixelMEDIA in 1994 at just 24 years old, Dodier assumed the responsibility as President and CEO while also acting as the only salesperson. The quick acquisition of area clients and the subsequent growth of PixelMEDIA demonstrate Dodier’s talent in each of these roles.
Dodier currently oversees all business activities while also remaining active in the New Hampshire community assisting both businesses and non-profits. Current positions include serving as a board member and entrepreneurship advisor at the UNH Whittemore School of Business, sitting on the Board for Optima Bank, partnering with New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center (NH-ICC) to continue to promote business in the state, and sponsoring technology events in New Hampshire such as TechWorld 2010, BarCamp Manchester, and regular eCoast events. In 2010 alone Erik donated over 740 pro-bono hours of PixelMEDIA time to worthy recipients.
Bill Rogers founded Nashua-based Ektron in 1998 with a simple vision: enable business users to easily author and publish content on websites. Rogers has sparked a revolution in the way organizations create and manage interactive web, intra net and extranet sites. He recognized early on how important websites would become to companies’ business models, and guided Ektron in creating a web content management, marketing optimization and social software platform that provides all the functionality webmasters, designers and developers want in a single application. In his role as a hands-on chief executive officer, Rogers is actively engaged in keeping Ektron a market and technology leader. He sets the company’s strategic direction, aligns product development with his forward-looking vision for website technology and is involved in all aspects of Ektron’s operations. In addition, he frequently participates in industry events and solicits feedback from Ektron’s customers and partners to stay on the leading edge of web technology.
Rogers also co-founded two other successful technology companies. At Global Telemedix, a telemedicine software developer, he led product development and spearheaded key strategic relationships with technical partners and investors, such as Hewlett Packard Medical Products. At Zydacron Inc., co-developer of the first video conferencing chip set, Rogers conceptualized and executed product development initiatives and pursued strategic partnering efforts with major technology firms, such as IBM. Early in his career, Rogers also worked on new technology development in DuPont Corporation’s desktop publishing group and at MIT Lincoln Labs.
Jeffrey Sercel began his career in 1983, as a laser engineer at the first excimer laser applications lab and development facility In North America, Tachisto Inc. After receiving his BS degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Arizona, he has devoted over 25 years of his life to become a leading expert in excimer, DPSS and ultrafast industrial laser technology. Sercel was selected as the NHHTC EOY in 1994 for his pioneering work at Resonetics, Inc. an excimer laser micromachining company that he founded in 1987.
In 1994, he started JP Sercel Associates, Inc. (JPSA) as a consulting service, from which he ran from his home, utilizing a virtual company of technology specialists. During this period, JPSA solved problems and developed processes for industrial laser applications using Sercel’s extensive knowledge of physics modeling, optical and opto-mechanical engineering, CAD, robotics, machine vision, and high accuracy motion control and automation. Located in Manchester, JPSA is a leading supplier of industrial grade UV excimer, DPSS, and ultrafast laser micromachining systems and services to customers worldwide. Applications include LED, solar, semiconductor, research and biomedical markets to name a few. JPSA’s novel laser systems operate at wavelengths from 157nm to 1064nm, and are essential to a growing set of today’s industrial micro-machining applications.
The judges are successful business leaders and entrepreneurs selected by the NHHTC. This year’s judges include Nancy Briefs, Jesse Devitte, Steve Boucher, Andy Lietz, Rajesh Nair, and Mark Galvin, and Matt Pierson.