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IBM Cloud Authors: Ed Featherston, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

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Silicon Valley Channels the Oscars® as SVForum Presents the 17th Annual Visionary Awards Honoring Draper, O’Reilly, Jackley, and Seelig

For the past 16 years, SVForum’s annual Visionary Awards have honored Silicon Valley pioneers and leaders who personify the spirit of innovation. The Awards celebrate leadership in technology, education, venture capital, and entrepreneurship; the caliber of their work—and their presence in their chosen fields—places the Award recipients among the brightest stars of Silicon Valley. This year’s honorees are no exception: Tim Draper, Jessica Jackley, Tim O’Reilly, and Tina Seelig will follow in the footsteps of previous honorees such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Scott McNealy, Ray Kurzweil, Reed Hastings and Reid Hoffman, just to name a few.

The SVForum Visionary Awards is also an event where legendary colleagues and honorees celebrate the spirit of innovation; many of those attending have graced the pages of such publications as Fortune, Bloomberg, Wired, and Time. In many ways, the event is Silicon Valley’s Oscars®, as it is here where those that have made Silicon Valley synonymous with creativity and advancement in technology are honored for their contribution to the world.

The recipients recently spoke about the SVForum Visionary Awards. Tim Draper, legendary Venture Capitalist and Founding Partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, stated, “I was put on this earth to spread entrepreneurship, drive new technologies and improve education, I'm honored to be presented with this award.” Draper has funded such companies as Skype, Hotmail, Baidu, Tesla, and more. He is credited with creating “viral marketing,” a tool to spread services around the world quickly. He recently founded the Draper University of Heroes, an online and residential program where entrepreneurship is encouraged and developed.

The Visionary Awards cross all disciplines. Honoree Jessica Jackley's belief in a sharing economy and social justice led her to be a co-founder of Kiva, the first online peer-to-peer microlending platform that lets internet lenders fund entrepreneurs in underserved communities globally. She adds, “I feel deeply honored to receive this award alongside such amazing and influential individuals.” Jackley is also a visiting practitioner at Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, an adviser to the Collaborative Fund, and has worked in such organizations as the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, World Vision, International Museum of Women, and the Global Health Corps.

Tim O’Reilly, a renowned author, publisher, and conference and event producer (including the famous Maker Faire), and whose O’Reilly Media led the Web 2.0 Renaissance, stated, "I will accept this award as a recognition not for me, but for the many technology revolutionaries who I have had the honor to encourage and support. Silicon Valley isn't just driven by entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Every major technology movement I've been associated with, from the web, to open source software, to Web 2.0, open government, and the maker movement, started with people who didn't see any money in what they wanted to do. They were driven primarily by love of new ideas and a desire to make a better world. Silicon Valley success came to some, but many others simply made a difference." O'Reilly also created the computer user manuals series known as the “animal books,” which are still the go-to reference books for developers.

The 2014 ceremony not only honors the technology and venture capital communities, but educators as well. Dr. Tina Seelig, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, and executive director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, believes that this award symbolizes the University’s commitment to entrepreneurship. “I am deeply honored to be recognized by SVForum and humbled to be in the company of so many remarkable thought leaders and innovators in Silicon Valley.” Dr. Seelig holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University Medical School, where she studied neuroscience; other accomplishments include management consulting for Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, and multimedia production at Compaq Computer Corporation. She has also written 16 popular science books and educational games.

The SVForum Visionary Awards will be held on the evening of June 3rd, 2014. Attendance is by invitation only. If you wish to be invited as an accredited member of the press, please contact Ed Fogelman.

About SVForum

For over thirty years, SVForum has been the leading not-for-profit organization in the Bay Area, providing unbiased source of information and insight to the technology community. Through the efforts of its dedicated staff and volunteers, SVForum’s wealth of programs create networks and relationships, as well as providing education and access to resources both in person and digitally to a global audience. The organization reaches over 20,000 of the most important thought leaders, VCs, innovators and CEOs in technology. Its partners include global leaders IBM, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and SAP, as well as leading venture capital firms and service providers.

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