Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was among the recipients of this year’s Software Development Forum (SDForum)
Visionary Award. The awards were presented last night at SDForum’s fourth annual celebration, held at the home of one of last year’s recipients, Ron Conway of Angel Investors LP.
Visionary Awards are presented annually to “acknowledged experts in their field who have enriched the lives of others through their work, while creating the technologies of tomorrow,” according to SDForum. The invitation-only event is a cocktail party attended by 250 influential high-tech industry CEOs and executives. SDForum said that the event recognizes industry leaders who not only helped to create the high-tech industry as we know it today, but also used their talents to enhance their communities.
Wozniak joins former Cisco CMO Cate Muther, who founded the Three Guineas Fund, which creates economic opportunities for women; financier Sandy Robertson, founder of Francisco Partners, the worlds largest technology-focused private equity fund; Arthur Rock, the first venture capitalist on the West Coast, who funded companies like Intel and Apple; and eBay president Jeff Skoll.
Wozniak was recognized for his “technical wizardry, his low-key style, and his zeal for challenging convention.” SDForum gave Wozniak credit for designing “the machines that started the personal computer revolution,” and noted that even though he’s no longer an Apple employee, he continues to evangelize the company and own stock in it. He philanthropic efforts include funding the Tech Museum and the Children’s Discovery Museum, the donation of computers, servers and Internet access in Silicon Valley and the former Soviet Union, and various arts and humanities efforts. Woz now spends much of his time showing schoolkids how to use computers and think creatively. (More details about what Woz is up to are available from
his own Web site.)
Past recipients have included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Adobe co-founder Chuck Geschke, Mosaic/Netscape developer Marc Andreeson, Java inventor James Gosling, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, and many others.
SDForum is a not-for-profit organization focused on helping individuals create advanced software for Internet, business and consumer applications. The company coordinates more than 300 events annually, including venture capital meetings, entrepreneurial seminars, spotlight events and special interest groups. It also offers developers access to multi-vendor testing and porting lab. More details are available from
the SDForum Web site.