At the 22nd annual BCTIA Awards last night in Vancouver, BuildDirect CEO Jeff Booth was awarded the prize for “Person of the Year”.
Booth, whose voice typically rises no higher than a whisper, received the largest applause in an evening filled with them when he credited his wife Kelly with being his most fervent ally.
But many other supporters turned up to pay homage to him, including BuildDirect co-founder Rob Banks, board member Roger Hardy, Difference Capital investor Tom Liston, and Booth’s parents, Rod and Sheila.
Booth joined networking solutions company Optigo Networks, which won the award for “Most Promising Startup”, Cooledge Lighting, which won “Emerging Company of the Year”, and Sierra Wireless, which became the awards’ first-ever triple winner, snagging the trophy for “Company of the Year”, an honour the Richmond-based M2M player took home in 1999 and 2009.
BCTIA CEO Bill Tam, who emceed the evening, commented on the winners.
“The number of home grown success stories coming out of the BC tech industry is truly remarkable,” he said. “Companies like Sierra Wireless and BuildDirect exemplify the growing success of companies that are anchored in BC and dominate their market spaces globally. “Along with their fellow TIA Winners, they are paving the way for a growing number of anchor companies in BC in the years ahead.”
The Vancouver-based BuildDirect is sometimes referred to as the “Amazon of building supplies” because it stands as a viable online challenger to traditional retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes, whose growth has stalled. The company built a logistical network that operates outside traditional couriers, who cannot handle items that are above a certain weight. The experience of building such a network almost bankrupted the decade-and-a-half company on more than one occasion, but today it stands as one of the country’s most highly regarded techs, with revenue that is rumoured to be soaring.
A financing last December that included Mohr Davidow Ventures and OMERS Ventures brought the total capital BuildDirect has raised to $96-million. Other investors in the company include BDC Venture Capital and Difference Capital.
Below: Jeff Booth Wins BC Technology Person of the Year Award