Meet the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists

Winner announced at annual event celebrating a Granite State innovator on June 13.

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Screen shot 2014 10 20 at 9.51.04 PMMANCHESTER, NH – Four New Hampshire entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists for the NH High Tech Council annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award. They are: Jay Jacobs, owner/CEO of RAPID Manufacturing; Jason Syversen, founder & CEO of Siege Technologies; and Kevin Isett andWarren Kett, CEO and CSO, respectively, of Avitide, Inc. The winner will be announced at the Council’s annual Entrepreneur of the Year Event at 5:30 p.m. on June 13 at Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 North River Road, Hooksett. 

“The contributions that these individuals make to New Hampshire’s technology and business community are incredibly impressive and pave the way for future innovation,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the Council. “Each has uniquely disrupted his industry, while setting the example for future entrepreneurs that with hard work, determination and drive, anything is possible.”

Jay Jacobs

Jay Jacobs is owner and CEO of RAPID Manufacturing, one of the world’s largest prototype part manufacturers, specializing in quick-turn prototype and short-run production custom parts. RAPID’s core services include sheet metal fabrication, CNC machining, wire harnesses, cable assemblies, and electro-mechanical box build assembly services. Jacobs founded the company in 2001 and uses a disruptive technology approach with state-of-the art machines to produce parts specific to each customer, tracking each order and its status for the day on a real-time basis via TV screens throughout the manufacturing facilities. RAPID has developed unique software (eRAPID) that its customers utilize for real time and reactive quoting of prices, design feedback, and part ordering; a competitive market advantage.

Jason Syversen

Jason Syversen is founder & CEO of Siege Technologies, a company focused on advancing computer security technologies through agile, customer focused and mission based technical expertise in the field of computer security. The company services the government, entertainment, enterprise and insurance industries among others. Previously Syversen was a program manager within the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of over $80M in cyber programs and growing DARPA’s contracting base by 82 percent. Syversen founded Siege in 2009, and recently exited through a multi-million dollar acquisition.

Kevin Isett

Kevin Isett and Warren Kett are CEO and CSO, respectively, of Avitide, Inc., a company that rapidly and reliably develops high-performance affinity purification solutions for the manufacture of life-saving therapeutics, including enzymes, novel scaffolds, multi-specific antibodies, gene therapies, and vaccines. By solving complex protein purification challenges that currently require multiple chromatography steps, Avitide enables its partners to achieve faster bioprocess development timelines, reduced program risk, improved drug performance, more predictable commercial scalability, and lower cost of manufacturing. Isett’s expertise in biopharmaceutical discovery, clinical assay development, and bioprocess development and manufacturing combined with Kett’s extensive expertise in the field of biomolecule separations, analysis and purification of biomolecules, have enabled Avitide to discover, develop, manufacture and supply their technologies in three months compared to its nearest competitor, which averages one to two years.

Warren Kett

The Entrepreneur of the Year event will also feature a distinguished panel of spotlight speakers who will provide insight about the tech landscape from their own unique industry perspectives. Speakers are: Peter Antoinette of Nanocomp Technologies, Inc. who will address advanced manufacturing; Tom Bollenbach of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) who will focus on biotech/medtech; David Carrigg of Game Assembly who will discuss the gaming industry; and Sarah Hodges of Autodesk who will discuss AR/VR. 

Tickets are $80 for Council members, $100 for not-yet-members, and $30 for students and are available here. The event includes networking with more than 250 leaders of tech-based companies, tabletop presentations from promising tech start-up companies, dinner, and a cash bar. To learn more about this event contact

The 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year sponsors are: FairPoint Communications; Nanocomp Technologies, Inc; Newforma,Oracle, Autodesk, Cook Little Rosenblatt & Manson, UNH at Manchester, People’s United Bank, Single Digits and TD Bank.

About the NH High Tech Council

The New Hampshire High Tech Council engages, connects, and supports member companies throughout New Hampshire. Since 1983, the Council has supported education, research, innovation, and economic development efforts that have helped New Hampshire become a national leader in entrepreneurship and business. For more information, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, please visit, email or connect via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.


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