The Silicon Valley startup scene gathered in San Francisco tonight to celebrate the 10th Annual Crunchies Awards — and if there’s one kind of person the startup scene lionizes, it’s founders. Tonight, Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson walked away with the title of Founder of the Year. Walker & Company‘s Tristan Walker was the runner-up.

Lawson co-founded the developer-centric communications company after a stint at AWS, where he was one of the first product managers on the team. He was also the founding CTO of StubHub; founder and CTO of NineStar; and the founder, CTO and CEO of storage startup Versity. Twilio, however, is probably what most people know him for. The company had a successful IPO last year — and got a bit lucky because it happened on the day before the U.K. voted for Brexit. Today, Twilio’s market cap is almost $2.75 billion.

One thing that almost made Twilio stand out was its focus on the developer community. More than many other founders, Lawson and his team realized early on that it’s the developers who often now call the shots as to what technology even big enterprises adopt.

Other nominees in this category were: Uncharted Play’s Jessica O. Matthews, Blavity’s Morgan DeBaun, and Flexport’s Ryan Petersen.



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