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Sand Hill Group Announces First Annual Awards For Software Industry Good Samaritans, Social Entrepreneurs And Luminary

April 05, 2006

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 Sand Hill Group last night announced the winners of the first annual SHG Foundation awards for software industry Good Samaritans, Social Entrepreneurship and Luminary. At a gala benefit event in conjunction with Software 2006 this week, awards were given to the eight companies and people across the three categories.

Sand Hill Good Samaritans

Sand Hill Social Entrepreneurs

The Sand Hill Luminary Award was given to FC Kohli, founder in 1968 of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and considered the father of Indian IT. The Luminary Award is given to an individual who has dramatically improved people's lives. TCS envisioned and pioneered the adoption of the flexible global business practices that today enable companies to operate more efficiently and produce more value. Known as the "global delivery model" this delivery concept has reshaped the IT services industry and enabled employment for thousands of people.

"As software industry entrepreneurs and investors it's important that we give back to our community and at Sand Hill we have had a philanthropic mission since we started our events almost 10 years ago," said M.R. Rangaswami, co-founder of the Sand Hill Group. "The SHG Foundation annual awards allow us to look at a wider array of organizations, including those that combine social and technology vision. It is a great pleasure to recognize these forward thinking individuals and companies, all of whom reflect a spirit of selfless giving and sacrifice and who help complete the software industry ecosystem."

The SHG Foundation Good Samaritans

Good Samaritan awards were given to three organizations that have substantially aided emergency or disaster victims and helped other non-profit organizations.

Sahana's Free and Open Source (FOSS) project was quickly built over a 2-3 week period around the time of the tsunami in Asia to help coordinate the relief effort in Sri Lanka. Sahana's FOSS project facilitates online management of missing person, organization, camp registries and request management systems. In addition to its work assisting tsunami victims, Sahana's FOSS project was used to great effect in the recent Pakistan earthquake and Philippines mudslides.

Liveops is a for profit virtual call center company that aided Hurricane Katrina victims by setting up a call center for the Red Cross and a toll free number for victims. More than 150,000 phone calls placed to the national Family Link service have reunited over 10,000 family members and friends since September 2, 2005. Liveops will donate their cash award to the Red Cross.

In partnership, Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society and Leavey School of Business Administration have developed the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) program. GSBI recruits award-winning, socially conscious innovators from around the globe, and arms them with strategies to help develop business models that are more likely to attract funding and achieve long-term success. With its intensive two-week residential program and access to world-class partnerships and resources, GSBI's "business bootcamp" encourages program participants' continued commitment to applying technology to address urgent human needs throughout the world.

The SHG Foundation Social Entrepreneurs

Social Entrepreneurship awards were given to four organizations whose chief executive officers have left highly profitable jobs in technology and other professions and started a non-profit because of their passionate belief in a cause.

John Wood left Microsoft to start Room to Read, an organization which seeks early intervention in the lives of children to help provide them with a high quality education and the lifelong gift of literacy. Since its inception in 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of over 755,000 children by constructing 197 schools, establishing over 2,565 libraries, publishing 77 new local language children's titles representing over 600,000 books, donating over 1.1 million English language children's books, establishing 60 computer labs and 25 language labs, and funding over 1,757 long-term scholarships for girls.

Suzanne McKechnie Klahr finished law school and passed up a lucrative opportunity at Skadden to start Businesses United in Investing, Lending, and Development (BUILD), a social venture which bridges the divide between youth and business in the Palo Alto area. BUILD empowers youth from low-income communities to excel in the classroom, on the job, and beyond by giving them an education in entrepreneurship.

Vikram Akula left McKinsey & Co. in the United States to start SKS Microfinance in India, a company that empowers the impoverished to become economically self-reliant by providing financial services in a sustainable manner. SKS has delivered US$40 million in microfinance to over 150,000 women clients in one of the poorest parts of Southern India. In the last year alone, SKS grew by nearly 300% and has a current portfolio of US$15 million with a 99% on-time repayment rate.

David Green, of Project Impact, is devoted to making technology and healthcare services accessible, affordable, and financially self-sustaining. Project Impact helped establish an independent company in India called Aurolab that makes intraocular lenses-plastic implants that restore sight to cataract patients-and in the process lowered the cost from US$300 to three dollars. The Affordable Hearing Aid Project (AHAP) has a similar mission: to alleviate the burden of hearing impairment in as large a population as possible, regardless of the recipients' ability to pay.

About Sand Hill Group

Sand Hill Group serves the US$600+ billion software, services and solutions market by providing investment and management advice to emerging enterprise technology leaders. Sand Hill also owns - the premier destination site and resource center for CEOs, VPs, Entrepreneurs, VCs and for members of the software industry eco-system. Its weekly electronic newsletter is read by thousands of executives. Sand Hill produces the 'Enterprise' and 'Software' conferences for CEOs and executives in the industry and creates high-impact research reports for its constituents.

Sand Hill Group created the SHG Foundation to enable the surplus from its annual Enterprise Conference to be donated to charity. The goal is to build a US$1 million endowment. The annual SHG Foundation awards include grants to non-profit organizations, which help to improve the lives of low-income women and children worldwide.

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