We won the Rapidus award!

I was running late – meeting across time zones is a hassle. Standing in the street I could
hear the heavy rock music from the night club. Was this really the place for a big media
event in Malmö? Stepping into the dark it felt totally right though. More than 150 people
had dressed down to participate in the mingle and awards that night. Rock away!

Rapidus is an online newsletter here in Sweden. Each year they award an up and coming company in the region of Malmö. This prize might not be too well known around the globe, but the list of winners include examples like QlikTech (NASDAQ: QLIK). Their database report application, QlikView, is used by some 22 000 customers in 100 contries – impressive. Another example is TAT, a high profile interface designer for mobile devices. If you have Android then check the clock widget. In the very clean face you can make out the name of “Malmo”. They were bought by RIM (Blackberry) in 2010. More examples: Cellavision, Jolife, IO Interactive and Illusion Labs.
Just being nominated in this list of companies was a very pleasant surprise. But still, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. It wasn’t until that I heard the presenter say the magic words “graph db” that I could let go of one big smile.

The jury’s statement:
…to the excellence and tireless work have developed a product that brought not only
international admiration but also already laid the foundation for commercial success. The
company’s graph-based database has attracted both reputed clients and new, large investors, in
bright stiff competition with the world giants in the field. Neo Technology rocks throughout their
world, all the way from London to San Francisco and back again.”

Or in other words from one of the jury members – Björn H. Lindbäck:
Neo Technology has maxed all our criteria on the level of innovation and business
model. And they have an economic platform of savvy venture capitalists who give us QlikTech


Figure: We’re the guys with flowers and smiles, but no guitars. Johan Svensson CTO and Björn Granvik Director of Engineering. 

To the right in the image above you can barely make out the quote from Werner Vogels, the CTO of Amazon:
For anything with multiple relationships, multiple connections, Neo4j absolutely ROCKS!”
Very fitting words, given the nightclub and the hard rock setup.

Johan did a splendid thank-you-speech with the following punchline aimed at the entrepreneurs in the audience:
We’ve been working on this for 10 years. Don’t give up. Be persistent!”
As a graphista and old time data monkey, I could appreciate that last pun on persistence.

Emil Eifrém, our CEO, participated via link from Silicon Valley. To the audience’s laughter he managed both to compare Rapidus jury and their secrecy with the current state of Swedish politics (you have to live here) and to squeeze in infotainment around our product Neo4j. Way to go Emil!

Figure: An ecstatic CTO. I know that we both felt pure joy over the award. Johan’s just better than me at hiding this.

In the mingling afterwards I got a chance to talk to one of the jury members:
I’ve been following you for a month on Twitter – it’s incredible what programmers say about you!”

What can I say: Community matters!

Thanks everyone!
Thank you Rapidus – we’re happy and still surprised.

Thank you all Neoites!
Keep up the great work.

Björn Granvik
Director of Engineering @ Neo Technology