I had the pleasure of attending the Seattle Business Monthly’s Tech Impact Awards this week at the Washington State Convention Center, which featured businesses of all shapes and sizes – some familiar, some soon-to-be-famous – but all with a focus of using information technology as a way to improve the customer experience or enhance their business in some new way. Winners included:
Amazon Web Services, Apptio, Big Fish Games, Decide, Eagleview Technologies, Edifecs, Edvation, ExtraHop Networks, Jackson Fish Market, Livemocha, Mammogray Reporting System, Microsoft (Windows Azure and Photosynth), Panopto, RealSelf, Redfin, SEOmoz, Skanska, Starbucks, Synapse Product Development, Zillow, Zipline Games, and Zulily.
A special “Lifetime Achievement” recognition was awarded to John McAdam, CEO of F5 Networks, for his role in transforming the company during his tenure there, beating out much larger competitors and expanding its employee base to 2,500 worldwide.
The program was a lot of fun, especially as I was sitting next to the energetic foursome from Decide, who described themselves as the” big data technology version of Consumer Reports” by helping educate shoppers as to the best deals on products and services. Also appreciated were our friends at the WTIA (Washington Technology Industry Association), who where partners at this event and were masterful at making us all feel welcome.
The theme of the evening that ran throughout was innovation, but a strong corollary was the need to maintain Seattle’s edge in creative thinking and great talent. Keynote speaker Rich Barton of Zillow gave a impassioned plea for the need to keep and grow talent in the region while his colleague, Chief Revenue Officer Greg Schwartz, later gave a blunt ask at the podium to help their company fill 100 job openings; going as far as giving out his email address in front of the crowd. Seems like a good time for Northeastern to enter the mix, given the employment need in this sector.
Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to working with you in the years to come!