gw200GeekWire is excited to reintroduce a Seattle tech tradition today: a ranked index of the region’s technology startups, using publicly available data to help identify the companies that are growing quickly, making an impact and grabbing the attention of key online communities.

The GeekWire 200 index pulls in data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and SEOmoz, using a weighted algorithm to rank the companies from GeekWire’s larger Seattle Startup List, a directory of more than 700 startups from the Seattle region.

We encourage you to check out the GeekWire 200, including the fine-tuned sorting and filtering functionalities. You can toggle between B2B and B2C startups, or drill down to see the rankings in more than 20 different startup categories. You can also see how the companies rank based on the individual metrics used to calculate the index.

Want to know which gaming companies in the Seattle area have the most Twitter followers? Yep, we’ve got it. Or, how about measuring enterprise software companies based on employee counts from LinkedIn? That’s there, too.

For example, while Big Fish Games leads the overall GeekWire 200 for December, the Twitter standout is Cheezburger Network, with more than 1.6 million followers; Bungie is the leader on Facebook, with 637,000 likes; and Tableau Software is tops on LinkedIn, with 7,000 followers.

We’re actually looking forward to using the GeekWire 200 Index ourselves as a handy reporting tool as we go about our jobs of digging into the stories that matter in the Pacific Northwest technology community, and beyond.

An important note: This is version 1.0. The data aren’t perfect, which means the ranking isn’t perfect. GeekWire 200 gives preference to companies that have a strong presence across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, in addition to the quality and strength of inbound links to their sites. We recognize that many companies make strategic decisions to concentrate on one social platform over another.

In some cases, there are companies that we were personally surprised not to see on the GeekWire 200. We know we’ll hear from you, so please let us have your feedback — that’s part of the tradition, too.

In an ideal world, we’d love to include more revealing metrics, such as revenue per employee, as a better measure of a startup’s strength. If startups out there are ready to contribute that type of data to the cause, just let us know.

The list also depends on the APIs provided by each of those services, which aren’t perfect, either. We’ve been going over the index to find missing data, and we’ll continue to fill in the gaps as they arise, so the list will evolve and become more accurate over time. If you believe your company should be on the index, based on your metrics, first make sure it’s included on the Startup List, and email us at to help us find bugs and fill in the gaps.

Bottom line, we’re treating this an interesting and fun exercise that aims to provide new insights into the startup community. We’ll be recalculating the index each month, with an accompanying post on GeekWire highlighting the latest trends as reflected by changes in the list.

Why is this a reintroduction? GeekWire 200 is a descendant of the Seattle 2.0 Startup Index, a longtime tradition in the startup community that was carried on for years by Seattle 2.0 founder Marcelo Calbucci.

Little-known fact: My GeekWire colleague John Cook, then a reporter for the Seattle P-I, provided the original inspiration for the index back in 2006 when he put together a list of 64 “Web 2.0” companies based in Seattle. Developer Greg Linden reordered the list by web traffic, and Marcelo took the reins from there, making it a regular feature of his site, Seattle 2.0.

When GeekWire acquired Seattle 2.0 last year, we promised to carry on its core features and events for the community, including the Startup List, the Service Provider DirectoryStartup Day, the Startup Awardscontributed community posts and startup advice.

The return of the Startup Index, in its new form as the GeekWire 200, completes the process of reintroducing those Seattle 2.0 features and events.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support of GeekWire. We hope you find value in the GeekWire 200, and we’re looking forward to your feedback.

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to Big Fish Games! I’m glad to see them winning the GeekWire 200 Sponsored by Fresh Consulting.

  • shunned

    How sad, our start up did not make the index. We must suck. Weird, our traffic is off the hook, we are funded, and we are profitable.

    • johnhcook

      What’s the name of your startup? As we said, there are some companies we were surprised didn’t make it into the 200. We can look on the back-end, and figure out where you are strong and weak in terms of LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, etc.

  • disappointed

    disappointing to see geekwire simply redoing the meaningless seattle 2.0 index. success is not dependent on number of twitter followers or facebook likes, especially for b2b where customers aren’t found on twitter. you need a disclaimer “for entertainment purposes only”

    and what’s a startup anyway? you’ve got bootstrapping companies mixed with companies with millions in the bank with companies founded more than 10 years ago!!

    • johnhcook

      Thanks for tuning in. No list is ever perfect, and you can slice and dice info in all sorts of ways. As Todd mentioned, ideally we’d like to rank startups by revenue per employee, but that data is not available for privately-held companies. We did take into consideration a number of factors in the list, and gave some of the heaviest weighting to the data from LinkedIn, which tends to favor some of the region’s B2B companies.

      We think we’ve improved upon the Seattle 2.0 list, which was a ranking of consumer Internet companies. With the GeekWire 200, you can sort by B2B or B2C in order to find out the top companies in each of those categories. You can also drill down into specific niche markets. We think that’s a pretty useful tool.

      For example, we were just discussing here at the GeekWire HQ doing a story related to the gaming industry, and wanted to find someone to talk to related to gun violence, so we turned to the list to find some of the top game companies in the region.

      In terms of the definition of startups, that’s always a tough one. We erred on the side of being inclusive, and we think it is cool to see bigger companies in town as they get ready to graduate from private to public (or acquisition). For example, we’re expecting the list to change in 2013, as companies like INRIX or Tableau go public, and as others get acquired. Thanks again for reading. We hope you’ll find the Index, and accompanying Startup List a useful research tool.

      • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

        The list is fine up until you say something like “we turned to the list to find some of the top game companies in the region.” That’s not what this looks like. It appears to be a list of companies (to quote Todd) that are “grabbing the attention of key online communities,” i.e., Twitter and Facebook users. While that’s interesting it’s not synonymous with “top”. And if other people use it in that way, I’d have to agree with “disappointed”.

        Todd also said this identifies companies that are “growing quickly, making an impact”. I don’t see how you’re doing that in this index. Is there more to it than just averaging the stats? Are you looking at trends?

        • Todd Bishop

          Hi Bruce – Good points, thanks for the comment. Our plan is to look at the trends month-to-month and over time as we update and recalculate the index each month.

          Also important to note that the GeekWire 200 is a subset of the larger GeekWire Startup List. That list now encompasses more than 700 startups and is a good tool for more comprehensive research, although it doesn’t include the social and web data in the index …

          • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

            Thanks. I look forward to the evolution of this list.

      • TINYpulse

        You’re right that no list is perfect, and I appreciate you putting this list together. It’s great to see the entrepreneurial energy in the area and also get exposed to new startups that appear on this list. Thanks!

    • Tony

      I completely agree. How are likes and followers even in the mix when you can buy 10,000 of them for $15 online…. crazy.

    • tmandarano

      Unfortunate to see that this was calculated taking into account followers and likes. You can purchase both online easily. Only way to really rank is through a combination of financials and vision/caliber of the team.

  • Thomas R.

    Just wanted to point out that this list may leave out mobile focused startups that are kicking butt but have no real web presence…

  • Kyle Kesterson

    Love the hate for a fun list like this. Lighten up folks!

    After reading the list, the first thought I had was.. “time to get more scrappy and put Freak’n Genius on the map!” Finding any and every reason to succeed and make waves will allow you to hack your own motivation and keep the energy up. For the teams that placed, you can bet there is some internal momentum being created. Even if some of this contains vanity metrics, at least it’s an attempt to quantify where you stand, and it’ll only get more comprehensive in the future.

    Another great use for a list like this is just getting further insight into our ecosystem. I’m blown away by how many companies I’ve never heard of.

  • Vikas Khandelwal

    Great effort – love the direction and hope you keep evolving it to make it more meaningful and useful.

    I am surprised to see many entrepreneurial folks on this thread expressing disappointment. Its a V1 like many of our products which are scrappy to start with but then improve over time. Here are things I like – (1) its objective (2) shows startup traction – not perfect metric of success, but at least shows traction from marketing perspective (3) provides a marketing benchmark early startups can aspire for.

    BTW – I don’t believe all these metrics can be manufactured/purchased. Over time, either these metrics could be evolved or the community could help weed out sleazy activity.

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