geekwireawards-logoWe’ve collected hundreds of nominations and listened to the feedback of dozens of expert judges. Now, it’s your time to vote for the best and brightest in the Pacific Northwest technology community.

We’re kicking off public voting today for the GeekWire Awards.

Over the next two weeks, you’ll get the chance to vote in 14 different categories, including Startup CEO of the Year; Next Tech Titan; and Geekiest Office Space. The winners will be revealed at the big GeekWire Awards bash on May 9th at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

ims-appature-CMYKToday’s category is a new one, but it’s also one of our favorites: “Young Entrepreneur of the Year, presented by Appature.

Some of the greatest technology companies on the planet have been started by people under the age of 30, and this award is designed to recognize the young guns of tech — the up-and-comers — who could alter the industry as we know it.

Ready to vote? Here are the five finalists:


Lucas and Lee Brown, HasOffers: The 28-year-old twin brothers have built a powerful brand in the online affiliate marketing arena, doubling revenue to $7.2 million in 2012. And they’ve done it without any venture capital, winning last year’s “Bootstrapper of the Year” award.

aviel-headshotAviel Ginzburg, Simply Measured: One of the masterminds behind Simply Measured’s social media analytics tools, the 28-year-old Ginzburg helped drive the company to profitability in its early days. The Seattle startup is now supercharging efforts, raising an $8 million venture capital round from Bessemer Venture Partners and others in January.

kesterson111Kyle Kesterson, Freak’n Genius: The 28-year-old Kesterson has been on the Seattle startup scene for years, ever since the designer and artist was randomly pulled into a Startup Weekend event. A graduate of TechStars and the Kinect Accelerator, Kesterson has already spurned one buyout offer for Freak’n Genius, a Seattle online animation startup that helps friends be funnier together by allowing them to bring new life to photos.

wu-cindyDenny Luan and Cindy Wu, Microryza: The former University of Washington researchers and recent graduates of tech incubator Y Combinator are building a new crowdfunding platform for scientific research at Microryza. Launched last year, the site has been described as a Kickstarter for hard-core science geeks. Luan is 23, and Wu is 24.

Dan Price of Gravity Payments

Dan Price, Gravity Payments: Price started Gravity Payments at the age of 19 during his freshman year at Seattle Pacific University. Now, at 28, he’s a well-established old-timer in entrepreneurial circles, but still young enough to qualify for this award. Gravity Payments employs nearly 100 people, and it was bootstrapped from the early days. The company provides payment processing services to small businesses, like restaurants, retailers and coffee shops.

The awards — originally started by Seattle entrepreneur Marcelo Calbucci — are in their 5th year now. Past winners have included Tableau Software, PopCap Games, angel investor Andy Sack, Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh, Zillow Chairman Rich Barton and many others.

We’re expecting a sell-out this year, and since early-bird tickets expire later this week, make sure to get your tickets today.

Thanks again to our “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” category sponsor: Appature.

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  • Mr. Man

    Sooooooo when are the other categories coming out!? My mom’s trying to vote!

    • johnhcook

      Thanks. We want to make sure your mom can vote. :) We will be releasing a category each day on GeekWire over the next two weeks. Coming tomorrow is a big one: Next Tech Titan!!

      • ChuksOnwuneme

        Not fair! Two of my favorite people and startups on this category! lol :)

  • Confused

    So some categories will have over 10 days to gain votes, and some will only have a 3-5 days?

    • johnhcook

      That’s right. We are rolling out a new category each day over the next two weeks. This is how we did it last year as well. The final categories won’t have as much time to collect votes, but it should be a fair comparison since each finalist will face the same deadline. As I mentioned below, we may accelerate the roll out if there’s huge demand for it. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Wondering

    Is there a list of nominees for each category? I know there are some people that only want to buy tickets if they know there is chance someone they know is a finalist. Or are you saying we have to wait 2 weeks to know everyone that is a finalist?

    • johnhcook

      We are releasing the categories each day, one by one as we did last year leading up to the event. So, for the final category you will have to wait until April 26th. That still gives folks two weeks to buy tickets for the Awards ceremony, which is taking place May 9th. Thanks for the feedback. We may revisit how we roll things out, and accelerate the timeline if there’s huge interest in doing that.

      • Artefact

        I understand the phased roll out, but I wish there is a single location for all categories that have ALREADY been rolled out!

  • Joey Aquino

    Yikes, Cindy Wu and Kyle Kesterson in the same category… who to vote for??

    • ChuksOnwuneme

      Two of my favorite people :)

  • BE #BlairYourMusic

    All are great nominations however I am partial to the two young twins at Has Offers, because they are my brothers. So VOTE FOR LUCAS AND LEE BROWN !

  • Alpha

    Science, science, science. vote for Denny and Cindy

  • scott_mcleod

    No second thought for where my vote goes.

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