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Daniil Kulchenko (Erynn Rose Photo)

Of all the stories we covered on GeekWire in 2011, one of the most remarkable was the tale of Daniil Kulchenko, a high school sophomore from Kenmore, Wash., who sold his first startup this year at the ripe old age of 15.

Kulchenko made his mark by developing a cloud-computing service for hosting and deploying Perl applications. His startup, Phenona,was acquired in June by Vancouver, B.C.-based ActiveState — a company founded a year after Kulchenko was born.

The teenager is one of our GeekWire Newsmakers of 2011, which we’ll be introducing every weekday throughout the month in preparation for the GeekWire Gala on Dec. 8, where we’re inviting everyone from the tech community to join us to celebrate the past year.

Technology is a natural part of Kulchenko’s family. His dad is an AI and robotics researcher at the University of Washington, and his mom helped him learn how to make web pages at age 6.

So what did his friends at Inglemoor High School think about the deal?

“They’re all impressed, I guess,” he told us during an interview on the GeekWire radio show in June. “A lot of them were really fascinated by it, they wanted to ask me more questions. All of them wanted to know how much the deal was.”

For the record, he didn’t tell. The terms of the deal were undisclosed, even to his buddies.

Newsmakers at the GeekWire Gala

We’ll be recognizing more than 20 Newsmakers of 2011 during the GeekWire Gala, Dec. 8 at the Great Hall at Seattle’s Union Station. We’ll introduce a new Newsmaker every weekday leading up to the big event.

The night is also a celebration of “Geeks who Give Back,” recognized in a special GeekWire 2012 Calendar that will be given to attendees, with a share of sponsorship proceeds going to the Child’s Play charity.

Tickets are available here for the event.

Thanks to our sponsors Zillow, Bing, Filter, Facebook and Barokas PR for helping to make this special evening possible.

Contact Rebecca Lovell,, for sponsorship opportunities.

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