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Getting a new company off the ground is no easy task, especially for those who decide to do so without taking outside capital.

Bootstrappers have a rare ability to create value out of almost nothing. And we’ve got a rich history of bootstrapping success in the Seattle region.

That’s why we are excited to announce the finalists for Bootstrapper of the Year, today’s featured category in the Seattle 2.0 Awards voting.

This is one of more than a dozen categories in this year’s Seattle 2.0 Awards, presented by GeekWire. We’ve been featuring one category a day leading up to the big awards bash May 3 at the Experience Music Project. Public voting began last week after finalists were chosen by our judges from hundreds of nominations received from the community. This marks the second to last day of voting, so make sure to cast your ballots today.

If you need help deciding in this category, see more background on each finalist below the poll.

BigOven: Steve Murch: Murch started BigOven with $20,000 of his own cash and a very strong passion for cooking. Now more than eight years later, BigOven is a profitable online recipe site with more than seven million downloads of its mobile apps and 1.4 million registered users. Big Oven is still running lean, with Murch telling us on the GeekWire podcast earlier this year that bootstrapping the business by himself was both a challenge and enjoyable.

Chewsy: Chaitanya Sareen/Trevin Chow: The online dish review site started when the founders went looking for good Buffalo wings in Seattle, and wondered why they couldn’t review items on the menu. When it comes to bootstrapping the business, co-founder Chaitanya Sareen said: “It was the fastest way to get something out there and to see the customer reaction.”

Dwellable: Adam Doppelt/Brenda Spoonemore: Adam Doppelt bootstrapped Urbanspoon to success, and now he’s trying to do the same with Internet veteran Brenda Spoonemore at online vacation rental startup Dwellable.  “Just build little things, and then see what happens,” says Doppelt of his bootstrapping philosophy. In addition to Dwellable, Doppelt has built a number of small online services in recent months, like PickHealthInsurance and BestSFBooks, looking to find success in small pockets.

Green Cupboards: Josh Neblett/Sarah Wollnick: Started with just $288,000 in seed capital, Spokane e-commerce upstart Green Cupboards now boasts 50 employees and more than $1 million per month in revenue. “We adhere to a strict bootstrap mentality, are focused on profitability and plan to build the company for the long-term,” said co-founder Josh Neblett.

HasOffers: Lee Brown/Lucas Brown: Twin brothers Lucas and Lee Brown invested $2 million into the online affiliate marketing company, and a little over a year after doing so they were cash flow positive. “Using our own money to build HasOffers forced (us) to concentrate on sustainability,” said Lucas Brown in an interview with GeekWire last year.

Tickets are still available for the awards show on May 3rd, one party you won’t want to miss.

Thanks to our event sponsors FilterProtingentSalad LabsSilicon Valley Bank,  SplunkWashington Partners, Heinz MarketingWilson Sonsini Goodrich & RosatiPayScaleBader MartinSEOmozChristensen O’Connor Johnson KindnessKnollAT&TCooleyStartup Weekend, and Creativello for their support.

Email Rebecca Lovell at for available sponsorship opportunities, and learn more here

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