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awardsOK, geek fans, we’re back for another round of voting in the GeekWire Awards. And today’s category promises to be a fun and competitive one: Startup Deal of the Year, presented by UK Trade & Investment.

We’ve got some top-notch companies and firms in the running this year, and we’re curious to see how this one shakes out.

UKTI_REG_2COL_POS_207_877 [Converted]After all, it’s not every day that a venture capital firm (Madrona) competes against its portfolio companies (Appature, Smartsheet and Qumulo). Zulily, which is also in the running in the Next Tech Titan category, is in the mix as well.

We kicked off voting for the GeekWire Awards last week (see previous categories here) and we’ll continue tabulating the votes in the 14 categories as we announce new finalists every day. The winners will be revealed at the big GeekWire Awards bash on May 9 in Seattle.

Ready to vote? Here are the five finalists:

ims-appature-CMYKAppature: Health IT marketing startup Appature sold to IMS Health for more than $100 million earlier this year, marking a huge return for employees and shareholders.

madrona-logoMadrona: You can’t produce game-changing companies without money, and Seattle’s leading venture capital firm raised a boatload in 2012 when it closed on a $300 million fund, the largest in its history.

Qumulo LogoQumulo: This stealthy data storage is led by some of the same folks behind Isilon, which sold to EMC in a blockbuster deal for $2.25 billion. Investors are bullish on Qumulo, which raised a whopping $24.5 million series A financing round from Highland Capital Partners, Madrona and Valhalla Partners last November.

smartsheet1Smartsheet: Smartsheet is looking to help workers collaborate on a variety of projects, taking the spreadsheet as we know it to new levels. The six-year-old Bellevue company, which is led by former Onyx Software execs, Mark Mader and Brent Frei, raised $26 million in venture funding last December.

zulilyZulily: The fast-growing daily deal site for kid’s apparel, toys and more raised $85 million from Andreessen Horowitz and others last fall at a whopping $1 billion valuation. Zulily already has more than 10 million members using the service, and it’s expanding its operations in Seattle with plans to take over portions of the RealNetworks building.

The GeekWire 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.

Thanks again to our “Startup Deal of the Year” category sponsor: UK Trade & Investment. Make sure to get your tickets today for this one-of-a-kind event today. 

Previous categories: GeekWire Awards: Vote for Young Entrepreneur of the Year Vote for Next Tech TitanVote for App of the YearVote for Perk of the YearVote for Do-Gooder of the YearVote for Startup CEO of the YearVote for Game of the YearVote for Bootstrapper of the YearVote for Innovation of the Year.

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