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Awards0GWA_banners_300x250-02Nerf gun wars, orange toilet paper, a cafeteria in a former bar, a great indoor putting green, and windows repurposed as whiteboards.

Yes, tech company headquarters are some of the geekiest places in the world, and this is one of the most competitive categories in our annual GeekWire Awards — crowning the greatest tech pad in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s time to cast your ballot for “Geekiest Office Space.” After two weeks, this is the last of 13 categories to be put up for public vote in the GeekWire Awards, leading up to the big event on May 8 at the EMP in Seattle.

knollThe companies in this category — Avalara, HasOffers, Lively, Porch and Simply Measured — were nominated by the community on GeekWire and picked as finalists by the great team at Knoll, the sponsor of this category, which visited the sites as part of the process. The ultimate winner of “Geekiest Office Space” will receive a choice of some sweet Knoll office furniture as a prize.

Voting lasts through Sunday in all 13 categories. The winners will be announced May 8th at the GeekWire Awards show, taking place at the EMP Museum in Seattle. (Tickets are still available, but we expect the event to sell out.)

See the video above for highlights from inside the five companies, courtesy of Seattle’s Bootstrapper Studios. Cast your vote here, and continue reading below for a summary of the Knoll team’s notes on each company’s space.


Avalara (Bainbridge Island)

Enjoying the sun at Avalara’s Bainbridge HQ.

Avalara, the fast-growing sales-tax technology company, makes the most of its unique location (on Bainbridge Island, Wash.) and its signature color (orange, all the way down to the toilet paper).

The space features an on-site Tiki Lounge, fitness room, and fully-equipped game room. Perks include regular employee events, with lots of summer BBQs.

Has Offers (Belltown)

HasOffers chef Chris Blanco at work in the kitchen space in Belltown

HasOffers, whose tools help marketers measure the effectiveness of their online and mobile campaigns, took over the old Twilight bar in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood to create a cool kitchen area and hang-out space a block away from its headquarters.

The space serves as both a meeting space and kitchen area where employees can gather for free lunches, meetings and other activities. The company has its own private chef, and provides breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyone.

Lively (SoDo)


Lively, the Seattle startup that makes audio and video of concerts available to fans after performances, is a fun, growing company with an exciting platform, and its offices have the same feeling.

The company’s headquarters are a cool work environment enhanced by open, collaborative areas and the intimate “Lively Lounge” concert venue.

Porch (Eastlake)

Porch Lobby

Home-improvement data startup Porch’s headquarters is very DIY, drawing on employees’ skills in furniture building/rehabbing, painting, installation. Repurposed windows are used as dry erase white boards for brainstorming. Standing height desks were designed by an employee using repurposed Ikea furniture and hardware. 

Tool cabinets have been repurposed to work as storage pedestals. Conference rooms are thematic based on home improvement sections such as Plumbing, Electrical, Painting. Employee Feature Wall in kitchen includes photos and bios and encourages getting to know your fellow team members. 

SimplyMeasured (Belltown)

Putting Green
This indoor putting green is just one of Simply Measured’s employee amenities.

Employees at social media analytics company Simply Measured fill out a questionnaire when they start for favorite booze (they get a bottle), preferred computer type, height-adjustable desk option, and other preferences that help them do their best work. Markerboard paint and chalkboard paint on walls turns many areas into impromptu meeting/collaborative spaces. A putting green, game spaces and lounge areas encourage fun and collaboration. Great views of Sound!

Perks for referring new employees include personal gift cards and budget to put toward making the office cooler. (Past purchases include 80’s toy procurement, kegerator, ping pong table, and pop-a-shot.)

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