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Pete Venters sketches the business plan of 2013 Seattle 10 recipient Context Relevant on a cocktail napkin

The unheralded cocktail napkin has long served an important role in startup history, allowing a mini canvas for entrepreneurs to sketch their brilliant ideas or groundbreaking business concepts.

Now, we’re excited to elevate the cocktail napkin to prime status, and celebrate some of Seattle’s most important startups along the way.

seattle10-mohai-sea10-stencil1Yes, we’ve partnered once again with Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) and the Bezos Center for Innovation for “The Seattle 10” — a fun project in which we’ll choose 10 startup companies from the region to sketch their business ideas on giant six-by-six foot canvas cocktail napkins.

Now, here’s the really cool part about it. The 10 startups we choose for this honor will have their cocktail napkin drawings placed on display at the the Museum of History and Industry, debuting at the GeekWire Gala on December 3rd, held at the museum in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

They will also join last year’s inaugural inductees into the Seattle 10 pantheon — including fast-growing upstarts such as CreativeLive, Porch, SNUPI, Hointer, Context Relevant, Innovega, Modumetal, Planetary Resources, Presage Biosciences and Tune.

Pretty cool, huh?

For those cutting-edge startups interested in joining the ranks of “The Seattle 10,” here’s how it will work. Send us a brief description of 100 words or less on why you think your startup idea will change the world, along with a photo of the team/CEO and mailing address. (Send directly to me at john@geekwire.com with subject line of “Seattle 10″).

MOHAIlogo_CFI_Identity_lockunderhighlightWe’re looking for big and bold ideas across a range of industries, from biotechnology and wearables to software and mobile. Only startups that are less than five-years-old and are located in the greater Seattle area may apply. It is also important to note that we’re looking for startup companies that have moved out of the idea stage, those which have already shown tremendous traction with their products or services. Deadline for submission is this Friday, October 17th at 5 p.m.

The cocktail napkin designed by Porch for the 2013 Seattle 10.
The cocktail napkin designed by Porch for the 2013 Seattle 10.

We’ll sort through the nominations with the help of our amazing startup experts: Matt McIlwain of Madrona; Chris DeVore of Founder’s Co-op; Jason Stoffer of Maveron; Rahul Sood of Microsoft Ventures and Connie Bourassa-Shaw, director of the University of Washington Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

One team member from each selected company will receive free entry to the Gala, including the opportunity to talk to guests about their idea and what makes it so awesome.

Representatives of the museum will deliver and pick up the large-scale cocktail napkins, and will include a “how to” manual and proper supplies for designing your masterpiece. All you need to do is think big, recreating your entrepreneurial idea on this fascinating canvas for all of Seattle to see.

OK, so what are you waiting for? Send us those 100-word descriptions this week, and maybe your company will have what it takes to be one of “The Seattle 10.” Want to see all of the fun unfold? Make sure to grab your tickets for this year’s GeekWire Gala before we sell out.

Editor’s note: MOHAI and the Bezos Center for Innovation are sponsoring GeekWire in conjunction with “The Seattle 10″ project.

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