EY’s annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards are an intense experience for organizers and nominees alike, starting months before the winners are announced at a fancy gala.
Nominees submit detailed applications, and judges spend many hours reviewing them — considering not just financial performance and business success but also the personal stories and motivations of the nominated entrepreneurs. And that’s before the full day of in-person interviews. So making it through the process to receive one of these awards on stage is no small accomplishment.
From a pool of more than 20 finalists (chosen from a larger pool of semifinalists) EY recognized winners in seven categories last night at the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year awards gala for the Pacific Northwest in downtown Seattle. The winners will go on to compete at the national level.
[Editor’s Note: EY is a GeekWire sponsor, and GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop was a member of the panel of judges for the EOY Pacific Northwest awards this year.]
“It’s a really exciting time in Seattle — a lot of innovation. We are the next hub in technology,” said Mark Mader, the CEO of Smartsheet, accepting the Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Pacific Northwest in the technology category.
But it wasn’t just about Seattle last night. Three entrepreneurs from Oregon were among the award recipients. Here’s a rundown of the winners.
Scott Allan, President and CEO, Hydro Flask; Bend, Ore.: This maker of double-wall, vacuum-insulated water bottles and beer growlers lets its customers allocate 5% of the company’s profits from their purchase to the charity of their choice.
Chris Barrow, President and CEO, EagleView Technologies, Bothell, Wash.: EagleView is a giant in the world of aerial rooftop measurement, and Barrow has led the company through challenges including the unraveling planned acquisition by Verisk Analytics in the face of regulatory opposition.
Mark Britton, Founder and CEO, Avvo, Seattle, Wash. The former Expedia general counsel started the lawyer ratings service and directory after friends repeatedly asked him for his help in finding a good lawyer. The company says 97 percent of lawyers in the U.S. now have Avvo ratings.
Ryan Carson, Co-Founder and CEO, Treehouse, Portland, Ore.: This subscription-based online learning site offers courses covering a variety of technical and business skills, along with services to help its users land better jobs.
Mark Mader, President and CEO, Smartsheet, Bellevue, Wash.: The company’s cloud-based app is used by more than 50,000 businesses for online project management and collaboration.
Darryl Rawlings, CEO, Trupanion, Seattle, Wash: Rawlings is on a mission to provide medical insurance for pets, solving what can be an expensive challenge for pet owners. Founded more than a decade ago, the company had its IPO last year.
Dave Sanders, M.D., Co-Founder and CEO, Zoom+, Hillsboro, Ore.: Formerly known as ZoomCare, the company’s mission is to build “the nation’s first health insurance system built from the ground up to enhance human performance.” Zoom+ has 27 clinics in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle.