They came. They mingled. They partied. They ponged.
It was a blast welcoming more than 700 of you — many in costume or wearing company gear — at our fourth annual GeekWire Anniversary Bash on Thursday at the Showbox Sodo in Seattle. Sure, Georgia may have The Masters, but we’ve got a tradition unlike any other right here in Seattle with hundreds of fanatical ping pong and foosball players.
Tune CEO Peter Hamilton, a former opera singer who has hit the circuit in European concert halls, started the action with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem:
While attendees networked in the CenturyLink Conversation Lounge, sunk cups at the WhitePages beer pong station or hunted for hidden Double Down ping pong balls, the competition was fierce all evening over on the foosball and ping pong tables.
When it was all said and done, Valeri Kim of Akvelon continued his ping pong dominance, defeating Manjunath Manoharan of Blue Kai/Oracle in the expert division championship, earning an Apple Watch courtesy of sponsor Fuel Talent.
In the intermediate bracket, Moz’s Ramon Recuero faced off against Shippable’s Seema Beniwal in perhaps the most thrilling match of the day.
Though Beniwal had her brother Avi Cavale — the 2013 and 2014 GeekWire Ping Pong champion — offering advice on the sidelines, ultimately Recuero came out on top in an awesome three-set match. (It was so thrilling that Avi live-streamed the entire match to Beniwal’s 2- and 4-year-olds, showing off mom’s ping pong chops). It was also notable that Beniwal was the first woman ever to advance to the championship match of the GeekWire Ping Pong tournament.
In the foosball competition, George Barta and Mohammad Ahmadnia of Collinear Group defeated Justin Elsberry and Aaron Regan of 47Degrees — who finished second for the fourth-straight year — to claim the grand prize from Best Buy.
It was a record field this year, with more than 150 participants.
Congratulations to the teams from Blue Box and RealSelf, which won the coveted spirit prize this year. Also, congrats to Shippable’s Charlie Crawford who not only located the hidden ping pong ball sleeve— earning him a $300 Ethan Stowell gift card courtesy of DoubleDown — but also nearly set a “speed run” world record in Super Mario Bros. for the NES at the Dropforge Games booth.
A big thanks to everyone who attended the event, and especially to all of the GeekWire sponsors who made the event possible. And congratulations to all the winners. Look for more details and results from the hotly contested foosball and ping-pong tournaments in a follow-up post on GeekWire later today.
And thanks as always to our sponsors for helping to make the GeekWire Anniversary Bash possible, starting with our presenting sponsor, CenturyLink.
Also, thanks to our ping pong table sponsors: Shippable, EY, OfferUp, UPSConnect, Qumulo, EMC Isilon and Best Buy, which also sponsored the foosball tournament. Finally, a big thanks to gold sponsors: Moz, eBay, Knoll and DoubleDown, as well as silver sponsors: First Tech Federal Credit Union, Merriman, ThePlatform, Whitepages, Oracle/BlueKai, Dropforge Games, and JMA. Also thanks to supporting sponsors RealSelf, Fuel Talent, and Rightside.
Below you’ll find some photos from the evening. Click on any image to open a full gallery. Also see the gallery of photos from the USnaps booth at the bottom.
And don’t forget to register early for our next big event, the GeekWire Awards on May 7 at the EMP, where we’ve got many surprises in store this year.
For those who want to read more about GeekWire’s four years, check out this post: GeekWire at 4 years: How we’ve evolved, and what’s next in our startup adventure
More fun action here, courtesy of John Curry: