Eight business leaders from the Pacific Northwest — building companies in areas as diverse as pizza, collectible toys, cloud computing, biotechnology, glass votives and money transfers — were named 2016 regional award winners Friday night at EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 event in downtown Seattle.
Portland, Ore.’s technology community was especially well-represented among the winners. Sam Blackman, CEO of Portland-based video processing startup Elemental Technologies, acquired by Amazon last year for $296 million, won the regional Entrepreneur of the Year award in the technology category. Luke Kanies, of Portland-based infrastructure and automation software company Puppet, took home the top honor in the software category.
“Portland represent!” said Kanies as he took the stage to accept his award, joking later in his speech that he has “been to a lot of awards ceremonies, usually losing to Sam Blackman.”
For another technology business leader, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award now runs in the family. Matt Oppenheimer, CEO of international money transfer technology startup Remitly, took home the award last night in the services category, precisely 10 years after his uncle, Columbia Hospitality CEO John Oppenheimer, won the same award in the same category.
“I am completely humbled by our customers,” said Matt Oppenheimer in his acceptance speech. “These are customers who have moved thousands of miles away from their loved ones to send money back home and create a better opportunity for their loved ones and their families. Serving them and giving a better solution to do that is so gratifying.”
In the Life Sciences category, the winner was Hans Bishop, CEO of Seattle-based biotech standout Juno Therapeutics, a spinout from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with technology that reprograms the immune system to fight cancer.
Other winners were Scott and Ally Svenson of Bellevue-based Mod Pizza in the Emerging category; Brian Mariotti of Everett-baed collectible toy company Funko LLC in the Consumer Goods and Services Category; and Lee Rhodes of Seattle-based glassybaby in the Specialty Retail category.
See a gallery of pictures from the night and a full list of finalists below.
[Note: EY is a GeekWire annual sponsor, and GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop was one of the judges for the awards.]
2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Pacific NW Finalists
MOD Pizza – Ally & Scott Svenson
M3 Biotechnology – Leen Kawas, Ph.D.
Donuts- Paul Stahura
Skytap – Thor Culverhouse
iovation, Inc. – Greg Pierson
Elemental Technologies – Sam Blackman
Life Sciences Category
NanoString Technologies – Brad Gray
Juno Therapeutics – Hans Bishop
Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation – Chad Robins
Consumer Goods & Services
Precept Wine – Andrew Browne
RealSelf – Tom Seery
Funko LLC – Brian Mariotti
DiscoverOrg – Henry Schuck
Remitly – Matt Oppenheimer
Limeade – Henry Albrecht
Puppet – Luke Kanies
LiquidPlanner, Inc. – Liz Pearce
Moz – Sarah Bird
Bramble Berry – Anne-Marie Faiola
etailz, Inc. – Josh Neblett
glassybaby – Lee Rhodes