We’re back with another round of voting in the GeekWire Awards, and today’s category is a biggie, literally. We’re opening voting in the Next Tech Titan category, recognizing those heavyweight companies which are on the brink of a massive breakout success.
The Pacific Northwest has no shortage of amazing companies, so our judges had their hands full in sorting through the many nominations to select just five companies. Make sure to cast your ballot below, and read descriptions of each company underneath the poll. A big thanks to USI Kibble & Prentice for presenting the Next Tech Titan award.
Past winners of this award have included: Smartsheet, Cyanogen, Avalara and Zulily.
Over the next two weeks, we’re opening online voting in 14 GeekWire Awards categories, with GeekWire readers choosing their top picks from finalists selected by our panel of judges from community nominations. Check back on GeekWire each day to cast your ballots, and make sure to vote for Startup of the Year here. All of the winners will be revealed at the GeekWire Awards — presented by Wave Business — on May 4 at the Museum of Pop Culture.
Tickets are on sale for the big Awards show, but we sell out each year, so don’t snooze if you want to join the fun. Tickets available here. And now to the voting!
Accolade: Transforming the health care industry is a gargantuan task, but Accolade’s newly-appointed executive team believes it is up to the task. The company made a huge splash last year when it hired Concur co-founders Raj Singh and Mike Hilton to top executive positions, with Singh saying at the time that he joined the company to make a “positive impact on the world.” Accolade employs more than 700 people at offices in Seattle, Philadelphia and Scottsdale, and it continues to sign up new customers for its Health Assistant product, which helps employees at major corporations navigate ever-complex healthcare systems. Accolade got a big boost last summer when it announced $70 million in venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Madrona Venture Group, money that Singh and Hilton said they will use to grow like crazy and change how healthcare works in the U.S. The dynamic entrepreneurial duo will have work to do if they want to repeat the success of Concur, which sold to SAP for $8.3 billion in 2014. But healthcare in the U.S. is a real mess, and if Accolade can clean it up, they’ll do just fine.
BitTitan: Just a few years ago, BitTitan was competing in the GeekWire Awards in the “Bootstrapper of the Year” category. That bootstrapping business discipline has served CEO Geeman Yip well, and now, after a meteoric rise and $15 million in fresh capital, this cloud migration provider is growing by leaps and bounds. To accommodate the growth, BitTitan secured 62,000 square feet in downtown Bellevue last fall, enough room to house more than 350 workers. The 10-year-old company, which struggled in its early years and led Yip to max out his credit cards, just this week announced the expansion of its MSPComplete product, which positions it as a leader in the managed services automation arena. Does BitTitan have what it takes to become the Next Tech Titan?
Icertis: Icertis may not be a household name, but the Bellevue-based company is helping some of the largest companies on the planet manage their contracts. With a customer list that includes 3M, Becton Dickinson, Cognizant, Daimler and Microsoft, Icertis is bringing a cloud-based approach to contract management, and making some good money along the way. Under the direction of former Microsoft manager Samir Bodas, Icertis has grown rapidly, employing 300 globally, with plans to double in size. And while Icertis just secured $25 million in venture funding last month, Bodas tells GeekWire that the company was cash flow positive last year, and has not even touched its previous funding of $21 million. Backers of the company include B Capital Group, Ignition Partners, Greycroft, e.ventures and Eight Roads Ventures
OfferUp: This Craigslist-killer is looking to reshape how you buy everything from bicycles to bedroom sets, taking a mobile-first approach to its online marketplace for used products. Founded in 2011 by Nick Huzar and Arean Van Veelen, OfferUp was shunned by many in Seattle’s venture community, many of whom are now regretting missing the chance to invest in one of the region’s fastest growing startups. At one point, OfferUp was down to its last $350, but Huzar and Van Veelen persevered, building a new type of online commerce marketplace that now is valued at more than $1 billion. The company confirmed its “unicorn” status last fall, at the same time that it announced $119 million in venture capital funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Warburg Pincus, GGV Capital, Altimeter Capital and others.
Qumulo: Fresh off a $30 million venture funding round last month, this cloud-based data storage powerhouse is roaring ahead under recently-appointed CEO Bill Richter, who took the reins last fall. Richter, a former Isilon executive, says they are positioning Qumulo to become a globally-recognized brand, and the new money “is all about fueling growth.” Total funding in the 5-year-old company — founded by Isilon vets Peter Godman, Neal Fachan and Aaron Passey — now stands at $130 million. The Qumulo team is hoping they can surpass the success they achieved with Isilon, which sold for $2.25 billion to EMC in 2010. “Our opportunity is so much bigger than Isilon because the rate of data creation in the world is only accelerating,” Richter told GeekWire last month. “The problem is even more pronounced; the market is so much larger; and the choices are much fewer for customers.” Qumulo helps large organizations manage and monitor their unstructured data usage, allowing them to answer questions like, “What was my data like six months ago?” or, “What data do I need to back up?” And here’s the big question for these Isilon vets: Can the Qumulo team do it again?