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Blue Box founder Jesse Proudman accepts the Deal of the Year award at the 2016 GeekWire Awards

Blue Box founder Jesse Proudman is leaving IBM two-and-a-half years after the selling the private cloud company to Big Blue.

But Proudman, named GeekWire’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014, isn’t leaving the tech world behind. He’s got another idea cooking in a hot area: a new AI-based cryptocurrency investment company.

“I’ve simply got the entrepreneurial bug,” Proudman tells GeekWire via email. “2017 provided me with a phenomenal opportunity to reflect on what made me the happiest professionally and I came to the conclusion that the best times I’ve had were when I was working on fascinating problems with incredible people.”

Proudman said he started getting absorbed in the world of cryptocurrency last May, and then about three months ago formed the basis of his new startup. He’s not sharing inside details on the new company just yet, but Proudman is certainly one to watch in the Seattle tech world.

Proudman shares more of his interest around cryptocurrency in a post on Medium, noting that he’s become completely engrossed with the technology.

“This technology has captured my imagination in a way I’ve only felt once before in my professional career, more than two decades ago,” he writes. “This is a world where established functional technology exists and the world is collectively working to determine what’s next. There exists a world of possibility for those ready to dive into the uncertainty. This is the wild west.”

Proudman initially bootstrapped Blue Box, building the company from humble roots while he attended The University of Puget Sound. After the first nine years of bootstrapping the company, he took on investment capital in 2012 from Voyager Capital, money that allowed the startup to accelerate its push in the private cloud.

At IBM, Proudman served as a distinguished engineer and entrepreneur-in-residence.

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