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Vote for Next Tech Titan: 5 Seattle companies on the verge of becoming a giant force

Vote for Next Tech Titan: 5 Seattle companies on the verge of becoming a giant force

Smartsheet CEO Mark Mader accepting recognition as the “Next Tech Titan” during the 2016 GeekWire Awards.

The Seattle startup scene has been sizzling, and there are several up-and-coming companies are headed on a path toward becoming industry giants.

Five of those fast-growing superstars are finalists for the Next Tech Titan category at this year’s GeekWire Awards. They include Fabric; Highspot; iSpot; Karat; and OctoML.

Last year’s winner was Zenoti, which makes software for salons and spas. Zenoti raised $80 million in June, and $160 million in December that valued the company at more than $1.5 billion.

The GeekWire Awards recognize the top innovators and companies in Pacific Northwest technology. Finalists in this category and others were selected based on community nominations, along with input from GeekWire Awards judges. Community voting across all categories will continue until April 22, combined with feedback from judges to determine the winner in each category.

We’ll announce the winners on May 12 at the GeekWire Awards, presented by Astound Business Solutions. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Continue reading to learn more about this year’s finalists for the Next Tech Titan category, presented by Fuel Talent, and cast your vote across all categories in the GeekWire Awards ballot below.

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What they do: The company offers software, APIs, and other behind-the-scenes technology used by retailers and business-to-business brands for many aspects of online commerce, including pricing/promotion, inventory management, digital storefronts, and payments/checkout.

CEO background: Faisal Masud is a veteran of Amazon, Alphabet, Groupon, eBay, and Staples, where he was chief digital officer and then chief technology officer at the office-supply giant. 

GeekWire coverage: E-commerce startup Fabric, led by Amazon vets, raises $140M at $1.5B valuation to pursue ‘absurd’ market opportunity


What they do: Highspot’s enterprise software aims to help make salespeople more efficient, equipping them with technology to improve how they have conversations with prospective buyers, among other features.

CEO background: Robert Wahbe is a former longtime employee at Microsoft, where he spent 16 years equipping sales teams with necessary information to help craft perfect pitches to potential customer.

GeekWire coverage: Highspot raises $248M at $3.5B valuation as demand rises for software that helps salespeople


What they do: The Seattle-area startup measures the reach and impact of television advertising, helping more than 450 brands measure TV advertising across various viewing formats in real time.

CEO background: Sean Muller was previously chief operating officer at MediaNet Digital; chief technology officer at Demand Media; and chief technology officer at eNom. He also co-founded The Wedding Tracker and EduClick.

GeekWire coverage: TV ad measurement startup iSpot grabs Tunity, its third acquisition in 14 months


What they do: Karat helps companies conduct technical interviews. The startup uses a network of vetted interviewers who run the interviews via video conference, using a question format and scoring rubric based on research and analysis done by Karat.

CEO background: Mo Bhende is a former director for Xbox at Microsoft and was publisher of Topic Magazine.

GeekWire coverage: Technical interviewing startup Karat reaches $1.1B valuation as another unicorn emerges in Seattle


What they do: OctoML uses machine learning to help companies deploy machine learning models on various hardware configurations. The University of Washington spinout helps optimize and fine tune performance of such applications.

CEO background: Luis Ceze is a UW computer science professor who previously started Corensic, a debugging startup that F5 Networks acquired in 2012. He is also a venture partner at Madrona Venture Group.

GeekWire coverage: University of Washington machine learning spinout OctoML raises $85M to expand its partnerships

A big thanks to Astound Business Solutions, the presenting sponsor of the 2022 GeekWire Awards.

Also, thanks to gold-level and category sponsors: Wilson Sonsini, ALLtech, JLL, DreamBox Learning, Blink UX, BECU, Baird, Fuel Talent, RSM, Aon and Meridian Capital. And thanks to silver level sponsors: J.P. Morgan Chase and Material+.

If interested in sponsoring a category or purchasing a table sponsorship for the event, contact us at [email protected].