After holding the GeekWire Awards virtually for the past two years, there was a feeling of real catharsis Thursday evening as hundreds of people streamed through the doors of the Showbox Sodo in Seattle for our annual celebration of the Pacific Northwest’s top tech startups, leaders, and innovations.
For the finalists in the 2022 GeekWire Awards, recognition at the superhero-themed show came with the added bonus of knowing that their companies made it through a period of unprecedented challenge and change.
But the week also brought a new sense of uncertainty about what’s to come.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s widely cited memo on Monday was a flashpoint for the tech industry, adding to existing concerns by warning of a “seismic shift” in the markets, signaling tougher times and tighter belts ahead. Some of the startup CEOs in attendance acknowledged reading his message closely.
So we took our cues from the backdrop, literally and figuratively – taking tech leaders aside at the event to ask questions such as:
- What’s your take on the possibility of new economic realities?
- What are your biggest challenges and priorities for the rest of the year?
- And, of course: which superhero best reflects your company’s ethos?
The result was a glimpse into the collective psyche of the tech community in a key US innovation hub, at a pivotal moment for the country and the world.
Guests on this episode, in order of appearance:
- Xiao WangCEO of Boundless Immigrationfinalist for CEO of the Year.
- Maria Karaivanova, co-founder & COO of WhyLabs.
- Varun Puri, co-founder of Yoodliwinner of Young Entrepreneur of the Year with his co-founder Esha Joshi.
- Lisa GurryCOO of Truvetawinner of Health Innovation of the Year.
- Dave Cotter, chief product officer of Leaflyand chair of the Washington Technology Industry Association, sponsor of the Public Policy Champion for Innovation Award.
- Laura Ruderman, Technology Alliance CEO.
- David Kirtleyfounder and CEO of Helionfinalist for Innovation of the Year.
- Stephanie Winslow, Teacher, South Kitsap High School, one of three STEM Educators of the Year.
- Grant Goodalecarrier experience officer, Convoypast winner of Next Tech Titan.
- Mo Bhendeco-founder & CEO at Karatfinalist for Next Tech Titan.
- Faisal Masud, CEO of Fabricfinalist for Next Tech Titan.
- Kiana Panpresident of CodingDojohonoree in the Geeks Give Back category.
- Tushar Garg, CEO of Flyhomesfinalist for Workplace of the Year.
- Byron Baker, head of design at Blink UXjudge for UX Design of the Year.
Read about all of the GeekWire Awards finalists and winners in our special coverage.
Thanks to the tech leaders who answered our questions, to our GeekWire Awards attendees, finalists, and sponsors, and to our social media partner Jordan Curtis of Line Leader Media for his help with this episode.
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