Voices from Seattle’s tech community – GeekWire

Clockwise from upper left: Yoodli co-founder Varun Puri; Dave Cotter, WTIA chair and Leafly chief product officer; Tech Alliance CEO Laura Ruderman, and Mo Bhende, Co-Founder & CEO at Karat, talk with Todd Bishop at the GeekWire Awards. (Jordan Curtis Photos)

After holding the GeekWire Awards for nearly the past two years, there were hundreds of people streamed through the doors of the Showbox Sodo in Seattle for our annual Pacific Northwest celebration of top tech startups, leaders, and innovations.

For the finalists in the 2022 GeekWire Awards, recognition of 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 current concerns with a seismic shift in the markets, signaling tougher times and tighter belts ahead. Some of the startup CEOs in attendance watching his message closely.

So we took our cues from the backdrop, literally and figuratively – taking tech leaders aside from the event to ask questions such as:

  • What is your take on the potential 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 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 Immigration, finalist for CEO of the Year.
  • Maria Karaivanova, co-founder & COO of WhyLabs.
  • Varun Puri, co-founder of Yoodli, winner of Young Entrepreneur of the Year with his co-founder Esha Joshi.
  • Lisa GurryCOO of Truveta, winner of Health Innovation of the Year.
  • Dave Cotter, chief product officer of the Leafly, and chair of the Washington Technology Industry Association, sponsor of the Public Policy Champion for Innovation Award.
  • Laura RudermanTechnology Alliance CEO.
  • David Kirtleyfounder and CEO of Helion, finalist for Innovation of the Year.
  • Stephanie Winslow, Teacher, South Kitsap High School, one of three STEM Educators of the Year.
  • Grant Goodalecarrier experience officer, Convoy, past winner of Next Tech Titan.
  • My Bhendeco-founder & CEO at Karat, finalist for Next Tech Titan.
  • Faisal Masud, CEO of Fabric, finalist for Next Tech Titan.
  • Kiana Panpresident of CodingDojo, honoree in the Geeks Give Back category.
  • Tushar Garg, CEO of Flyhomes, finalist for Workplace of the Year.
  • Byron Baker, head of design at Blink UX, judge for UX Design of the Year.

Listen above, or subscribe to GeekWire in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Read about all 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.

Opening GeekWire Awards performance: Robert McPhersonthe Drunken Tenor.

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