Vote for Startup of the Year: Common Room, Copper Banking, DexCare, Logixboard, WhyLabs

CEOs of the Startup of the Year finalists, from top left, clockwise: Common Room’s Linda Lian; DexCare’s Derek Streat; Logixboard’s Julian Alvarez; WhyLabs’ Alyssa Visnjic; and Copper Banking’s Eddie Behringer.

Seattle is home to plenty of fast-growing early-stage tech companies. But the five finalists for Startup of the Year at the upcoming GeekWire Awards certainly stand out.

We kicked off community voting on Monday for our annual celebration of Pacific Northwest tech across a dozen categories (submit your votes below). Today we’re highlighting Startup of the Year.

The five finalists — Common Room; Copper Banking; DexCare; Logixboard; and WhyLabs — do business in a range of industries, from healthtech to logistics to fintech. They all are on the brink of stardom — and already innovating, executing, and making a difference.

To be eligible for consideration in this category, startups need to be no more than five years old in 2022.

Last year’s winner was SeekOut, a Seattle-area startup that makes recruiting software and recently topped a $1 billion valuation.

Community voting for the GeekWire Awards will be factored in with feedback from judges; voting wraps up April 22. On May 12 we will announce the winners live at the GeekWire Awards, presented by Astound Business Solutions. We have a limited number of table sponsorships available for the big evening, and if interested please contact us at [email protected] 

Submit your votes below and keep scrolling for descriptions of each finalist for Startup of the Year, presented by Meridian Capital.

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Common Room

The pitch: Its software aims to help companies deepen relationships with their users and customers.

Founders: CEO Linda Lian is a former associate at Madrona Venture Group and senior product marketing manager at Amazon Web Services. Chief Architect Tom Kleinpeter, most recently a principal engineer at Dropbox who sold a music streaming startup to the cloud giant in 2012. Design Chief Francis Luu is a designer who spent 10 years at Facebook. CTO Viraj Mody was formerly the engineering director at Dropbox and technical advisor to the CEO at Seattle startup Convoy.

Related coverage: Seattle startup Common Room emerges from stealth mode with $52M in funding

Copper Banking

The pitch: Copper wants to help teens spend money smarter with its debit card and app.

Founders: The company is helmed by Stefan Berglund and CEO Eddie Behringer, who previously co-founded Snap Raise, a Seattle-based online fundraising platform for youth groups.

Related coverage: Copper wants to help teens spend money smarter with its debit card and app


The pitch: DexCare’s software platform helps manage health system capacity and appointment booking, navigating patients to the most appropriate care setting.

Founders: Derek Streat leads DexCare as CEO and Sean O’Connor is chief commercial officer. Streat previously co-founded C-SATS, a Seattle startup that uses technology to grade surgeons and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2018. O’Connor was the company’s chief revenue officer for four years. Streat is also a veteran of who previously founded AdReady and Medify. O’Connor spent nearly a decade at Intuitive Surgical before joining C-SATS.

Related coverage: Providence health-tech spinout DexCare raises $50M


The pitch: Logixboard helps freight forwarders — companies that facilitate how shipments move from shippers to a destination — get a better grip on fragmented documents and data.

Founders: CEO Julian Alvarez founded Logixboard in 2017 with his brother Juan, who previously worked at a freight forwarding company. Julian previously worked at a medical tech company and a private lending firm.

Related coverage: Logixboard lands $32M as supply chain chaos drives demand for freight forwarding software


The pitch: The spinout from the Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) sells an AI data monitoring platform that helps companies figure out why machine learning models fail and which data inputs need attention.

Founders: WhyLabs is led by CEO Alessya Visnjic, a University of Washington grad who spent eight years at Amazon helping the tech giant develop its machine learning infrastructure. That’s where she met her co-founders: Andy Dang, another former Amazon machine learning engineer, and Sam Gracie, a 7-year Amazon vet who was most recently a principal UX designer with the machine learning group. Visnjic won Startup of the Year honors at last year’s GeekWire Awards.

Related coverage: Amazon vets land $10M for WhyLabs, a Seattle startup that monitors machine learning models

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]

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