The Best of the Pacific Northwest … EY Entrepreneurs

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year awards on Friday evening. Where I got to see some of the best of the Pacific Northwest.

First off, thank you to Microsoft Ventures. Especially Lisa Nelson for extending the invitation.

Second, congratulations to all of the finalists and of course the winners of the Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year awards.


This was the Pacific Northwest version. The winners will move on to the next level of the competition. I wish all of the winners luck and I am very happy that several of the finalists are part of our extended family within the Microsoft Alumni Network.


Panopto, BitTitan, EnergySavvy and


If you are a Microsoft Alum and I missed you … ping me:

The table where I sat was fantastic I was able to meet with some current Microsoft employees and a few former microsoft employees that have gone out and started their own companies.


One in particular was Jill Angelo with her company Genneve and she's working hard to get her new business launched. And, to her credit, she said she wants to be on that stage next year.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • imageMicrosoft Ventures is committed to helping startups and they typically invest between Series A and D. Take a moment to see how they are helping grow the industry across several focus areas, including an Artificial Intelligence (AI) fund.
  • Microsoft Alumni – As noted there were four alum led businesses in the finalists category. We love to see this. We hope to see Genneve on stage next year and perhaps a few more alums.
  • EY – Thank you for spotlighting the best of the Pacific Northwest. Follow the #EOYPNW hashtag on Twitter and on the EY website.


imageKudos to Big Picture for putting this event together --- the venue, the awards, the videos, the catalogs, even the fun noise makers on each table.

Our local Q13 reporter Kaci Aitchison hosted the show and kept us all entertained and engaged. Nice work Kaci!

To see the whole list of finalists check out this GeekWire post.

Thanks again to Microsoft Ventures and specifically Lisa Nelson. I hope I get a chance to don a suit (or a tux) again to mingle with these amazing entrepreneurs next time they are back in town.

Image Credits: EY, Big Picture, Microsoft


clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

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