A recent rain storm revealed a magnificent rainbow that ended in Bellevue. It made me reflect on the “pot of golden entrepreneurs” that we are blessed to have in our community. It’s time to celebrate the great companies and the talent they have on their teams. With this in mind, 27 years ago, Bellevue Chamber leaders launched the Eastside Business Awards.
Looking at a sampling of logos from past winners shows we
This year’s program continued this theme of success! Judges recognized 40 amazing companies on criteria for four awards. Strategy and focus were key drivers of all of the applicants. Finding niches and opportunities to excel, either in new market opportunities or traditional markets; aligning great talent on their leadership teams and core values that resonated throughout the organization made for an impressive slate of candidates.
You might ask – how did we get so lucky to have so many local companies that have a global footprint? The answer was simple…the CEOs live here. iSpot.tv was the winner of the Innovative Service of the Year. They operate in the $65 billion dollar TV advertising arena. When the judges asked “Why Bellevue? We would have thought you’d start your company in New York or LA.” They heard the founder lives here. Their new product offers attention analytics that measure viewer retention and tune-out while ads are playing on the screen.
|2017 Eastside Business Award Winners|
Giving back to the community was also a key element among the finalists. Eastside Business of the Year winner Point Inside’s CEO Josh Marti believes in giving back, not only time but also financially to help make a difference in the community. Launched in 2009, Point Inside has grown and moved three times and each time continued to make Bellevue their home. When launched, they were the first company to do indoor mapping and location-based services. Company leaders stay on top of retail trends and pain points and work to provide retailers with a cloud-based solution to engage the consumer with tailored personalized mobile technology to find items in large retail “box” stores.
Understanding the diversity of the community was essential even for Small Business of the Year Award winner WiggleWorks Kids Bellevue. They build community partnerships to help serve youth and families. They have strong company core values: Be Humble, Think Clean, Stay Safe, Have Fun, Take Initiative. In addition they have high staff retention rates and their staff is rich in language fluency that reflects the community they serve: Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and other less common dialects.
Leveraging emerging markets: the Start Up of the Year Award winner was RBC Signals. They launched due to the rapidly emerging space marketplace. They also saw a niche with the tremendous growth that has taken place in the SaaS (software as a service) marketplace to define and be a leader in a new marketplace IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Their company provides real time access to satellites via their global ground station network.
I encourage you to check out all of the Eastside Business Award companies profiled in the 2017 Eastside Entrepreneurial Magazine. Then put on your creative hat to see how you can engage some of these strategies to grow your team, market niches and seize opportunities. Set a goal to be recognized in 2018 at the Bellevue Chamber Eastside Business Awards!