By Lauren Sauser May 10, 2016

Code Fellows Presents MedBridge with GeekWire's Bootstrapper of the Year Award

The GeekWire Awards 2016 took place yesterday evening in the Sky Church of Seattle’s Experience Music Project to celebrate more than a dozen categories of tech innovation, including ‘Startup of the Year,’ ‘Next Tech Titan,’ and the ever-prestigious ‘Geek of the Year.’

Code Fellows CEO Dave Parker was chosen to present the ceremony’s ‘Bootstrapper of the Year’ award, dedicated to entrepreneurs who forgo venture capital in lieu of financing their own efforts. The award was bestowed upon MedBridge, a health care education platform founded by Justin Kowalchuck and designed to help providers control rising costs. MedBridge works with hundreds of hospitals and private healthcare clients, and recently surpassed the 50-employee mark. The company is located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

MedBridge CEO Justin Kowalchuk
MedBridge CEO Justin Kowalchuk accepts the Bootstrapper of the Year award.
Image Credit: GeekWire

“The GeekWire Awards recognize the growth of great companies in our region,” Parker said. “We’re thrilled to be a sponsor and to know that so many of our grads are working for great companies like MedBridge, SmartSheet, OfferUp, and Dolly.”

The other nominees in the Bootstrapper category included:

BitTitan: BitTitan creates technology to migrate email mailboxes, public folders, and other documents to the cloud. Founded in former Microsoft employee Geeman Yip’s garage in 2007, the company now serves more than 75,000 users.

Cloak: Founded by former Microsoft engineers Dave Peck, Peter Sagerson, and Nick Robinson, Cloak protects Macs and iOS devices from snooping while on unsecured wireless networks, and was recently acquired by StackPath.

Endeavor One: A Seattle-area startup founded by former Bungie, Sony, and Valve employees, Endeavor One develops new technologies and experiences for the burgeoning virtual reality market.

Flowroute: A nine-year-old cloud communications company, Flowroute makes gaining access to cloud communication services “as easy as getting a Gmail account for enterprises around the globe.”

“Some of the most powerful entrepreneurial stories involve those who shun venture capital, choosing a more organic and home-grown approach to building a business,” wrote GeekWire Co-founder John Cook. “Bootstrapping is no easy task, and today we celebrate five companies that are making a mark without other people’s money.”

Other Code Fellows hiring partners and innovative organizations, including Dolly (Co-founder Chad Wittman, Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner), OfferUp (App of the Year winner), Smartsheet (Next Tech Titan winner), Rover (Co-founder Phil Kimmey, Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist; CEO Aaron Easterly, CEO of the Year winner), RealSelf (CEO Tom Seery, CEO of the Year finalist), and Moz (CEO Sarah Bird, CEO of the Year finalist), were also recognized at last night’s award ceremony.

Congratulations once again to MedBridge for their bootstrapping and thought-provoking efforts in 2016. Here’s to another great year!