The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce recently recognized the winners of its annual Eastside Business Awards. The winners were recognized at a reception and ceremony on March 28.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and especially the well-deserving winners for their contributions to the greater Eastside community,” said Bellevue Chamber Board Chair Josh Marti in a prepared statement. “It’s remarkable what we’ve seen and celebrated over the years at this event. We continue to recognize the pioneering spirit of companies that make a difference in our community.”
The Eastside Business of the Year award went to OfferUp, which is headquartered in Bellevue. The award recognizes “the sustained superior performance of an established Eastside business of over 100 employees.” Factors of consideration include an organization’s leadership in its industry and community, success in identifying and acting upon market trends and opportunities, the strength of its leadership team, its commitment to workforce excellence, and the company’s financial stability.
Created eight years ago, OfferUp is now the largest mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the U.S., according to a press release from the chamber. It offers smartphone apps that “make selling an item as easy as snapping a picture from your mobile device.” The app reportedly has 75 million downloads and 44 million annual users.
“We started on the Eastside, we’ve always been on the Eastside,” said OfferUp vice president of UX and incubation in his acceptance remarks. “We love it here; we’re very grateful to the City of Bellevue and everyone here that makes it such an amazing climate for entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.”
The award for Eastside Small Business of the Year went to Dragonchain, a global leader in blockchain technology applications. The award recognizes “the superior performance of an Eastside small business of 100 employees or fewer.” Nominees must have an established presence in the community, a commitment to workforce excellence, and a demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit.
“It’s truly our honor to be in Bellevue as a blockchain company,” Dragonchain global public relation manager Zara Huang told the audience. “Our main goal is definitely to try to help all the businesses if they are trying to look into the new solution. We’re really excited to be in Bellevue to explore future opportunities.”
The Eastside Nonprofit of the Year is Jubilee REACH, a Bellevue organization with programs focused on empowering youth. The award recognizes a nonprofit organization that “demonstrates exceptional efforts improving and advancing community.”
“What’s great about the City of Bellevue is they have a heart as well, and that’s what we appreciate from all of you in this room is your support of the work we do,” said Lindsey Hoffman, the organization’s director of business and finance. “The partnership of working with the Bellevue School District, the City Council, the businesses, everybody together, I just have to say we’re so grateful to be able to serve our community, to serve you, and serve the youth.”
Bellevue company FSorb won the Groundbreaker Award, which recognizes a business that is “bringing a new idea to life to make an impact and change the way we do business.” The company is developing acoustic panels for walls and ceilings made from recycled material.
Doug Bixel, the company’s managing partner, reportedly held up a plastic bottle and a piece of the company’s environmentally-friendly acoustic product made from recycled polyester plastics and said, “I’m humbled, but I want to thank every one of you because every one of you is contributing to [our product].”