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The five finalists for Startup CEO of the Year at the GeekWire Awards are highlighted for their leadership in companies aiming to make significant contributions in various industries. Valerie Daggett, CEO of AltPep, is focused on developing tests and treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Carla Grandori, CEO of SEngine Precision Medicine, is known for developing tests that tailor drugs to cancer patients. Emily Pesce, CEO of Joon Care, provides remote therapy services for teens and young adults. Rathna Sharad, CEO of FlavorCloud, helps e-commerce companies ship products globally. Katherine Sizov, CEO of Strella Biotechnology, aims to reduce food waste.

Valerie Daggett, a bioengineering professor, is the co-founder and CEO of AltPep. The company, focused on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, raised $52.9 million in Series B funding recently. Carla Grandori, a veteran biotech leader, heads SEngine Precision Medicine, which creates tests for cancer patients tailored to their needs. Emily Pesce, a former Amazon manager, leads Joon Care, a startup offering remote therapy services. Rathna Sharad, a UPS and Microsoft veteran, co-founded FlavorCloud to assist e-commerce companies in shipping products worldwide. Katherine Sizov, CEO of Strella Biotechnology, specializes in reducing food waste with technology that detects chemicals emitted by ripening fruit.

The GeekWire Awards recognize innovators and companies in the Pacific Northwest technology sector. The finalists for Startup CEO of the Year were selected based on community nominations and input from judges. Community voting will proceed until April 12, with winners in each category determined through a combination of community votes and judges’ feedback. The winners will be announced at the Awards event on May 9 at Showbox SoDo in Seattle. Sponsorships for the event are available, and early bird pricing ends on March 31. Those interested in sponsoring or purchasing sponsorships can contact [email protected] for more information.

Last year’s winner of Startup CEO of the Year was Prem Kumar of Humanly, a Seattle-based recruiting software startup. The current finalists represent a diverse range of industries and goals, from developing innovative therapeutics to reducing food waste and improving mental health services. Each CEO brings a unique perspective and approach to their respective companies in an effort to make a positive impact in their fields. The winners of the GeekWire Awards will be recognized for their achievements and contributions to the Pacific Northwest technology community.

Valerie Daggett, Carla Grandori, Emily Pesce, Rathna Sharad, and Katherine Sizov have all demonstrated strong leadership and vision in their respective companies. With innovative approaches and a commitment to addressing pressing issues such as healthcare, mental health, e-commerce, and food waste, these CEOs are making significant strides in their industries. Community voting for the GeekWire Awards continues, with winners to be announced in May. These finalists represent the best in Pacific Northwest technology and innovation, showcasing the region’s talent and commitment to driving positive change through entrepreneurship.

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