2019 Technology Fast 500 award reflections

Insights from CEOs of the fastest growing startups in Washington state

Startups and their leaders are shaping the Pacific Northwest, a mecca for new technologies and entrepreneurial growth

How are they doing it? What is their secret sauce? At a Deloitte event honoring winners of the Technology Fast 500, CEOs representing three of the Washington-based 2019 winners participated in a panel discussion to share their inspiring journey, strategies for success and words of wisdom.

Listen to the podcast and hear from these thriving pioneers for an insightful look at what drives the success and commitment of these top local entrepreneurs that help make Seattle a global innovation hub.

  • Manny Medina, CEO of, the provider of a leading sales engagement platform. The company is ranked #4 overall out of 500 companies in North America and is the fastest growing startup in the state.
  • John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip, a company whose goal is to make texting with businesses as natural as it is with family and friends. The company ranked #188 overall, and is the 11th fastest growing startup in the state.
  • Samir Bodas, CEO of Icertis, the leading provider of contract lifecycle management in the cloud. The company ranked #192 overall, and is the 12th fastest growing startup in the state.


Moderator and panelist bios


Heather Redman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Flying Fish Partners Venture Firm

Heather is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Flying Fish Partners, a venture firm investing in artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics companies. She serves on the boards of Beneficial State Bank (Lead Independent Director and member Audit & Technology Committees), Yesler, Inc., Coldstream Holdings Inc., Greater Seattle Metropolitan Chamber (immediate past Chair), Washington Technology Industry Association (Chair), Technology Alliance, Forterra and as a Regent of the Washington State University. She serves on the executive committee of the Global EIR Coalition, the governing advisory board of the Hawthorn Club, the Connector Board of NCWIT, the advisory board of iInovate and as a mentor at Techstars. Heather is also very active in local and national policy. Prior to her current roles, Heather was Executive and Senior Vice President at each of Indix, Summit Power, Atom Entertainment, Getty Images and PhotoDisc and General Counsel of Getty Images, a publicly traded company. Heather’s law degree is from Stanford and her BA is from Reed.

CEO Panelists

Manny Medina, CEO, Outreach

Manny co-founded Outreach in 2014 and now serves as CEO. Prior to Outreach, Manny was employee number three on Amazon’s AWS team, and led the Microsoft mobile division from launch to $50M in annual revenue. He holds an MBA from Harvard and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Manny is a model of vulnerable and transparent leadership to his employees, from his heartfelt weekly email to his employees, to the traditional Friday get-together where the whole company shares their highs and lows of the week. He is a proponent of saving the planet by consuming less and purchasing second-hand whenever possible (he might be the only CEO to take the stage at industry events in shirts purchased from Goodwill). Manny grew up in Ecuador and now lives with his wife and three children in Seattle.

Samir Bodas, CEO, Icertis

Samir Bodas is CEO and Co-founder of Icertis and is responsible for company strategy, execution and culture. Samir has over three decades of experience in enterprise software at industry giants and leading start-ups. Prior to establishing Icertis, Samir was CEO of Aztecsoft and successfully guided the company to become the fastest-growing publicly traded mid-cap IT services company. In 2009, he helped finalize Aztecsoft’s acquisition by MindTree.

Samir began his career as a software engineer at National Instruments, followed by several years in management roles at Microsoft Corporation after receiving his MBA from The Wharton School. He was appointed CEO of Disha Technologies in 2003, where he grew the business five-fold and managed its acquisition by Aztecsoft in 2005.

Samir is a golf addict to the annoyance of his family. When not playing golf, he reads books about golf. And when not reading about golf, he contributes to the local community as a Board Member of the Seattle Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and the Seattle Chapter of India youth education charity Pratham USA. Samir is also a former trustee of Lakeside School in Seattle.

John Lauer, CEO, Zipwhip

John forms Zipwhip’s key strategies and initiatives and oversees executive operations. He has successfully built a series of tech startups, including Rootlevel and Simplewire, which later became OpenMarket. In 2014, Lauer successfully petitioned the US carriers to allow texting between cell phones and landlines, forming the bedrock for today’s business texting industry.


Insights from CEOs of winning companies. Listen now

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