Entrepreneurs of the Year: Technology

By Special to Seattle Business July 7, 2011


Award Recipient: Gurpreet Sunny Singh, CEO, Edifecs Inc. [Bellevue]

Before he turned 30, software and industrial engineering expert Sunny Singh had worked at three different companies, realizing very quickly at each that none of the jobs fulfilled him. He wanted to use his expertise solving supply chain and enterprise integration problems for a profitable organization that was making a meaningful difference.

So he set about trying to tackle one of the knottiest challenges facing American businesshealth-care costs. Singh believes making the industry more efficient by managing information in real time at the lowest possible cost would save enough to cover all uninsured Americans.

Edifecs helps improve the ways health-care organizations manage and leverage the information they exchange. It also streamlines and automates manual business processes such as enrollment, claims and payments management. The result? Greatly reduced administrative costs and on-target regulatory compliance without the risk, time and cost of replacing existing IT infrastructure.

When Singh launched Bellevue-based Edifecs in 1996, he set some ambitious goals: no venture capitalists and no debt, but instead, growth and profit every year. He has guided the company through economic downturns and the recession and accomplished his goals: Edifecs is a profitable, self-funded, employee-owned company with no debtas well as one of the fastest-growing health-care technology companies in the United States.

Finalist: Sunny Gupta, Cofounder, President & CEO, Apptio [Bellevue]

With a string of successful startups, expansions and buyouts in his quiver (Vigor, Rational, Performant, iConclude, Opsware), Sunny Gupta was looking for his next big project. When Fortune 500 CIOs complained that their companies technology and business agendas werent aligned, the perennial entrepreneur launched Bellevue-based Apptio in 2007. The subscription fee-based management solution tracks and communicates the cost and value of IT services to a business and helps drive strategic decisions and planning for customers like Boeing, Facebook and Starbucks.

Finalist: Vikram Chalana, Cofounder & CTO, Winshuttle [Bothell]

With a Ph.D. in bioengineering and minors in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Washington, Vikram Chalana shape-shifted from brainy academic into entrepreneurcutting his teeth at several technology startups before cofounding Bothell-based Winshuttle in 2003. The company provides products that enable business users to work with SAP software systems directly from Excel, web forms and other interfaces without any programming, thus saving substantial time and money. Early adopters included Coca-Cola and Nike.

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