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WhitePages was proud to host last weekend’s Seattle B2B Startup Weekend.  With over 70 participants and 10 different teams, the ideas that were presented panned out to be some of the best one could imagine!

The weekend started off on Friday night with a crowd of folks with dreams that were waiting to be made a reality. By that evening, teams had been formed, conference rooms had been invaded and whiteboards were being marked up. Saturday provided a full day of people brainstorming, conducting interviews and writing code for what could potentially be the next great idea in the B2B world.  On Sunday, the teams were heads down finalizing and formulating their final presentation for Sunday evening.  It was an action-packed weekend, for sure!

Start Up Weekend presentations

The top award for the event went to Human Analytics which built a people tracker for retail businesses traditionally only available for large corporations. Kudos to the team for securing and signing up their first customer before the final presentations even took place (How cool is that?!?).

Overall winner: Human Analytics

In addition to hosting the event, we also offered up a secondary prize for the team that used our WhitePages PRO API most effectively. Spot Survey, a team dedicated to helping small businesses run customer surveys, won the award for using our API to query for demographic and location information so that they can better understand and serve their customer base.

PRO Challege winners Spot Survey

Our CEO, Alex Algard, was a part of an impressive line-up of judges including Liz Pearce of LiquidPlanner, Tim Porter of Madrona, Sanjay Puri from 9Mile Labs and Patti Elliott from Yapta. Thank you to all of the coaches, sponsors and organizers of this weekend’s event.

The caliber and contribution from the organization and the participants continues to be awe-inspiring!

Last night, WhitePages hosted Dinner #29 of the Seattle Girl Geek Dinners in the WhitePages event space known as “The Great Room”.

Seattle Girl Geek Dinner 29

Photo by Susie Algard

The Seattle chapter of the Girl Geek Dinners was founded in 2008 and was inspired by the original Girl Geek Dinners in London.  The organization is based on one mission: To embrace being girly and geeky!  These events are designed to create an informal platform where tech girls and women of all ages can network and learn from others alike, in our local community.

We had about 70 women attend last night’s event and a good time was had by all!  The evening started with some noshing and beverages, followed by a riveting presentation from WhitePages’ CTO, Scott Sikora.  Scott described in detail the basis of our contact graph and outlined the challenges and wins that stem from being a Top 40 web property with billions of records of data.  Upon completion of his presentation, about a dozen hands shot up with some of the most intelligent questions we’ve had at our events!

The audience was engaged and interested when it came to areas of security, platforms and management of such a huge amount of data!  At the end of the event, we asked how many attendees had learned something new about WhitePages during the presentation–every hand in the audience went up!

This is why we love hosting these events – to grow our outreach connections and give a little back to community by opening up our new meeting space.

WhitePages made some valuable investments in their employees in 2013.  With a full office remodel, new equipment brought in and an inaugural company trip….it’s hard to imagine how we could top that in 2014.  But we have placed our bets on building a collaborative culture amongst our employees, and our bets are big!  We believe the odds are better at attracting and retaining top performers if we can find a way to incorporate team building and camaraderie in our investments in our employees.  Last Friday, the WhitePages team saw a big return on that investment when the team returned from their annual company trip full of spunk, vigor and a much greater appreciation for one another! 

The entire team flew out to Vegas from various locations last week to celebrate a great 2013 with another amazing company trip.  The Budapest team arrived early on Saturday to acclimate themselves to the time zone as well as take the opportunity to experience Vegas in all its glory!  On Monday the engineering teams from Seattle and New York began arriving early to have breakout sessions and planning meetings for 2014.  Tuesday was the big arrival day with the bulk of the employees checking into the ARIA resort throughout the day. 

Scavenger Hunt WinnersTuesday evening was kicked off with an adventure-packed scavenger hunt involving pictures of people hugging trees as well as taste-testing at some of Las Vegas’ infamous drinking establishments!  Oddly enough, our CEO’s team won the contest.  Rigged?  Apparently not!  We all celebrated our team bonding over some drinks, appetizers and funny-money gambling at a welcome reception.spacer

Vegas meetingsWe started the day early on Wednesday with breakfast and an All Hands meeting.  That afternoon, we split off into teams and had some very productive breakout meetings.  Following the meetings, we reconvened at Sirio in the Aria for some amazing Italian food followed by an early showing of Cirque du Soleil’s “O”.

Thursday morning came early as we headed off into another full morning of special presentations followed by an afternoon of fun!  The employees had a choice between five fun-filled offsite activities:  Golf, ATV driving, Exotic Car racing, Hoover Dam tour or just a leisurely day at the Spa!  Thursday evening we met up again for a goodbye reception and then an AMAZING dinner at STK steakhouse at the Cosmopolitan.  Apparently there was still steam left in some of our sails and a group headed out to hear “Above & Beyond” spin their magic at Hakkasan.spacerATV Vegas

No one can deny that it was an action-packed four days!  It was so great to bond with our fellow employees and create memories that will live long past the time it takes for our livers to recover!  Thanks to everyone for making it special and especially to our CEO, Alex Algard, for investing in our employees and raising the stakes for the people of WhitePages.  #whitepagesvegas

WhitePages Groupshot

codefellowsLast night WhitPages sponsored the inaugural Code Fellows “Get Awesome” job fair and recruiting event. The evening consisted of a presentation from SEOMoz CEO, Rand Fishkin, as well as a panel discussion of Start Up CTO’s from across Seattle. Included in this panel was our very own CTO, Scott Sikora. Scott, along with the other CTO’s, gave first-hand advice on how to impress (and how to disappoint) a hiring manager in your first impression. Approximately 100 attendees filled the South Lake Union Discovery Center and the caliber of candidate was extremely high. We are optimistic that we made some great connections in the Start Up community!

bizarro comic santa christmas a better job elfs

Give up the job search over the holidays?  Bah Hum Bug!

Fact or Myth? Companies stop recruiting over the holidays. Myth! Contrary to what many job seekers believe, companies do not stop looking for talent over the holidays. Many think that hiring managers are too busy to review resumes or don’t have time to interview.  The truth couldn’t be more opposite!  In fact, many hiring managers increase their recruiting activity during the latter part of the year.  On average, it takes 3-6 months to fill an open requisition…even longer if it’s an engineering position.  There are two things going on during this time of the year:

1.       Hiring Managers are losing requisitions that haven’t been filled. 

2.       Hiring Managers are doing forecast planning for 2013 headcount. 

If you consider the time frame involved in hiring a new employee, they won’t have their positions filled until much later if they wait until after the holidays to engage with candidates.  That puts first quarter initiatives and goals at risk.

Don’t let the sleigh leave the station without being on it!  WhitePages is actively recruiting right now!  We have openings in Engineering, Sales and Product Management. Check out our current openings and see if there might just be something special for you under the tree this year!