Pioneer Square Labs, A Galvanize Member Company, Aims to Churn Out a New Startup Every Four Months in Seattle
“I have never seen this number of VCs and angels backing something like this. It’s unique to Seattle.” — Brad Feld, tech investor and blogger
Today could be a big day for Seattle. If Pioneer Square Labs, a new Galvanize member company launching today, delivers on its promise, Seattle could see a host of new tech startups in the area over the next decade. It’s backed by an impressive investor lineup which could be a first for Seattle. More than 50 angel investors and 13 venture capital firms, mainly from Seattle and Silicon Valley, came together to support PSL.
The lab’s premise according to co-founder Geoff Entress: “We have the opportunity to launch a host of new startups in Seattle that would not have otherwise been in Seattle. These are incremental startups to our area.”
Although some are calling PSL an accelerator, a venture fund or an incubator, it doesn’t fit nicely in any of those categories.
It’s a studio that creates its own startups.
PSL has a core team of eight (growing to around 15 in the next year) that will sift through ideas, pick the winners and then develop the idea and get early traction. Once the idea appears successful, PSL brings in an all star team in to scale the company.
“Everything for us is about finding those great entrepreneurs, pairing them with an idea that has traction, and setting them up for success in every possible way,” said Gottesman, who over 18 years helped to build Madrona Venture Group into a leading venture firm as one of its initial Managing Directors.
“We are looking for uncommon talent, those slightly crazy individuals who against better judgment believe now is the time to leave that cushy, secure job to build the next great Seattle company. We take a bunch of risk off the table to give that person the best shot.”
It hopes to launch a new startup every four months or so–about three per year.
One major aspect PSL really stands apart is the depth of connections to nearly every corner of the big tech world. Housed on the fifth floor of our 71,000-square foot Galvanize campus in Pioneer Square in Seattle, the company boasts a host of impressive angel investors and VC firms who are involved. Notable names include Brad Feld’s Foundry Group, Bezos Expeditions, Greycroft Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Maveron, Menlo Ventures, MHS Capital, Sinclair Digital Ventures, Techstars Ventures, Trilogy Equity Partners, True Ventures, Voyager Capital, and Vulcan Capital.
Participating angels include are just as impressive: Rich Barton (founder of Zillow, Expedia and RealSelf), Bob Nelsen (Managing Director of Arch Venture Partners), Scott Dorsey (founder and CEO of ExactTarget), Ryan Holmes (founder and CEO of Hootsuite), Rudy Gadre (former Facebook general counsel) and serial entrepreneurs Bill Lee and Jonathan Sposato.
As one of the top startup hubs in the world, in Seattle we often hear we’re known for technical talent. It seems like a wealth of talent–with companies like Facebook, Twitter and Elon Musk opening up a technical office for Spacex–all to lure Seattle’s engineers to work. We’re also known for big tech giants like Amazon, Zulily and Zillow (and some would put Starbucks in this category).
What I hear in the halls of VC firms and in tech networking conversations is that we’re missing the successful early and mid stage companies. The next big tech giants. Where are they?
One piece of that puzzle could lie in the work of PSL. I can’t wait to see what we create in the next decade here in Seattle thanks to the talented people here and companies like PSL helping accelerate the Seattle startup ecosystem.
On behalf of all of us at Galvanize, congrats to Greg Gottesman, Geoff Entress, Ben Gilbert and the entire PSL team. We’re excited to be on this journey with you.
For more information at Pioneer Square Labs, their new website launched today. You can see it here: www.pioneersquarelabs.com. They’re also on Twitter, or come visit them (and us) at Galvanize in Pioneer Square.