Hanging around startups can be a risky proposition. Sooner or later, you catch the fever. Greg Huey, who served as managing director of the Alliance of Angels for the past two years, assisting dozens of startup companies with their investment needs, has left the angel network to become president and chief operating officer of Seattle startup Glassybaby, GeekWire has learned.
“It’s hard not to catch the startup/entrepreneur bug while working with startups on a daily basis,” Huey tells GeekWire.
Dan Rosen, chairman of the Alliance of Angels, said that he’s disappointed to see Huey leave. He called the executive a “phenomenal asset” for the startup community, and noted that he was pleased that he was sticking around with a local startup.
“Really, he has made a remarkable difference,” said Rosen, noting that Huey’s job was made all the more difficult given the financial crisis. Even so, Huey led the organization to record investments, with $10.3 million invested in 33 companies last year.
Rosen is helping to lead a search for Huey’s replacement.
He said that search is “wide open” at the moment, adding that the ideal candidate will have solid investment experience. One of the responsibilities of the managing director is overseeing the organization’s seed fund, which invests in early-stage companies alongside other angels. That fund, which is supported by Madrona Venture Group and Trilogy Partnership, is about 50 percent committed.
Huey previously worked in technology, overseeing strategy and corporate development for Hewlett-Packard in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before that, he was an investment professional at Seattle venture capital firm Frazier Technology Ventures.
Glassybaby will certainly be a change of pace, since the company sells small glass votives. A portion of the proceeds from the company are donated to cancer research and other charities, with founder Lee Rhodes recently being named a finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Award.
But Glassybaby, which is expected to top $6 million in revenue this year, does have some high-tech connections. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is an investor in the 13-year-old company.
“We are thrilled to have Greg and his expertise,” said Rhodes. “He will help maintain our very high quality and standards as we expand. He gets Glassybaby is about quality, authenticity and giving back.”