HootSuite’s Ryan Holmes, angel Geoff Entress launch new BC startup incubator Invoke Labs

Geoff Entress

Geoff Entress has the BC bug. The Seattle angel investor is partnering with HootSuite founder Ryan Holmes and others to create a new startup incubator in Vancouver, B.C. dubbed Invoke Labs.

The incubator is the latest step for Invoke Media, the development and design firm that spun out social media management startup HootSuite in 2008.

Now, with more than 200 employees, HootSuite is a force in the social media arena. It is also one of the best performing angel investments to date for Entress, whose backed about 100 startups over the years.

Because of that connection to HootSuite, Entress said that he wanted to work more closely with the Invoke team, which in addition to HootSuite has spun out Food.ee, a corporate food ordering service, and worked with Sprout at Work, a workplace wellness startup. Invoke Labs also is working with startups memelabs and Quietly.

Entress said that he’s excited about the prospects of Invoke Labs, and will likely spend about one day per month serving as an advisor to the incubator. Others involved in the effort include Holmes, as well as Invoke founders David Tedman and Dario Meli.

“At Invoke Labs, we look for smart people with compelling ideas that have a lot of potential. Combined with our culture and experience, we think we can help build some really amazing businesses,” said Tedman in a release.

We’ve certainly seen the rise of a number of accelerators and incubators in the Northwest region, from 9Mile Labs in Seattle to PIE in Portland. Many of the incubators take a small equity stake in addition to offering office space, business connections and mentorship.

I bumped into Entress this morning in an elevator on the way to the World Financial Symposiums where he’ll be speaking later this morning on a panel about angel investing. We’ll have updates from the event later today.

  • http://twitter.com/Seattle_Startup Seattle Startup

    More incubators please!

  • Thomas R.

    Very interesting, Geoff Entress is synonymous with Seattle angel investing and in this case we see him choosing to start an incubator in Vancouver instead of Seattle. Recent discussions in the comments of other articles have touched on this topic. What’s missing in Seattle? We can’t keep losing A-quality investors to other cities.

    • johnhcook

      Just to be clear, Geoff offered some insights on the companies he’s involved with at today’s World Financial Symposiums conference in Seattle, noting that he’s currently invested in about 60 startups. Of those, about 50 are in Seattle, with a few scattered in Portland and BC. And, yes, he’s also the backer of a soup company out of Redmond: Meritage Soups. So, it’s not all high-tech.

      • Thomas R.

        I guess a Geoff’s gotta do what a Geoff’s gotta do. Entress may lack the visibility of other angel investors but he sure does make a lot of successful investments.