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Lyft to battle Seattle City Council: ‘We’re prepared to fight for your right to share rides’

Even though the Seattle City Council already voted to enact laws that will regulate app-based transportation companies like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar, the California-based startups are still letting their displeasure be heard. Today, Lyft sent out an email to customers with a subject line titled, “Defending your right to Lyft.” In the letter, Lyft employee… Read More

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FlexMinder raises $1.2M to manage refund processes for healthcare administrators

FlexMinder, a Seattle startup that helps healthcare administrators automate the insurance claims submission process, announced a $1.2 million Series A round on Tuesday. Led by CEO Lowell Rickefs, FlexMinder aggregates the reimbursement process for healthcare flexible spending accounts, which allow employees to save money by putting pretax dollars — up to $2,500 for healthcare and $5,000… Read More

Salah Mohamed, a 14-year Seattle taxi veteran, says he doesn’t mind competition from companies like Uber but wants a level-playing field for all transportation providers. Photo courtesy of Mohamed.

Taxi drivers defend suit against Uber in Seattle, say they want level playing field

Taxicab drivers in Seattle are suing Uber not because they’re scared of competition. In fact, they say they welcome it. Rather, members of The Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association argue that their lawsuit is all about fairness. Their comments, in interviews with GeekWire, add more context to the suit’s clam that Uber’s service “engages in an unlawful and… Read More

Rich Barton jumping in an Uber

Seattle-area taxi association sues Uber for ‘unlawful and deceptive business practice’

The Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association is suing Uber, the app-based transportation company, for operating illegally in Seattle and King County. The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, claims that Uber’s service has violated city, county and state laws, and “engages in an unlawful and deceptive business practice which harms the economic interests of taxicab… Read More

Box CEO Aaron Levie

Online storage company Box files for $250M IPO

Box, the Los Altos, California-based online storage company that was started by Mercer Island High School grads Dylan Smith and Aaron Levie, today filed for a $250 million IPO. The filing shows a $169 million loss off $124.2 million in revenue for the year ended on Jan. 31, 2014. Revenue grew 110 percent from the… Read More

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Two thumbs up 2.0: How social media affects our behavior at the movie theater

Social media tools are changing the movie theater experience before, during and after seeing a flick on the big screen. Nielsen’s annual American Moviegoing report shows specifically how moviegoers are interacting with platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Before deciding which movie to see, 40 percent of those polled said they value recommendations they see posted by… Read More

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New job postings show Amazon developing titles for ‘avid video game players’

A few new job postings indicate the direction that Amazon is heading, at least initially, with its new gaming arm. Amazon Game Studios is now seeking a Senior Software Engineer and the job description notes how the company is “passionate about building highly creative, exciting, and innovative entertainment for avid video game players.” “Combining a startup atmosphere… Read More

UW

Washington Research Foundation to invest in UW researchers, help commercialize innovations

More innovations coming out of the University of Washington could reach commercialization thanks to a new grant from Washington Research Foundation (WRF). Xconomy reports today that the WRF plans to assign a $30 million, five-year grant that will help attract researchers to several programs at the UW — ranging from the Clean Energy Institute to… Read More

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Video: Relive GeekWire’s ping-pong championship matches

Seattle’s finest ping pong geeks were out in full force last week at our annual GeekWire Ping-Pong & Foosball Championships during the GeekWire Anniversary Bash in Seattle. But after more than 100 matches, only two players walked home as champions — and a sweet gold 3D-printed medal hanging around their necks — when it was all said… Read More

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Rhapsody ‘winds down’ partnership with Echo Nest after Spotify acquisition

Rhapsody today announced that it is ending its partnership with The Echo Nest, just weeks after the music intelligence company was acquired by Spotify. Seattle-based Rhapsody said it has “never been completely satisfied with recommendations from any third party,” and will now develop its own music personalization feature. Earlier this month, Rdio also announced that it would end… Read More

Free The Children co-founder Craig Kielburger and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll answer questions before We Day 2014.

WeDay 2014: Pete Carroll and Seattle tech execs deliver empowerment message to kids

More than 15,000 energetic students from over 450 schools in Washington state packed an electric Key Arena on Friday for We Day Seattle, an event co-sponsored by Microsoft that celebrates youth empowerment. Every student in attendance today participated in a year-long education program called We Act. To attend the event, which features 45 speakers like… Read More

Translational Software founder Don Rule.

Startup Spotlight: Translational Software helps physicians make sense of genetic tests

Working on groundbreaking genetic testing research in a lab is one thing, but actually using that data for actionable results in a clinical environment is another. That’s why Translational Software was founded back in 2009 by 14-year Microsoft veteran Don Rule, who started the Mercer Island-based company to provide the software that labs need to interpret… Read More

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City of Seattle doubles down on startups, names first liaison to boost city’s entrepreneurs

As part of Seattle’s effort to help support and expand the city’s startup community, the Office of Economic Development (OED) today named Seattle tech community veteran Rebecca Lovell as the new Startup Liaison for the City of Seattle. The position was created as part of the Startup Seattle program, originally launched by Red Russak as an… Read More

Bill Gates

Watch: Bill Gates picks his 13 favorite TED talks

Polio. Data. Education. These are all interests of Bill Gates, so it was no surprise to see the topics appear on his list of his top TED talks. The folks at TED asked Gates to name his favorite talks and though it was difficult for him, the Microsoft co-founder picked 13 of his favorites. Subjects include… Read More

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More than 14% of Starbucks transactions are now made with a mobile device

Recently, Starbucks has announced a flurry of new digital tools for customers from pre-ordering drinks remotely to a feature debuting today that lets you tip baristas with your smartphone. But the Seattle coffee giant is just getting started. At the company’s annual shareholders meeting today in Seattle, Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman noted that this is just the… Read More

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Seattle helicopter crash nearly hit startup recruiter: ‘It’s a great reminder of how precious life is’

Kallie Meno woke up extra early on Tuesday morning so she could be with co-workers and help celebrate her company’s $20 million funding milestone. Those plans changed a bit when a helicopter came flying down right at Meno’s white Jeep SUV as she waited at a red light. The KOMO news chopper that crashed just near the… Read More

Photo via Amazon.com

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar partners with Amazon for new memorabilia company

Pro hoops legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is launching a sports memorabilia company and he’s using Amazon.com to help him make money. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Famer just launched Starguard Collectibles in a partnership with Iconomy Multimedia & Entertainment to offer autographed collectibles on an Amazon storefront. The new company prides itself on authenticity and uses a patent-pending… Read More