Last year's expert champ, Avi Cavale, of Shippable.

How I raised $2 million in funding by playing ping pong

It all started at last year’s GeekWire ping pong and anniversary bash. I had just founded my company, Qhode (now called Shippable). We were building a geeky product, a continuous integration and deployment service targeted at software developers. Even though we were solving a real problem, I had no idea how to market it. I… Read More

Wires. Photo via Hallieg

Commentary: Four reasons why Google fiber will never come to Seattle

Google is bringing high speed fiber broadband networks to homes and businesses in three cities – Kansas City, Austin and Provo. In February, it announced 34 more cities it will approach for building fiber – Portland, Phoenix, Atlanta and more. But not Seattle. And Seattle won’t be making Google’s list anytime soon. The “Seattle Process” and a balky… Read More

Crowdfunding image via Shutterstock

Why I support Washington’s proposed crowdfunding law

The Washington state legislature has a unique opportunity in front of it right now. It can pass a state-specific crowdfunding law. You can read the bill, which has already unanimously passed out of a House committee here. The bill would allow Washington state businesses to raise up to $1 million during any 12-month period from Washington… Read More

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Commentary: A teen’s take on the Pebble smartwatch

Over the last several months, I’ve been testing the Pebble smartwatch and thinking about the future of wearable technology. The Pebble links by Bluetooth wireless technology to my cell phone and allows me to access certain information on my wrist rather than on my phone. Here are the pros and cons of the Pebble smartwatch. One… Read More

Richard Sherman

13 lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Richard Sherman

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last week, Richard Sherman has been everywhere in the media. It started when the Seattle Seahawks made a game saving and ultimately winning play to beat the rival San Francisco 49ers in about as dramatic a fashion as possible — an interception in the end zone with less… Read More

Photo via Kevin Lisota

Commentary: An MBA’s take on Seattle’s tech scene

Even before coming to Seattle for the first time on MIT Sloan’s Tech Trek, I had a feeling that I’d like this place. I’d heard how it’s laid back and outdoorsy. Yeah, rainy weather, but I’d also heard how friendly everyone is. Having just returned from our visit, I can say that the city lived… Read More

Rich Barton jumping in an Uber

Rich Barton: Uber made me call my mom

A month or so ago, I had dinner with a group of entrepreneurs at the Goldman Internet Conference in Vegas.  Among them was Travis Kalanick, the colorful and talented founder and CEO of Uber. Travis is a man on a mission to revolutionize how we get around, as I’m sure you’re all well aware.  I’ve been a… Read More

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Online privacy regulation on the legislative docket: What’s the proper role for government?

The Washington state legislature will convene next Monday for its annual session.  The legislature will not pass a big operating budget this year in the 60-day session, but it will make some adjustments based on the state’s current economy and tax revenue collections. The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council — the agency charged with making… Read More

robot444

Anatomy of a $631,230 Kickstarter campaign video

In early September, I launched a Kickstarter campaign for Robot Turtles – a board game that teaches programming to kids ages 3-8. It became the bestselling boardgame in Kickstarter history, and while there were a lot of moving pieces (and a lot of luck) involved in making that happen, I think the video was a… Read More

nasa

Pacific Science Center lands NASA grant for STEM education

The Pacific Science Center has been named as a recipient of a NASA Collaboration Grant to help it promote STEM education in Seattle. In particular, the museum says that the grant will fund “programming that will increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of remote sensing technologies, associated disciplines, and their relevance to NASA.” The grant is valued… Read More

startup-entering-small

Commentary: Here are the problems with Seattle’s Startup Initiative

Editor’s Note: Nick Licata is a Seattle City Councilmember. Recently, a Seattle Times editorial lauded the Seattle City Council for requiring clear goals, measurable outcomes, effectiveness and accountability standards for funding projects in our 2014 budget. For the most part, we accomplished that this year. But one exception struck me as failing to meet all of… Read More

Photo via Kevin Lisota

Silicon Valley VC view: 5 reasons why Seattle will become a hub of business cloud services

I’ve recently read several articles about the difficulties that Seattle entrepreneurs face when building business-to-business companies.  While some might find this discouraging, I actually see this as a great opportunity. From my perspective in Silicon Valley, the Seattle region is right on the cusp of developing its own enterprise start-up ecosystem, particularly focused on business… Read More

Nathan Kaiser at 2bar in SODO

Commentary: A lean startup approach to making booze

I worked at tech startups for the past 15 years — Drugstore, Allrecipes, nPost, and Blue Box Group to name a few. But last year, I opted to take on a different kind of startup: The capital-intensive manufacturing business of legally, legitimately making booze. In 2008, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 2959 and, for… Read More

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Commentary: Yes, startups are a lot like surfing

Seaton Gras started a tech incubator because he wanted to help entrepreneurs more easily create companies.  He named it SURF Incubator — an acronym for Start Up Really Fast. But If you prod a bit more and ask him about the name, he might just dive into an analogy of how startups and surfing are quite similar…. Read More

Matt Lerner

Commentary: How I taught my kids Python programming

I wanted to expose my kids to programming because it’s a great skill and a powerful way of thinking. And my kids spend enough time playing Angry Birds and Cut the Rope on my iPhone that I figure they should get a peek behind the curtain at how programming works. So whether you’ve never programmed… Read More

Seattle-Skyline-Super-Moon

The geography of tech: Seattle’s oft-forgotten tech ecosystem

The October 21st story in The New York Times —  “Tech Wealth and Ideas Are Heading Into News” — includes Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos among “Silicon Valley and its various power brokers.” News flash: Amazon.com is not located in Silicon Valley. Nor is the company that pioneered PC software (Microsoft). Nor the company that invented desktop publishing… Read More