Last week, we noted how difficult it is for startup companies to compete against Amazon.com and other tech giants in the region for software engineers. Well, here’s a counterexample. Relaborate, a new technology startup, just tapped software developer Grant Gavares as chief technology officer. Gavares most recently spent three years at Apptio, and before that was one of the first software engineers working on Amazon Web Services’ data warehousing capabilities.
“The Relaborate application has some complex technology requirements involving big data, semantic analysis, and intelligent content mapping, and it’s a real benefit that we landed a technologist who has a track record of recognizing emerging market opportunities and developing enterprise-ready solutions,” said CEO Colin Lamont in a press release. Relaborate raised more than $500,000 in angel financing last month for its “smart content marketing engine.”
—Don Pickering has stepped down as CEO of OneOcean Corporation, a Seattle startup which we’ve described as a “Dropbox for ocean data.” Pickering is a startup vet who previously founded Altrec.com, Cosmix and Memetic Systems. The company is now being led by CTO Don Davis, formerly of Free Rein and RealNetworks. OneOcean is backed by MySpace co-founder Aber Whitcomb and others. “We appreciate outgoing CEO Don Pickering’s work in securing initial funding and building a team to launch OneOcean, and we’re thrilled to have Don Davis’ technology leadership and product vision at the helm to fully realize the value of ClipCard,” said board member Bob Desautel in a release.
—Technology-blogger-turned-venture capitalist MG Siegler has left Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund to take a new job at Google Ventures, writing in a post that his new employer sits in a “truly unique space within the venture capital industry.” Siegler and Arrington previously worked together at TechCrunch, and since forming CrunchFund they have invested in a number of startup companies, including Seattle upstarts like Rover.com and Clipboard. Meanwhile, Google Ventures is a backer of Seattle area companies like DocuSign and Apptentive.
—Seattle startup Jawfish Games has assembled a new board of advisors which includes executives from Google, Activision and Microsoft. Among the new additions are Sarah Boatman, vice president of business development at Microsoft; Don Dodge of Google; Ron Doornink, former CEO of Activision Publishing; Scott Greenburg of K&L Gates; Adam Gries, founder of Smart Bites; and Martin Tobias, founder of Tippr. Jawfish is led by entrepreneur Phil Gordon, a recent guest on the GeekWire podcast and radio show. It recently inked a deal to develop the multiplayer tournament game Match-up! with Big Fish.
“We’ve got a royal flush with this advisory board,” said Gordon, a competitive poker player whose company is developing new casino-style game products. “These advisors are the brightest minds from multiple industries and will help us grow and build a dominant force in mobile gaming.”
—Nicole Wong, the former vice president and deputy general counsel at Google who has most recently led Twitter’s legal department, will serve in President Barack Obama’s administration as the first chief privacy officer, according to a report on CNET.
—Kati London, a former executive producer and head of product for Zynga New York, has joined the team at FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research. She is based at Microsoft’s New York City lab, and will continue to pursue research on the blending the virtual and physical worlds.
“I have always been excited by the work that’s coming out of FUSE—experimental, playful things with an eye toward the future of user social experiences,” London says in a blog post. “I’ve known (FUSE GM) Lili (Cheng) for a long time, and I’ve always been impressed by her. When the opportunity presented itself, it was hard to turn down—being around people who are excellent at executing and who cultivate an environment to experiment and test new hypotheses is something that’s important to me. That’s something that’s possible here.” More on her new role here.
—From earlier today, check out our report on Susan Sigl stepping down as CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association.