Seattle entrepreneur Dave Parker has been named vice president of product at UP Global, the new entity that comprises Startup Weekend and Startup America. Parker has been actively involved in the Seattle startup community for years, most recently serving as Seattle director of the Founder Institute startup incubator. He will still be engaged with Founder Institute. In his new role at UP Global, he will oversee development of Startup Weekend efforts such as NEXT and Startup Digest.
Parker said he sees an opportunity to help entrepreneurs better understand “startup economics” as preached by folks such as Steve Blank.
“We can make that curriculum more accessible for a broader audience earlier in the process and improve the quality of ideas going into the programs,” he said. “Then we get the chance to roll it out globally, supporting the local ecosystems.”
UP Global President Marc Nager said they are excited to have Parker on board. “With the coming changes to the NEXT program especially, we think we can create a feeder network to better prepare founders for Incubators, Accelerators and launching new tech companies,” he said.
Seattle startup EnerG2 has named Tom Kieffer has vice president of worldwide sales. He most recently worked at Altair Nanotechnologies, a maker of large-scale energy storage systems for the electric grid, transportation, and industrial markets. Before that, he worked at Cummins. “We currently work with over 100 significant companies across the globe who are focused on energy storage application development,” says Rick Luebbe, Co-Founder and CEO of EnerG2. “Demand is increasing, and we’re confident that Tom will be able to build even more, and even deeper, relationships. He understands that the energy storage revolution is truly taking off on a global scale. We’re very excited to have him on our team.”
Blucora, a publicly-traded Bellevue company that operates the TaxAct and InfoSpace businesses, has named David Chung to the board. Chung previously worked at Blum Capital Partners; Perspective Value Partners and KKR. His addition could signal more acquisitions for Blucora, which expanded its business last year through the purchase of TaxAct. “His experience aligns well with our strategy to continue to grow Blucora both organically and through future acquisitions,” said Blucora Chief Executive Officer Bill Ruckelshaus.
Entrepreneur Jeff Seely has joined the board of Lighter Capital, the Seattle firm that invests in mid-stage startups by taking a percentage of future revenue rather than equity. Seely is a trustee on the Washington State Investment Board and served on the board of Redmond-based Concur. He previously served as the CEO of Recruiting.com and ShareBuilder Corp., the latter of which was sold to ING Direct for $220 million in 2007. “Jeff’s career has bridged the worlds of finance and technology in a very rare and highly successful manner, bringing a tremendous wealth of experience to Lighter Capital as we grow our Capital-as-a-Service offering,” said BJ Lackland, CEO of Lighter Capital. “His experience building a web-based financial services firm, being an investment banker to banks, and providing strategic guidance to pension funds and successful software businesses provides our board with a veteran perspective that will be extremely valuable.”