When Andy Sack stepped down from his role at Techstars Seattle earlier this month, the startup vet stressed that he’d continue to help Seattle entrepreneurs in any capacity that he could.
Interestingly, that work is now turning to one of the region’s largest startups: Microsoft.
Sack tells GeekWire that he’s been hired as a consultant to help the software giant incorporate startup practices.
“I’m working on applying the best practices of startups to Microsoft product teams,” said Sack, a well known entrepreneur who previously led Judy’s Book, The Body Shop Digital and Abuzz. “Training/mentoring all layers of the (organization) to be more customer focused, faster, and hypothesis based.”
Sack also previously worked at Firefly Network, a Cambridge, Mass.-based personalization software startup that Microsoft acquired in 1998.
It will certainly be a twist for Sack, who over the past five years helped small startups in the germination-phase get off the ground. During his tenure at Techstars, Sack helped incubate 51 startups in Seattle, with those companies going on to raise $86.7 million in venture funding.
Under the direction of newly-appointed CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has a host of challenges in front of it. Bringing on startup veterans could help move the organization faster, possibly breaking down some of the bureaucracy that’s plagued Microsoft over the years.
But Sack said that he’s been impressed with Nadella’s “change agenda” and sees ways “to build the Seattle tech ecosystem by working with the largest software company.”
“I’m taking the expertise gained mentoring startup teams for the past five years at Techstars and applying it to Microsoft product teams,” said Sack, who will work closely with Microsoft execs such as executive vice president Scott Guthrie and Dave Campbell, CTO of the company’s server & tools division.
Sack will also continue in his roles at Founder’s Co-op, Code Fellows and Lighter Capital, but Microsoft will certainly consume a portion of his time over the next year.