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Jordan Ritter and Brian Valentine of Ivy Softworks. (Erynn Rose Photo)

Is there a better way to start and grow startups, and keep the founding team together for the long haul? Our guests on the GeekWire radio show are two well-known members of the tech community who are tackling that challenge.

Jordan Ritter, the co-founder of Napster, and Brian Valentine, the former senior Microsoft and Amazon executive, join us to talk about Ivy Softworks, the stealthy “innovation studio” in Seattle’s Pioneer Square that Ritter describes as a “startup that builds startups.” Ritter started Ivy Softworks in October 2013 and was joined last year by Valentine, known for his past roles leading large Microsoft Windows and Amazon engineering teams.

Ritter is one of the speakers at the upcoming GeekWire Startup Day, next Friday Jan. 30, in Seattle. Listen for the trivia challenge in the final segment of the show for a chance to win a ticket to the event.

We also talk with Valentine about his experience at Microsoft and Amazon, working for Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, and later Jeff Bezos. In this extended podcast version of the show, we also get the backstory on an unrelated but very timely topic: Valentine’s “Bussell Wilson” Seahawks tailgating bus, which he created with his sons and their friends.

The conversation with Valentine and Ritter begins in the second segment of the show, at 9:30 in the audio player above, following our weekly news roundup. Topics this week include Microsoft’s Windows 10 and HaloLens unveiling, and Starbucks’ delivery plans and mobile payment expansion.

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