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James Keblas
James Keblas.

James Keblas knows a thing or two about the creative side of Seattle.

A longtime advocate for the city’s music and film scenes, Keblas spent nine years as director of Seattle’s Office of Film + Music. Now he’s going to help build community again, with ShareGrid, the Seattle startup that offers a peer-to-peer rental marketplace for film and photo equipment.

Keblas will be the director of growth management for ShareGrid. The company was profiled in a GeekWire Startup Spotlight in May, in which CEO Arash Shiva said, “We built ShareGrid to give artists freedom — to give them access to the tools they need and the financial freedom they desire in order to focus on their craft.”

In July, the company announced $1 million in seed funding.

In a news release this week, Shiva said Kebla’s “passion, values and strategic thinking in creativity and commerce align perfectly with our ambitions as a company.”

Keblas got his start in the Seattle music scene in the 1990s when, according to the release, he earned the title “punk rocker in a suit” for his role in persuading elected officials and business leaders to invest in the music industry. He co-founded and helped run Seattle’s non-profit music and arts center for youth, The Vera Project, from 1999-2005.

As director of the city’s Office of Film + Music, from 2005-14, Keblas developed Commercialize Seattle, a humorous economic development effort aimed at promoting the city and region as an ideal location for commercial production business.

Keblas also served as president of the Seattle ad agency Creature for a year and then founded City Inspired, a platform dedicated to the sharing of good ideas and inspiring creative communities.

“My life’s work has been about helping artists make a living being artists,” Keblas said. “ShareGrid has created an incredibly practical and powerful platform for this to be better achieved. It’s an honor to take what I have done in Seattle and combine that with an ingenious resource like ShareGrid to scale that vision to cities and people across the country.”

Aditya Agarwal
Aditya Agarwal.

— File-hosting service Dropbox announced that Aditya Agarwal, currently the vice president of engineering at the company, will be taking on the role of chief technology officer.

According to a news release, Agarwal will lead innovation efforts while continuing to manage the product engineering team at Dropbox.

Agarwal came to Dropbox through its acquisition of Cove, a company he founded in 2011. Prior to Cove, he was the director of product engineering at Facebook, where he oversaw the development of core products such as News Feed, Search, Photos, Profile and Applications.

Dropbox founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi announced the move in a blog post.

“Aditya has played an instrumental role in building products like Dropbox Business, Dropbox Enterprise, Dropbox Paper, and Dropbox Infinite. He’s also scaled our engineering team from 20 to hundreds of people across multiple locations.”

Metis logo
Metis logo.

Metis, the data science training provider, announced that it will be launching its first program in Seattle, a part-time Introduction to Data Science course, “designed to help students learn how to deliver solutions using the data scientific approach to thinking about data-heavy problems.”

The launch in Seattle follows a series of recent moves, including expansions into San Francisco and Chicago,  the acquisition of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Explore Data Science program, and the hiring of data scientist Dr. Deborah Berebichez.

The course will be taught by Trent Hauck, a data science consultant in the insurance and e-commerce industries who previously worked as a data scientist for Zulily.

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