Jim Brisimitzis, a longtime Microsoft leader, is leaving the company to establish a Seattle office for New York-based venture capital firm and startup accelerator Quake Capital. The office will officially open in 2019.
Brisimitzis spent more than 13 years at the tech giant. He founded Microsoft for Startups in 2015 and has led the startup engagement initiative since then. He was previously the head of operations and portfolio programs for Microsoft Ventures.
“Simply put, Jim is one of the top startup professionals in the world,” Quake Capital Founding Partner Glenn Argenbright said in a press release. “His knowledge, experience and network will provide incredible value to our portfolio teams and to the organization as a whole. Quake has an aggressive growth strategy, with plans to open offices in five new cities over the next two years, and will launch a third fund in late 2018. Jim will help us to execute on this vision.”
Brisimitzis will serve as a managing partner at Quake as well as leading the expansion of Quake’s accelerator program to Seattle. Quake focuses on seed investments in companies across a variety of industries, including startups such as Cops for Hire; Pippa; SubjectMatter and others. It also has operations in Los Angeles and Austin.
Microsoft for Startups declined to comment on Brisimitzis’ departure.
— OfferUp, the Seattle-based marketplace taking on services like Craigslist, Facebook and eBay, has added Amazon veteran Bill Carr as its chief operating officer. Carr is just the third C-level executive at the company, alongside CEO and co-founder Nick Huzar and CFO Rodrigo Brumana, who joined the company last month.
Carr spent 15 years at Amazon where he built the company’s video streaming and music services, now a core part of Amazon’s business. He left the company in 2014 and spent a stint as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Seattle venture capital firm Maveron before joining OfferUp.
OfferUp — one of the Seattle area’s so-called unicorns, privately-held companies with a valuation topping $1 billion — has raised more than $220 million to date from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Warburg Pincus, GGV Capital, T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global, Coatue and Allen & Company. Based in Bellevue, it ranks No. 12 on the GeekWire 200 startup list.
“Bill understands how to tackle operational challenges that come with hyper growth in a way that few executives can, and he has a proven track record of maximizing growth potential across a range of businesses,” Huzar said in a press release. “Bill has an incredible amount of experience in scaling teams and driving operational rigor, and will be instrumental as we elevate our business strategy and strengthen our core marketplace. He’s joining an already successful and energetic team, at the perfect time.”
Faith was the longtime CEO of data protection company Datacastle, which he sold to Carbonite in 2017. He spent a short time at Carbonite before leaving the company and working as a startup advisor and consultant.
“The entire RBC Signals staff welcomes Ron Faith to the team,” RBC Signals Founder and CEO Christopher Richins said in a press release. “His expertise and proven success in growing emerging technology enterprises in both sophistication and size is invaluable to our business at this key stage of our development.”
RBC Signals raised a $1.5 million seed round last year and the company said it is currently raising a series A.