Startup Advice, Insights, and Inspiration from the Trenches: GeekWire Startup Day, 8 am – 5 pm on Friday, Feb. 12 at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, located at 11100 NE 6th Street, Bellevue, WA 98004. For directions and parking information click here.
Planning to make the startup plunge, or already in the deep end? Look no further than GeekWire Startup Day, presented this year by The City of Bellevue.
Startup Day is the preeminent startup conference in the Pacific Northwest — bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, tinkerers and builders for a day of discussion, inspiration and learning about the startup journey.
Startup Demo Zone! Startup companies will receive in-person feedback and conduct one-on-one presentations with event attendees in the Startup Demo Zone. The Zone is available to qualifying startup companies for $650, and includes a presentation table; two tickets to the event and an individual meeting with an angel investor or VC. Three companies from the Demo Zone also will be chosen to present live on stage to our illustrious VC and angel investor panel.
We’re also excited to bring back the Resource Room, where entrepreneurs will be able to discuss everyday business challenges with experts in law, finance, design, leadership and more.
We look forward to seeing you on Feb. 12!
Founder, VoiceStream Wireless and partner, Trilogy
John Stanton is a pioneer of the wireless industry and led four of the top wireless operators in the United States over the last three decades. During the 1980s, Stanton served as Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman of McCaw Cellular, which became the largest wireless operator in the US. In the late 1980s, Stanton began acquiring rural wireless properties with partners Mikal Thomsen and Terry Gillespie. These properties, along with other merged entities, formed Western Wireless Corporation, which Stanton led as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer through 2005. He also served as chairman and CEO of VoiceStream Wireless, which was spun out of Western Wireless and eventually acquired by Deutsche Telecom in 2001 and renamed T-Mobile USA. Most recently, Stanton served as a director, Chairman and interim CEO of Clearwire Corporation.
In the last decade, Stanton has chaired or co-chaired the Business Partnership for Early Learning, the United Way of King County campaign, the Washington Roundtable and the Regional Transportation Commission. He currently serves as the Chairman of Year Up of Puget Sound, a trustee of Whitman College and a director of the Seattle Foundation.
Stanton received his BA in political science from Whitman College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Stanton and his wife Terry Gillespie have two sons.
Board Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
A respected technologist and business leader, Steven Sinofsky is currently a Board Partner at the Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm and advisor to early stage companies (Product Hunt, Tanium, Everlaw, Box).
He began his career at Microsoft in 1989. He started as a software design engineer in development tools. Working in product management, he grew to be one of the company’s senior executives on Microsoft Office overseeing six major releases of the full range of Office apps and creation of Office servers.
Most recently he served as President of the Windows division through 2012. In this role, he oversaw many of Microsoft’s largest products, including the development of the Windows operating system, as well as Windows Services such as Outlook.com, OneDrive and Identity.
Sinofsky frequently comments on products, development and management at his blog, blog.learningbyshipping.com, and on twitter, @stevesi. He earned a BA in Computer Science from Cornell and an MS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
CEO & Co-founder, OfferUp
Nick Huzar is an internet executive with over 15 years of experience leading product teams. He is presently founder and CEO of OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace in the U.S.
Before OfferUp, Huzar co-founded Konnects Inc. There he designed the original platform and directly managed the engineering and design teams in addition to his daily duties as the company’s CTO.
Prior to Konnects, Huzar played a key role on the web team at T-Mobile for 3 years where he was pivotal in leading the development and integration of web applications.
Stephanie Spranger is the co-founder of Glamhive, a Seattle startup that rewards fashionistas with gift cards for sharing their favorite outfits online. Earlier this year Glamhive took home the top prize at Seattle Angle Conference’s pitch contest.
In 2011, Spranger also founded business consultancy Stephanie Sprangers Group, which focuses on entrepreneurship. She’s previously worked in leadership roles at Salesforce, IMM, and Pontifex.
CEO & Co-founder, Limeade
Henry Albrecht founded Limeade in 2006, leading the company from an idea in his basement to a high-growth corporate wellness technology company. He patented the world’s first comprehensive well-being assessment with Dr. Laura Hamill. Using a values-driven approach, Albrecht created Limeade as an award-winning employer with its engaged, high-energy and high-performing workforce.
Before founding Limeade, Albrecht was a VP of Product Management at an enterprise software company and product marketing leader at Intuit, where he launched new multi-million dollar businesses under the QuickBooks brand.
Mark Mader is the CEO of Smartsheet. Passionate about delivering superior customer experiences and organizational excellence, Mader strives to find innovative ways for customers to collaborate more intelligently using the Smartsheet platform and its partner ecosystem.
Prior to Smartsheet, Mader served as senior vice president of global services for Onyx Software, leading the consulting and customer operations teams in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In 2015, he was recognized as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Technology for the Pacific Northwest.
Liz Pearce is CEO of LiquidPlanner, the fast-growing Seattle-based maker of predictive project management technology. She is responsible for the company’s overall vision, strategic direction and growth. Pearce is an entrepreneurial leader with more than 15 years of marketing, product management and technology leadership experience. She started her career at LiquidPlanner as Director of Marketing in 2007 before being named COO in 2011 and CEO in August of 2012.
Pearce is an active member of the Seattle startup and technology community and is passionate about mentoring and advocating for diversity in technology and leadership. She is a founding steering committee member of the ADA Developers Academy. In addition she sits on the board of the Technology Alliance, is a Code Fellows and 9 Mile Labs mentor, a member of the City of Seattle’s Digital Equity Action Committee and a frequent judge and speaker at University of Washington events.
Lineman, Seattle Seahawks, Co-founder of GREATER
Russell Okung is an offensive tackle with the Seattle Seahawks. Chosen sixth in the 2010 NFL draft by the Seahawks, Russell has earned his way to a Pro Bowl and two Super Bowl appearances, claiming a victory and the World Champion title in 2014.
Off the field, Russell is active in the community, helping kids and investing in startups. He started GREATER which works with community organizations to foster the next generation of leaders. Focused on at-risk youth, GREATER is involved in helping youth get a step into the technology economy.
Russell has also invested in several startups including eSports company, Matcherino. He was born to Nigerian immigrants, raised in Houston and graduated from Oklahoma State with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing. Russell is currently working towards an Executive MBA at the University of Miami.
Co-founder and CEO, Buddy TV
Andy Liu is co-founder and CEO of BuddyTV, a venture-backed technology company focused on next generation TV Guides for mobile and tablets.
Liu received his MBA from Wharton and went on to serve as President and CEO of NetConversions before its sale to aQuantive (AQNT) in 2004. After the acquisition, Liu served as VP and GM of aQuantive’s Site Optimization unit. In addition, Liu is an avid angel investor with nearly 90 portfolio companies with notable investments in Cheezburger Networks, Sparq, SoFi, Rover, Minted, Buuteeq, Remitly, Unify Square, Pipeline Deals, and others.
He was named to Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 under 40 and selected as Angel of the Year by Seattle 2.0. Liu is very passionate about entrepreneurship and helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Most importantly, he is a very proud new dad.
Co-founder, Pioneer Square Labs and Venture Partner, Madrona Venture Group
Greg Gottesman is a Venture Partner of Madrona Venture Group. He joined the firm in 1997, was named one of the three initial Managing Directors in 1999 and served in that role until 2015. He founded Madrona Labs in 2014 and continues to serve on multiple portfolio company boards on behalf of Madrona. Gottesman is the founder, former CEO and current board member of Rover.com, the world’s largest pet sitting marketplace. He co-founded Spare5, where he now serves on the board.
Gottesman is the President of the Evergreen Venture Capital Association and formerly served as a board member of Startup Weekend. He is the author of three books. He also is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering department, where he teaches a course on entrepreneurship.
When not working, Gottesman spends time with his wife and three kids, watches too much reality TV and can’t seem to get past the third round of GeekWire’s annual ping-pong tournament.
CEO & Co-founder, Point Inside
Josh Marti is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Point Inside. Marti has a proven record of designing, developing and bringing to market cutting-edge technology products.
Considered an expert in wireless location-based services, Marti was responsible for several of Qualcomm’s largest gpsOne deployments and a number of global brand and operator deployments prior to co-founding Point Inside in 2009.
Voted a Seattle 40 under 40 honoree in 2012, he holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Seattle University and sits on their EE & CE Advisory Board.
CEO, MissionX, Founder & Former CEO, Lively
Dean Graziano has over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurial ventures. Most recently Graziano was the Founder and CEO of Lively, a Seattle-based direct-to-fan mobile platform that provides professional-quality audio and video recordings of live performances through an app-based interface. He was the Founder and VP of Business Development at Visible Technologies, an industry leading online social media Software Company. Graziano started Visible Technologies in 2004, and grew the company to 110 employees and $16MM in revenue by 2009. Graziano led the company to over $30MM in funding.
Visible Technologies was acquired in 2014 by Cision. In 2007 Graziano was also part of the founding team at Reach Machines, a media planning Software Company, which in 2008 merged with another local start-up, called Fyreball; the combined company was called Meteor Solutions.
Graziano currently lives in Seattle with his wife Marian and their 3 kids. Graziano sits on several Advisory Boards and is highly active in the Seattle start-up community. He is an inventor holding patents in the social media industry.
Founder, Avasta Press and Co-Founder & Former CEO, Writer.ly
Kelsye Nelson is a publisher and author. She co-founded and was CEO of Writer.ly, a marketplace of publishing services before leaving the company to her partner in 2014. Writer.ly was angel-funded and backed by Guy Kawasaki.
After Writer.ly, Nelson founded Avasta Press, bringing digital and social marketing practices to indie publishing. She taught the Business of Digital Publishing at the University of Washington and served as VP of Outreach and Growth at Brown Paper Tickets.
A passionate speaker, Nelson present talks and workshops on publishing, social marketing, entrepreneurialism, and startups at conferences and events, including Book Expo America, Digital Innovation Summit, Artists Trust, PubCamp, the Whidbey Island Writers’ Conference, NW Bookfest, Book Publishers NW and more.
Nelson earned her BA in Writing and Art Activism from The Evergreen State College and completed masters course work at the Antioch LA Publishing Arts Graduate Program. She is a graduate of the Founder Institute.
Former U.S. Olympian and Founder, Hooker Integrated Training
Ja’Warren Hooker is a high caliber fitness performance trainer and lifestyle coach based in Seattle. Certified as a personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association, he has been working with clients in the Seattle-Metropolitan area for over ten years.
As part of his pursuit of athletic excellence and positive results Hooker has studied yoga, Pilates, anatomy, massage, general fitness, and dance movement. Hooker’s training programs are tailored specifically for each individual and their varying needs.
Hooker’s personal fitness and coaching company, Hooker Integrated Training (HIT) works with companies to create a culture that supports the intrinsic value of corporate health and fitness programs. Hooker has trained Rich Barton, co-founder of Zillow, Expedia, and Glassdoor and worked with tech companies such as Valve.
Hooker was a successful athlete throughout high school and college and is a decorated American sprinter, attending the Olympics in Sydney with the U.S. Men’s Track Team. He played football for two years and sprinted for four years while at the University of Washington on an athletic scholarship. In October 2014, Hooker was inducted into the honorary Husky Hall of Fame.
CEO, PicMonkey, Chairman, GeekWire
A serial entrepreneur and investor in many startups, Jonathan Sposato is currently the Chairman of GeekWire and CEO of PicMonkey the world’s most popular web photo-editor. He also has the distinct honor of being the first person to sell 2 companies to Google. As the CEO of Picnik, Sposato created a category-defining online photo editor to profitability and reached over 60M visits a month.
Prior to Picnik, Sposato founded Phatbits which went on to become Google Gadgets. Sposato was also an investor in several startups founded by women, chief among them Pokitdok, Glamhive, GiftStarter, Runway2Street, Poppy, and others.
Prior to startups, Sposato was a Senior Manager in Microsoft’s consumer division, personally delivering the next level of thought on key Microsoft properties to chairman Bill Gates and the company’s leadership, as well as driving the development of award-winning software applications, Xbox video games, and social communications applications.
Angel Investor and vice president at Indix Corporation
Heather Redman is VP Business Operations and General Counsel at Indix Corporation. Her career has had equal parts business and law. Redman was Senior Vice President at Summit Power Group and Executive and Senior Vice President at each of AtomShockwave, Inc., Getty Images, Inc., and PhotoDisc, Inc.
A consummate networker, Redman is experienced in corporate development and finance, business development and intellectual property strategy. She is an investor and advisor in TechStars, 9 Mile Labs, Founders’ Co-op, Alliance of Angels and makes approximately ten of her own independent angel investments per year. Some of her investments include Giftbit, Mightysignal, Battlefy, Modumetal, Giftstarter.
Redman serves on the Boards of Summit Power Group, the Washington Technology Industry Association (Executive Committee Member), the Greater Seattle Chamber, and Forterra and as a Fund Advisor to 9Mile Labs Fund. She has served on the boards of several privately held companies and many industry associations and non-profit companies as well as on numerous advisory boards.
Redman holds a JD (with distinction) from Stanford and her BA from Reed.
Mayor, City of Bellevue
John Stokes was elected to the Bellevue City Council in 2011, and is the council liaison to the Cascade Water Alliance Board, Eastside Transportation Partnership Steering Committee, Sound Cities Public Issues Committee and the city’s Planning Commission. The council elected him mayor for 2016 and 2017.
Prior to joining the council, Stokes was a member of the Parks and Community Services Board for four years. He also served on the Eastgate/I-90 Citizen Advisory Committee and the Bellevue Parks Yes! Levy Steering Committee. In addition, Stokes co-founded Eastside Pathways, a collective-impact nonprofit working to ensure that all children have the support they need to maximize their opportunities for productive, fulfilling lives.
Stokes moved to Bellevue in 1991 from Dallas, Texas. A retired attorney, he holds a law degree from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas Tech University. Stokes is an avid reader and model railroader, and also enjoys gardening.
John Cook writes about startups, entrepreneurs, mobile technologies, social networking, online commerce, geek culture and many other topics for GeekWire.
He has been covering the technology beat in the region for more than a decade, working for the Eastside Journal and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer before co-founding the Puget Sound Business Journal’s technology news site, where he worked as executive editor.
A native of Wooster, Ohio, he got his start in journalism in high school, with a part-time job compiling obituary and election information for the Akron Beacon Journal, where his mom was a reporter. He graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in history, earning Phi Beta Kappa recognition and Academic All-American honors in soccer.
John’s interests include backpacking, bicycling, running and watching English Premier League soccer. He lives in Seattle with his wife Holly, son Jack and dog Henry.
Councilmember, City of Bellevue
Dr. Lynne Robinson joined the City Council in 2014, and she has a long history of civic involvement. Robinson advocates for the environment, parks and open spaces, human services and affordable housing in Bellevue.
A proponent of tech startups, Robinson encouraged two 2014 events at City Hall, Bellevue Tech Hive and Startup Weekend Bellevue, as well as an Equity Crowdfunding Workshop in 2015.
A physical therapist with her own business, Robinson holds a doctorate in physical therapy from Regis University and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Northwestern University Medical School. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in community services from California State University Chico. In 2015 Governor Inslee appointed her to a three-year term on the state Board of Physical Therapy.
Robinson and husband Dan Watson have lived in the Woodridge neighborhood of Bellevue since 1997.
Startup Day Begins, Opening Announcements
Welcome: Mayor John Stokes, City of Bellevue
Liz Pearce, CEO of LiquidPlanner
“7 Things I’ve Learned Building a Lean Startup”
Henry Albrecht, Co-founder and CEO of Limeade
“How to Build a Sales-Friendly Startup”
Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet
“Lessons From the Sea That Can Help Your Startup Succeed”
Check out the Startup Demo Zone and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award!
The Resource Room Opens
Discuss everyday business challenges with experts in law, finance, design, leadership and more. Sign up with a GeekWire event team member in Hall A for your one-on-one session with an industry expert.
Stephanie Sprangers, Co-founder of Glamhive
“Fairy tale meets real life: A startup journey”
John Stanton, Founder of VoiceStream Wireless and Jonathan Sposato, CEO of PicMonkey
Nick Huzar, Co-founder & CEO of OfferUp
“Knowing When to Make the Startup Leap”
Announcement of top three finalists from the Demo Zone
The three entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to present their ideas live on stage immediately after lunch, with a 3-minute rapid-fire pitch.
Box lunches provided
Demo Zone Pitches and VC Panel
The top three companies from the Demo Zone present their ideas live on stage to leading venture capitalists and angel investors, followed by a Q&A discussion moderated by GeekWire co-founder John Cook on tips and tricks for raising money.
Venture capital panel: Steven Sinofsky, board partner at Andreessen Horowitz; Andy Liu, angel investor and co-founder of BuddyTV; Heather Redman, angel investor vice president at Indix; and Greg Gottesman, venture partner at Madrona Venture Group and co-founder of Pioneer Square Labs.
Ja'Warren Hooker, Former U.S. Olympian and Founder of Hooker Integrated Training
“Get Up and Stretch: Tips for a Healthy Startup Life”
Josh Marti, Co-founder & CEO of Point Inside
“Why Taking Investment May Be Hazardous to Your Health”
Cast your vote for the Demo Zone People’s Choice Award!
Panel: Dean Graziano, Founder and Former CEO of Lively and Kelsye Nelson, Co-founder and Former CEO of Writer.ly
“Bouncing Back from Failure”
Russell Okung, Seattle Seahawks lineman and Co-founder of GREATER
“Startup Lessons from the Offensive Line”
Closing Remarks & People's Choice Winner Announced
Startup Day Ends
Check out the Demo Zone — a one-of-a-kind spot for young companies to showcase cutting-edge ideas to the Startup Day audience.
Includes: A presentation table; two tickets to the event and a meeting with an angel investor or VC. The top three companies from the Demo Zone, as selected by the VC judging panel, will get the opportunity to present their ideas live on stage immediately after lunch at Startup Day.
The Startup Demo Zone VC judges are: Bill Bryant of DFJ; Soma Somasegar of Madrona; Rob Shurtleff of Divergent Ventures; Cole Brodman of Trilogy; Kristina Bergman of Ignition; and angel investor Gary Rubens.
The panelists for the VC and angel investment panel after lunch are: Steven Sinofsky, board partner at Andreessen Horowitz; Heather Redman, angel investor and VP at Indix; Andy Liu, angel investor and co-founder of BuddyTV; and Greg Gottesman, venture partner at Madrona Venture Group and co-founder of Pioneer Square Labs.
– Calentic is a social platform that allows users to easily create, manage, find, and share events with their friends.
– Neposmart provides feature rich, and affordable solutions by integrating various technologies to increase automation, ease of access and connectivity, bringing the ‘Internet of things’ to our daily lives.
– Faira makes homes sales simple, transparent and affordable. Our new process empowers buyers and sellers with the most information upfront and modern technology to negotiate the sale. Sell your home free at Faira.com.
– Leantime is a Lean based project management system; utilizing a functional Lean canvas and Lean principles to manage, coordinate, and plan projects.
– Slope is platform that makes it easy for marketing and creative teams to collaborate on visual content. Businesses are producing more visual content than ever before, but still lack the necessary tools to make this production easy and efficient. Slope allows teams to plan campaigns, collaborate in real time, and manage the iterative nature of creative projects, streamlining the entire process. We also provide teams with meaningful data to help them improve their process, and better correlate the effort of creating content with its effectiveness in the market.
– Robodub lets you experience your game live, and in person unlike more traditional video games with live action gaming using robots and drones.
– Swurveys makes obtaining answers from your audience lightning quick. Anyone on a mobile device can now productively engage with your ideas, products, services, and brand. All swipe, no type.
– Airlift is a Seattle-based startup that will transform your office kitchen into a natural food
micro market, powered by an intelligent self-checkout iPad.
– Wyper is a mobile app that is “the fastest way to find your next car.”
– IntellaSphere is an all-in-one digital marketing system that seamlessly integrates social media, web, relationship and mobile marketing.
– Globespinning is an iOS app where friends share picturesque itineraries of trips they have taken. It saves you time and effort and helps you plan an amazing trip.
– Viewsay brings in-video commenting and social interaction to online videos. Immediate integration with Facebook, Twitter or Google+ allows you to discover new videos, add in-the-moment contextual comments and share your findings with your friends. This viral loop between, social media and on-line video exposes you to more video content, invites greater engagement through our unique in-video commenting pane, and enhances the overall viewing experience.
– Bizzoku offers a powerful contextual and adaptive mobile platform that empowers easy and affordable app creation. But, it goes much further than any existing platform, letting customers change an apps look, feel and functionality in real-time. This means no app store redeployment or additional wait time along the way. All this without costly developers or graphic designers.
–MONEYfan – injecting life and excitement into the gift card industry.
– Hopela helps you fuel your cause. Discover local causes all around you. Give right in the moment of inspiration. Keep track of all your charitable giving in one convenient spot, and share your moments with others!
– Cartogram provides indoor location services for businesses to solve painful problems, manage venue technology, enable new advertising channels, and improve sales. Our software suite include mobile indoor maps, map content management tools, in-store product search for over 300 retailers, and targeted digital signage which adapts to people who are nearby.
– Government plays a big role in shaping our day-to-day lives. One of the most effective ways to get involved is to support politicians who share your values. ActiveGiver maps all the hot issues, and the corresponding politicians who support them, at the local, State and Federal levels. We call these “Causes.” Using our Cause-based platform, you can interact with Causes in different ways: Follow, Share or Donate. If you donate to a cause, your gift is distributed to the politicians that support it.
– The Feedback Registry is the top level authority for the new .feedback domains. A great example of a domain in use is Microsoft.feedback or Yahoo.feedback. We provide meaningful domains that have an instant call to action for consumers looking to give feedback. All domains sold come with a turnkey platform to accept feedback. The .Feedback domains can add stars to your existing Google SERP results.
– SONS Football is dedicated to the learning and education of raising football IQ for youth athletes. We design patent-pending gloves and sleeves specifically for beginning football players ages 5-9 so coaches can run more effective practices within a positive and SAFE environment when correctly utilized. SONS gives the athlete instant visual recognition, empowering young athletes and raising #PlayerConfidence!
– Guided Fitness is an online marketplace for personal training. For clients, it’s lower cost and flexible, no gym memberships required. Trainers can start and run their independent training businesses on Guided Fitness at a much lower cost than the status quo.