Paul Allen’s AI unit doubles down on startup support

Credit: Seattle Times, Matt Day.

In addition to $250,000 in seed funding for startups, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is offering office workspace at its Wallingford headquarters, and counsel from its experts in machine learning, computer vision and hardware engineering.


Paul Allen’s artificial-intelligence research outfit is opening its doors to a handful of startups, dangling $250,000 in funding and the promise of opportunities to draw on the human brain power of its in-house Ph.D.s.

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence has already lent a hand to a couple of Seattle startups that have gone on to success. was recently acquired by Chinese search giant Baidu, and has raised a round of venture capital funding. As of Tuesday, AI2, as the research unit calls itself, is seeking applications for startups to follow in those companies’ footsteps.

“We’ve decided to formalize and double down” on that work, said Oren Etzioni, the institute’s chief executive.

The future is serverless: IOpipe raises $2.5M from Madrona, NEA, and Underscore to build monitoring tools for serverless computing

Credit: Geekwire, Tom Krazit

One common thread among emerging enterprise technologies is that early adopters can quickly find themselves flying blind, stuck with monitoring tools that weren’t built with that tech in mind. Serverless development looks like it might turn into one of those technologies, and Seattle’s IOpipe has raised $2.5 million to build out a monitoring tool for developers using serverless techniques.

The seed round was funded by Madrona Venture Group, NEA, Underscore VC, and others. IOpipe, founded by CEO Adam Johnson and CTO Erica Windisich, is a graduate of the New York TechStars incubator and while its eight employees are currently spread throughout the U.S., it plans to grow in Seattle, Johnson said.

Serverless is an exciting concept: yes, servers are still involved, but the technique gets its name from the fact that software developers don’t have to worry about provisioning infrastructure as demand for their app changes. Instead, they write functions, or triggers, that can execute responses to changes based on pre-determined criteria much faster than developers can respond manually.

Workshop: Pacific Northwest Startup Ecosystems

Pacific Northwest Startup Ecosystems

Learn about Pacific Northwest startup ecosystems – ecosystems we will cover include Eugene, Bend, Portland, Vancouver, Victoria and Anchorage. Topics include:

• Startup and technology initiatives as economic development strategies.

• Regional funding sources for startups raising capital.

• Ecosystem resources including co-working spaces, incubators/accelerators and startup conferences.

This workshop is designed for individuals that are interested in learning about Pacific Northwest startup ecosystems – including entrepreneurs, startup teams, consultants, business coaches, enterprise executives.

Workshop & Networking Objectives:

• Empower you with the tools and resources to expand your network into Pacific

Northwest startup ecosystems.

• Cover regional startup and technology initiatives as economic development strategies.

• Identify regional funding sources for startups raising capital.

• Identify Pacific Northwest ecosystem resources

*Food and drinks provided


Introducing the 2017 UW Jones + Foster Accelerator Cohort

Credit: UW, Charles Trillingham

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship accepted nine student-created teams into the 2017 cohort of the Jones + Foster Accelerator (J+FA). These new entrepreneurs will work under the mentorship of top Seattle entrepreneurs and investors for the next six months to become early-stage startups. Those who meet their milestones and complete the accelerator can earn up to $25,000 in follow-on funding. Most importantly, they will learn a framework for defining measurable goals, as well as the skills to navigate obstacles both seen and unforeseen along their entrepreneurial journey

Fifty-six companies have completed the Jones + Foster Accelerator program since its inception in 2010. Forty-one of those have been awarded seed funding through the Accelerator totaling $870,000. Thirty-six are still in business today—raising millions in fundingbecoming household namesbringing families together in Haitipurifying drinking water in Somaliland, and powering cell phones in Kenyan villages.

Seattle based Element Data Closes $3.5M Series Seed Plus Round

Credit: PRNewswire

Element Data, Inc., a decision support software platform that harnesses artificial intelligence and machine learning to power decisions worldwide, closed a $3.5M series seed plus round on July 14, 2017. Including the initial round, total funds raised to date are $5.2M.

Seattle startup, Matcherino, secures additional funding.

Credit: Geekwire, Taylor Soper

The burgeoning eSports industry is spawning new startups like Matcherino that help support a growing ecosystem, and investors are taking notice.

Seattle-based Matcherino raised another $1.5 million this week from previous backers Madrona Venture Group and Vulcan Capital, along with other angel investors. Bend, Ore.-based Seven Peaks Ventures also invested for the first time.



Agriculture biotech startup raises $7M to grow apples, cherries, and nuts more effectively

Credit: Geekwire, Taylor Soper

Phytelligence is raising more cash to further develop its technology that helps grow food crops like apples, cherries, hops, and nuts more effectively.

The Seattle startup just closed on $6.95 million of a larger Series B round that could total $16 million. Cowles Company led the investment, which included participation from WRF Capital. Total funding in the 70-person company is $12.6 million.

Seattle health-care tech startup Xealth raises $8.5 million

Credit: Seattle Times, Rachel Lerman

Health-care technology startup Xealth has reeled in $8.5 million in funding, just months after it spun out of Providence Health & Services. The Seattle company aims to help doctors easily deliver digital services to patients.

Xealth is led by Mike McSherry, co-founder of fast-texting keyboard app Swype. After Swype was acquired by Nuance Communications for $102.5 million in 2011, McSherry joined the buyer for a couple years before leaving and eventually joining Providence Health & Services as an entrepreneur-in-residence.

Snohomish County startup comes out of stealth mode, launches Kirio Smart Home System.

Credit: PR Newswire, Althea Conyers Achem.

Kirio Inc. has announced the Kirio Smart Home System, which enables home builders to fully automate their buyers’ homes with the simplicity of an app. Kirio offers the first fully open system that lets new home buyers instantly control virtually any device and system in their home such as lighting, heating and air conditioning, security systems, video cameras, blinds, garage doors, water shutoff systems, sprinklers, TVs, music systems and much more. With its patented AutoLearn technology, Kirio intelligently fine-tunes the home, maximizing comfort, convenience, and savings.

Vicis raises another $10M as 12 NFL teams place orders for high-tech football helmet

Credit: Geekwire, Taylor Soper

Vicis’ high-tech helmet is making its way into the NFL and more investors are taking notice.

The Seattle startup just announced an additional $10 million in new funding today as it prepares to equip professional and collegiate football players with its innovative helmet.