Venture Spotlight - Individuals in the News

Congratulations to Vanessa Fox, one of the Women in Tech we’ve profiled in the past.  Vanessa has joined forces with RKG, a search and digital marketing agency, combining her enterprise-level search analytics platform with the fast growing agency.  Some of the press around the deal can be found on Geekwire, Business Wire and RKG’s Blog.
Continue Reading Vanessa Fox and Nine by Blue Join RKG

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Megan Muir

Q&A: Why this former Microsoft exec wanted to become a venture capitalist  Ted Kummert announced on February 5th that he would be leaving his longtime position as a Microsoft executive to take a new role at venture capital firm, Madrona Venture Group. In this Q&A with John Cook of Geekwire, he answers questions about his experience and what caused him to take the leap into VC. “I…look forward to spending time, more broadly, across the Madrona portfolio of companies. I don’t tend to
Continue Reading From MSFT to VC: Ted Kummert

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Megan Muir

Dr. Eve Riskin is one woman in tech who is actively working to “change the ratio” by increasing the number of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  As Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the University of Washington College of Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Director of the ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, she is a leader and a mentor for other women considering academic STEM careers (or second careers, following work in industry).

Eve received her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT and her graduate degrees in EE from Stanford.  She joined the EE Department at the University of Washington (UW) in 1990.  As Director of UW ADVANCE, Eve works on mentoring and leadership development programs aimed to increase the participation of women faculty in STEM fields.  Her research interests include image compression and image processing, with a focus on developing video compression algorithms to allow for cell-phone transmission of American Sign Language.  Eve was awarded a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the 2006 WEPAN University Change Agent award, the 2006 Hewlett-Packard Harriett B. Rigas Award, and the 2007 University of Washington David B. Thorud Leadership Award.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Read on as Eve discusses her career path, provides advice for young women interested in STEM fields and shares her suggestion that you find a “ventor.”Continue Reading Women in Tech: Dr. Eve Riskin, Professor and Assoc. Dean of Engineering

Megan Muir

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Jenny Lam is a co-founder of Jackson Fish Market, a small software startup focused on making beautiful software experiences. The company has shipped over 20 software products in the past 5 years. Their latest product is A Story Before Bed – the first (and only) service that lets parents, grandparents, and children record video of themselves reading children’s books and play it back as often as they like on the Mac, PC, or iPad.

Before Jackson Fish Market, Jenny worked at Microsoft from 2001–2007 as Creative Director of the Windows User Experience team. When she isn’t running her startup, she serves on the board as Experience Director of the AIGA Seattle chapter (the professional association for design) and works with national and local organizations to foster the next generation of creative design talent headed for the tech industry. She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal and was awarded Seattle 2.0 Best Startup Designer in 2010.  You can follow Jenny on Twitter (@helveticagirl).

In this piece, Jenny answers our questions about her work, how she wound up doing what she does so well and her thoughts about women in tech.Continue Reading Women in Tech: Jenny Lam, Award Winning Designer

Brittany Wenger 3.jpgBrittany Wenger, a 17-year-old from Lakewood Ranch, Florida, is the Grand Prize winner of the Google Science Fair for her cloud-accessible application that assists doctors in diagnosing breast cancer. Check out her project entitled the Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer. Good on Google for sponsoring the competition, complete with scholarships and other terrific awards, (and awesome Lego trophies). I hope we see more from Ms. Wenger and her fellow impressive Google Science Fair entrants in the future.
Continue Reading Brittany Wenger Wins Grand Prize of Google Science Fair

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Eric Savitz of Forbes has a lengthy interview with Mary Meeker up on the site, a companion piece to his profile of Ms. Meeker in the August 6 print edition (which you can read online here).  In the interview, she talks about venture capital, her work investing a $1 billion tech growth fund for Kleiner Perkins (half of which has been deployed to date), the influential reports she produced as an early Internet analyst, and some of the companies that interest her now.  She is someone who has
Continue Reading Mary Meeker – Interview and Profile

Marissa Mayer Yahoo.jpgThe short list of Silicon Valley female CEOs at well-known tech companies just got a little longer.  Andrew Ross Sorkin and Evelyn M. Rusli of The New York Times Dealbook broke the story today that Yahoo has named Marissa Mayer as CEO (its fifth CEO in five years).  Mayer comes to Yahoo from a prominent executive role at Google, having been hired originally as employee number 20 and the first female engineer at Google.  Yahoo’s press release announcing Ms. Mayer’s appointment as President, CEO and a member of the board
Continue Reading Yahoo Reaches into Google – Marissa Mayer New CEO

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Asher Bearman

This edition of The Venture Spotlight features a 30 minute interview with Sam Schmidt, a professional indy car driver who suffered a horrific crash about 10 years ago leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.  Now Sam heads a racing team and also periodically makes investments in startups.  Most recently, Sam invested in Korrio, a Seattle startup company looking to revolutionize the administration of youth sports leagues.  Here is my interview with Sam.  Scroll down for some video of him talking elsewhere about Korrio and his other exploits.Continue Reading The Venture Spotlight – Indy Driver, Team Owner and Angel Investor Sam Schmidt

Adriana Gascoigne.jpgAdriana Gascoigne is the founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a non-profit organization she launched in February 2007 that is focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded professional and influential women in technology. Girls in Tech supports over 17,000 members among 37 active chapters worldwide.

Previously, Adriana was the VP of Marketing for SecondMarket, the global marketplace for alternative investments, and was responsible for SecondMarket’s marketing, branding strategy, event production and digital media efforts. She has also worked at a variety of technology start-ups working in marketing, communications and analytics, including hi5, SocialGamingNetwork (SGN), Jambool’s SocialGold, GUBA as well as Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide (as VP of 360 Digital Influence) and Edelman (as VP of the Digital Group). She is an “Intel Insider,” serving as a brand and product advisor for Intel. She advises a number of start-ups including Involver, Numiyo Technologies, Palindrome Advisors, Charity Blossom, DooChoo, and

Read on for our interview with Adriana Gascoigne, including her advice (and encouragement) for startup entrepreneurs.Continue Reading The Venture Spotlight: Adriana Gascoigne, Founder of Girls in Tech

Here is the second half of The Venture SpotLight interview with Rebecca Lovell, the Chief Business Officer of GeekWire, the tech news site based in Seattle.  You can find the first installment of our talk with Rebecca here.

Biggest mistake you have made in your career/business?  Staying in a comfortable job for too long back in my corporate days.

What did you study as an undergraduate at Carleton College?  I designed my own American Studies Major: sort of history-based with a little English and religion and women’s studies all mashed up.  I was absolutely set to go into a non-profit.  That was my game plan.

What did you do instead?  Great big companies would come to Carleton, this little liberal arts college, because they wanted to hire smart people and train them to do whatever it was they needed.  I ended up filling a slot at an informational session to take notes for someone else.  The recruiter convinced me to come meet with him.  I borrowed a suit, interviewed and the next thing I know, I am in a management development program for an industrial supply distribution company in Chicago.  So that’s what I did with my liberal arts degree.  I went and learned everything there is to learn about logistics and socket head cap screws and marketing and finance and accounts receivable and inventory management along the way and six years later I woke up in Cleveland.Continue Reading The Venture Spotlight: Rebecca Lovell, GeekWire (Part II)