Seattle Startup Ecosystem: Pioneer Square Labs
Please join us for a discussion with Seattle Startup Gurus: Greg Gottesman, HBS MBA ’98, Co-Founder of Pioneer Square Labs, Julie Sandler, HBS MBA ‘10, Co-Founder and General Partner of PSL Ventures, and Emily Pesce, CEO of Joon Care.
Our discussion will center around PSL’s experiences building tech-driven, industry-shaping businesses across the Pacific Northwest, hosted at PSL’s Startup Studio in Pioneer Square.
Seattle Startup Ecosystem: Pioneer Square Labs
All Harvard University, Stanford GSB, and Wharton alumni are welcome to join us
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
5:30pm - 8:00pm PT
240 2nd Ave S, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98104
We will have light refreshments and causal time for networking following our planned talks and Q&A.
HBS Alumni: Free
Harvard University, Stanford GSB, Wharton: $10
Shyam Ayengar, HBS Club of Seattle
Jagan Chitiprolu, HBS Club of Seattle
Kyle Buffenmyer, HBS Club of Seattle
We look forward to seeing you at our event!
About Pioneer Square Labs:
Pioneer Square Labs exists to build the next generation of world-changing companies, bringing together exceptional founders, big ideas, and investment capital.
PSL Studio is a founder’s dream swiss-army-knife co-founder. PSL Studio helps founders design and build a fantastic product, solve the toughest data science problems, and navigate their way to finding strong customer pull through rigorous validation and digital marketing. We bring experience raising billions of dollars of capital. For more information, please visit https://www.psl.com/.
About Greg Gottesman
Greg Gottesman is a Managing Director and co-founder of Pioneer Square Labs (PSL). Prior to PSL, he was one of the three founding Managing Directors of Madrona Venture Group, where he served for 20 years.
On behalf of PSL, Greg currently sits on the boards of Boundless, Ever.green, Joon, and Kevala. He is the co-founder, former CEO, and current board member of Rover and the founder of Madrona Venture Labs.
Greg serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Department and Business School where for the last 22 years he has taught a popular class about entrepreneurship. He is the author of three books.
Greg graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors and distinction from Stanford University, with honors and distinction from the Harvard Business School (MBA), and with honors from Harvard Law School (JD), where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Greg has been married for 29 years, loves spending time with his wife and three children, and owns a very naughty but lovable dog named Jordie. He regularly injures himself playing non-contact sports and believes the Coca-Cola Slurpee is the best drink ever invented.
About Julie Sandler
Julie Sandler is a managing director at PSL and co-founding general partner of PSL's venture capital firm, PSL Ventures, which she spends most of her time running. The PSL Ventures team is focused on pre-seed and seed investments in technology companies founded by local entrepreneurs. The firm invests in companies all over the Pacific Northwest region that are entirely separate from PSL’s studio. The fund also makes smaller participating investments in studio spinouts.
Julie invests in technologies spanning fintech and logistics (e.g., Outgo, Shipium), productivity and the future of work (e.g., Super.ai, Read.ai, Sofy.ai, LifeAt), and has a long-standing interest in digital solutions serving women and underserved communities. She loves investing in founders who demonstrate grit, EQ, and extraordinary passion for company mission.
Prior to PSL, Julie was a partner at Madrona Venture Group, where she led investments for the firm including Integris (acquired by OneTrust), Julep (acquired by Glansaol/Warburg Pincus), and worked closely with (her now partner at PSL) Greg Gottesman on the founding of Rover.com (NASDAQ: ROVR). Prior to her career in venture, Julie managed digital marketing for Amazon’s ebook business worldwide. She PM’d both consumer and enterprise product launches at Amazon Kindle, at Seattle startup TeachStreet.com (acquired by Amazon), and at Accenture. In the early 2010s, she launched the Seattle Entrepreneurial Women’s Network, the first formal networking organization in Seattle for women entrepreneurs (which has been succeeded by several standout local female founder organizations in the years since). Julie is also a Presidential Leadership Scholar with the presidential centers of Presidents Clinton, Bush, Bush Sr., and Johnson.
Julie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford with both a master's degree and bachelor's degree in psychology, and from Harvard Business School with an MBA with honors. She is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the UW Foster School of Business (where based on highest student ratings she has been named a “Star Teacher” several years running). She is incoming board chair, treasurer, and education committee chair for the Washington Roundtable, board director as appointed by Governor Inslee for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, and over her career has served on the boards of several other non-profit organizations, privately held companies, industry associations, and advisory boards.
Julie is a frequent speaker and commentator and has been featured in print and on television across CNBC, Bloomberg, Forbes, Techcrunch, and Inc Magazine. She has delivered keynote addresses at industry conferences, large non-profit fundraisers, and at WE Day. She was named a “Power 100” influencer in the Puget Sound Business Journal, voted “Geek of the Year” by GeekWire, named an AdWeek “Brand Star” for her work with underrepresented entrepreneurs, voted GeekWire’s “Hire of the Year” the year she joined PSL, and was a PSBJ 40 under 40 honoree and Seattle Magazine "Hall of Fame" Rising Star. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Alejandro, and their children.
About Emily Pesce
Emily Pesce is CEO of Joon, whose mission is to make mental healthcare and well-being broadly accessible and effective for 13-24 year olds.
Emily has over twenty years of experience across healthcare, e-commerce, grocery, supply chain, technology, mobile, and cloud computing. She has led product, marketing, design, technology, forecasting and replenishment teams, among others. Emily has been an investor, providing early stage capital, sometimes the first money in, to over 30 companies. She remains on the Board of some investments, and has been part of several successful exits including as a Board member of Rosie during its recent sale to Instacart (Q4-2022).
Before Joon, Emily ran Product at Nerdy, working with an incredible team to build the world’s most efficacious virtual learning environment. She was fortunate to be part of Nerdy’s public listing in Q4-2021.
Emily “grew up” as an operator at Amazon across its Retail, Digital (Kindle), Gaming and AWS businesses. Emily was part of AmazonFresh’s wear-all-the-hats founding team, her team helped grow Kindle into a multi-billion dollar business by informing major product selection and pricing decisions, and conceptualizing, building and managing critical programs. At AWS, Emily and her teams built scalable, reliable services for mobile game and app developers, with a focus on big data and analytics, including tools that received and processed billions of events from millions of endpoints. AWS Lumberyard, a live-services native game engine, was conceptualized and pitched by Emily and now powers Amazon’s first party AAA games.
Emily is a Partner at Working Lab Capital and in Pesce Family Ventures (her family office) and is a member of NextGen Venture Partners, a Washington, DC based angel organization.
Emily graduated from Duke University with a BA in Public Policy, a minor in Computer Science and a certificate in Genetics. She received her MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
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