Seattle U names $100M Center for Science and Innovation after Costco co-founder and wife

A rendering of the Jim and Janet Sinegal Center for Science and Innovation at Seattle University. (EYP/Mithūn Image)

Seattle University has attached a name to the $100 million Center for Science and Innovation that it is building as a gateway to its campus. The building will be named for Jim and Janet Sinegal who have a long relationship with the university.

Jim Sinegal is the co-founder of Costco and has served as chair of the board and co-chair of the school’s $275 million Campaign for the Uncommon Good fundraising effort.

The Jim and Janet Sinegal Center for Science and Innovation is scheduled to be completed in May and open for the start of the fall quarter, according to a university news release on Tuesday. Ground was broken on the 111,000-square-foot building in May 2019.

The five-story CSI will house the Biology, Chemistry and Computer Science departments and includes spaces named

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Seattle startup Flexe raises $70M as e-commerce rise fuels demand for flexible warehousing platform

The Flexe team, pre-pandemic. (Flexe Photo)

Flexe is raising more capital ahead of schedule as the pandemic-driven e-commerce boom spurs faster-than-expected growth for its warehousing technology platform.

The Seattle startup announced a $70 million Series C round led by new investor T. Rowe Price, with participation from existing backers Activate Capital, Tiger Global, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Prologis Ventures, and others. Total funding to date in the 6-year-old company is $134 million.

Flexe originally planned to raise another round sometime next year. But investors were ready to put more fuel into the business given its recent metrics.

“Flexe is poised to become an impactful company in the logistics industry for the long term,” Andrew Davis, director of private investments at T. Rowe Price, said in a statement. T. Rowe Price recently led a $2.5 billion round in electric car maker Rivian and was an early backer of Facebook, Twitter,

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Seattle biotech firm Silverback Therapeutics sets terms for IPO, looks to raise up to $151M

Laura Shawver, CEO of Silverback Therapeutics. (Silverback Photo)

Silverback Therapeutics plans to raise up to $151.8 million in its initial public offering, the Seattle-based company said Monday in an updated IPO filing.

The biotech firm will aim to sell 6.95 million shares at $17 to $19 per share. It would be valued at $566 million at the midpoint of the proposed stock price range.

Founded in 2016, Silverback uses a proprietary technology platform called ImmunoTAC to develop therapies that target specific areas of disease in a way designed to avoid damaging healthy tissue. Its lead product candidate, designated SBT6050, uses monoclonal antibodies to target breast, gastric and lung cancers. It’s currently in Phase 1/1b clinical trials, according to its IPO filing.

Silverback raised $210 million in venture capital over its lifetime as a private company, including an $85 million round in September, led by EcoR1 Capital; and a $78.5 million

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New Seattle Metro Chamber CEO; Salesforce’s data chief joins Microsoft; and more

— The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced Rachel Smith as the business association’s new CEO. She starts in January.

a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Rachel Smith. (Seattle Metro Chamber Photo)

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Rachel Smith. (Seattle Metro Chamber Photo)

“The jobs, prosperity, and community solutions that our region’s employers bring are more important than ever as we focus on post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Smith.


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Smith is currently King County’s deputy executive and chief of staff for King County Executive Dow Constantine. Following Smith’s appointment, Constantine named April Putney as his new chief of staff.

Prior to joining the King County administration, Smith was the government and community relations officer for Sound Transit and Climate Action Now coordinator for City of Seattle.

Smith succeeds Marilyn Strickland, former mayor of Tacoma, who stepped down in January to run for Congress. Strickland won Washington’s 10th Congressional District seat in November.

— Microsoft hired Hernán Asorey as corporate vice president and

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Spotted: Amazon robot maps sidewalks north of Seattle, laden with cameras and sensors

An Amazon sidewalk mapping robot being driven in Everett, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Tim Ellis)

While I was out on an ordinary drive through Everett, Wash., on Saturday morning, in between grabbing a donut for my daughter and a coffee for my wife, I spotted something interesting: An unmarked, six-wheeled robot being driven down the sidewalk on Broadway.

I immediately thought of Scout, Amazon’s package delivery robot that allegedly began testing in 2019 in an unnamed Snohomish County neighborhood, and rolled out Irvine, Calif., Atlanta, and Franklin, Tenn. earlier this year. Ever since the initial announcement, I’ve been keeping a close eye out for the robots, but to date I’ve neither seen them myself nor have I seen any evidence of a real-life sighting on social media.

When the robot turned down a side street in Everett’s Riverside neighborhood, I decided to follow it and stop to get a closer

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Google keeps growing in Seattle area, agrees to buy nearly 10 acres at a car dealership site in Kirkland

A Google building in South Lake Union, Seattle. (GeekWire File Photo / James Thorne)

Google’s footprint in Seattle just keeps on growing.

The Alphabet-owned tech giant signed an agreement to purchase land at a car dealership site in Kirkland, Wash., a spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

Business Insider and Bloomberg reported the news last week. King County records obtained by GeekWire show a sale of nearly 10 acres of land at 11845 NE 85th St., home of Lee Johnson car dealerships. There is no purchase price available yet.

Google did not provide more details. “The site is intended to support Google’s future growth in the area,” a spokesperson said.

It’s the latest expansion for Google this year, even amid the ongoing pandemic that has forced some companies to pull back on physical office space with a shift to remote work.

Death of the HQ? Pandemic hits commercial real estate, but long-term trends

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Sports Illustrated publisher Maven raises $24M to help Seattle media tech startup expand

Ross Levinsohn smiling for the camera: Maven CEO Ross Levinsohn. (Maven Photo)

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Maven CEO Ross Levinsohn. (Maven Photo)

Maven, the Seattle-based media company that publishes Sports Illustrated, raised an additional $24 million to help fuel expansion and reduce its debt.

The publicly-traded company used security purchase agreements via private placements of convertible preferred stock.

Maven has a coalition of more than 250 brands, including, History, Maxim, Ski Magazine, and others.


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Licensing firm Authentic Brands Group, which bought Sports Illustrated in May 2019 from Meredith Corp., sold the magazine’s print and digital publishing rights to Maven last year.

TCS Capital Management and Hunt Technology Ventures LP invested in Maven for the first time, while existing backers B. Riley Financial, Invenire Capital Partners and 180 Degree Capital also participated.

“The investments in Maven are another validation of our business model, strategy, and leadership team,” Maven CEO Ross Levinsohn said in a statement. “We continue to expand our

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Las Vegas launches ads in SF, Seattle targeting remote tech workers

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — The city of Las Vegas launched a digital ad targeting remote tech workers. The ad promotes over 300 sunny days, professional sports and affordable housing.

a person using a laptop computer sitting on top of a wooden table

© Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock

The Economic and Urban Development department of the city of Las Vegas said the campaign specifically targets tech workers in San Francisco and Seattle. They hope they can bring it to Los Angeles next.


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Ryan Smith, the city’s Business Development Manager, said they timed this ad with the changes companies are making to transition their workers into full-time remote working.

“If we’re able to be successful to have those tech workers relocate to Las Vegas, then when we go pitch big companies on all the benefits that Las Vegas has to actually house your company, they’re going to find success in tap into that workforce,” Smith said.

Smith said by adding this workforce, it can diversify

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Sit down for this: Wheels starts deploying its unique style of scooters as part of Seattle sharing program

The Wheels electric scooter differs from competitors because riders sit rather than stand on the devices. (Wheels Photo)

The third option in the City of Seattle’s Scooter Share Program hit the streets on Monday as Wheels started deploying its unique, sit-down electric scooters.

Wheels was granted a permit along with Lime and LINK as part of a micro-mobility program authorized by the Seattle City Council in September. Like bike sharing, the free-floating scooters are intended to be another transportation option, accessible through a smartphone app, in neighborhoods across Seattle.

Wheels emerged from the selection process as the “most accessible option” because of its seated scooter. Unlike traditional stand-up models, the Wheels model is intended to offer greater stability because of its lower center of gravity. The company says that accessibility has attracted a broader demographic of riders, including half who are women and a third who are over the age

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Led by former DoD digital chief and backed by ex-Google CEO, Rebellion Defense opens Seattle hub

Matt Shobe. (Rebellion Defense Photos)

Seattle is not exactly known as a hotspot for national security software startups. But Matt Shobe hopes to carry forward the region’s history of defense-related work with Rebellion Defense, a year-old Washington D.C.-based startup that recently opened a new office in Seattle.

Shobe, a veteran Seattle-area entrepreneur, joined Rebellion Defense last year and is heading up the company’s Seattle engineering hub.

Rebellion Defense is led by co-founder and CEO Chris Lynch, another longtime Seattle tech leader who moved to D.C. in 2015 to launch the Pentagon’s Defense Digital Service (DDS).

As director of the DDS, Lynch worked under three defense secretaries and helped lead the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract procurement process, along with the Hack the Pentagon bug bounty program. He departed in 2019 to launch Rebellion Defense.

The startup has attracted investors including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who was chairman of the

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