The former partner at Madrona Venture Group says she’s looking forward to working directly with entrepreneurs on new business ideas.
Fast-moving startup studio Pioneer Square Labs has added a well-known Seattle venture-capital leader to its ranks.
Julie Sandler, who was previously a partner at Madrona Venture Group, will be the group’s fourth managing director, joining Geoff Entress, Mike Galgon and former colleague Greg Gottesman.
Pioneer Square Labs launched nearly two years ago with the goal of acting as a sort-of generator of startups. The core team works with entrepreneurs to create ideas for companies, then quickly build a business and technology and spin out the startups.
So far, the studio has launched six startups, two of which remain in stealth mode.
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Sandler, who is leaving after nearly six years at Madrona, said she is most looking forward to working directly with people expanding their businesses.
“One thing that I’ve loved more than anything is working really closely with entrepreneurs,” she said. “Both experienced entrepreneurs and also rising star entrepreneurs have almost a gravitational pull to (the Pioneer Square Labs) community.”
The startup studio currently has five “entrepreneurs-in-residence,” a program it started to help develop would-be founders’ ideas and either build them in-house or find places for the entrepreneurs to go next.
“All over, there are entrepreneurs that are probably meant to be starting their own company but need some help,” Gottesman said.
Pioneer Square Labs provides many resources for young companies, including office space, help getting funding, legal advice and administrative services.
Madrona, one of the region’s leading venture-capital firms, is an investor in Pioneer Square Labs, and Labs co-founders Gottesman and Ben Gilbert are former Madrona employees.
Gottesman first met Sandler when she was an MBA student at Harvard. Sandler cold-called him to see if he would speak on a panel for students during a trip to Seattle. He agreed to meet her for coffee, and years later hired her at Madrona.
Sandler started at Pioneer Square Labs on Monday, and said she has “hundreds” of goals for her new position.
“Seattle is just one of those cities where entrepreneurship is just in the water,” she said.