TechStars Set to Open in Seattle: A Photo Tour of the New Space (and Bar)

7/16/10Follow @gthuang

It’s a shame I’m moving away from this neighborhood. South Lake Union in Seattle, I mean. Because just three blocks away from my soon-to-be-former apartment, the next big startup experiment is about to begin.

TechStars, the seed-stage investment fund and mentorship program started in Boulder, CO, and now in Boston, is about to open in Seattle on August 16—one month from today. The 10 teams have been selected, and the office space at 511 Boren Avenue North is in its final stages of preparation.

The office is smack-dab in the middle of the newly opened Amazon.com campus, which should provide plenty of cross-fertilization opportunities between the incoming tech startups and the e-commerce giant. (The building is owned by a holdout who wouldn’t sell to Paul Allen’s Vulcan.)

I got a quick tour of the TechStars space from Chris DeVore of Founder’s Co-op (see photos below). Founder’s Co-op, the local seed-stage fund, will be moving from its office on Eastlake into the TechStars office as well. So will TechStars Seattle director Andy Sack’s new company, RevenueLoan. Together, the organizations and their companies will comprise about 60 people spread out among two floors (2nd floor and basement) and a total of about 14,000 square feet. DeVore and the team are currently arranging for things like broadband access, via a local microwave tower (Comcast doesn’t serve the building—probably a good thing). Ah, startup life.

The best part: a previous tenant was planning to have a speakeasy of some sort in the basement, so there’s a great bar and cocktail party area (see second photo below). Even better, possibly, is the fact that the bunker right next to the office is apparently some wealthy individual’s private man cave, complete with sports car(s), no windows, and security cameras outside (no photos of that space yet, unfortunately). Suffice to say, the parties on this block should be something special.

New TechStars and Founder's Co-op office in South Lake Union, Seattle

TechStars bar area in the basement

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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