Roundup: Founder’s Co-op, Wire, Inside Social, Indow Windows, & More

12/3/13Follow @bromano

Tired of turkey? Have some Thanksgiving leftovers from Seattle tech: Rudy Gadre is joining Founder’s Co-op as a partner; 2013 Techstars companies Wire and Inside Social got investors’ attention; Indow Windows also raised new capital; Point Inside launched an interesting new mobile app for Lowe’s; and Ed Lazowska argues for the value of computer science to students in all majors. More details:

Rudy Gadre, the Seattle angel investor and former Facebook general counsel, is joining seed-stage software investor Founder’s Co-op as a partner. As a full investing partner, Gadre will invest alongside Andy Sack and Chris DeVore, who started the fund in 2008 and have since raised more than $10 million and invested in more than 40 young companies. They are also the local team behind Techstars Seattle. Gadre is one of the most active angel investors in the Northwest, backing some 50 companies in recent years. Gadre says in a statement: “Chris, Andy and I share a goal of making Seattle a world-class destination for startups and innovation, and they have already pulled together an incredible community of mentors and investors into Founders’ Co-op and Techstars. By joining forces, I believe we’ll be able to make a significant contribution to the future of the region’s economy, and with our combined strengths and networks there will be no better place for great Northwest entrepreneurs to find investors and partners who can help them realize their visions.”

—Speaking of Techstars Seattle, two more companies from the 2013 class have raised funding, according to SEC filings. Wire Labs, which is making a Snapchat competitor called Wire, has pulled in nearly $1.9 million from 35 investors, including bold names such as Gadre. Inside Social, meanwhile, brought in an additional $640,000 to back its software to measure connections between social media and business results.

Indow Windows, a Portland-based maker of insulating window inserts, raised an additional $1.3 million. Vision Ridge Partners of Boulder, CO, led the round, which was joined by existing investors including the Northwest Energy Angels and other angel investing groups. The round is an extension of the company’s Series A, through which it raised another $1.3 million last year. The new funding will support product development and national expansion of sales, marketing, and operations.

—After a few years of ongoing home improvement projects, I have more or less memorized the layout of my local home improvement warehouse store, but I still struggle to find exactly what I’m looking for. Bellevue, WA-based developer Point Inside is helping Lowe’s solve this problem for customers with a new StoreMode for its mobile app. Point Inside spent five years building a platform that promises to search and precisely locate items within the company’s stores.

—University of Washington computer science professor Ed Lazowska counters the “STEM talent shortage” myth in a recent letter to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Lazowska, who has tirelessly sounded the alarm of Washington’s shortage of people trained in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, argues here that programming skills will be increasingly important to virtually all occupations. “‘Computational thinking’—problem analysis and decomposition, algorithmic thinking, algorithmic expression, abstraction, modeling, stepwise fault isolation—is central to an increasingly broad array of fields,” Lazowska wrote with co-author David Patterson, computer science professor at University of California, Berkeley.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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