Pioneer Square Labs is invigorating Seattle’s startup ecosystem

Three miles from Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood — better known as Amazonia to locals — sits Pioneer Square. The original heart of the city, the area has managed to hold on to its decades-old charm as other parts of town are besieged by Amazon-contracted architects.
On a mission to champion Seattle’s unique entrepreneurial DNA, startup studio Pioneer Square Labs has not only adopted the neighborhood’s moniker but established its fast-growing HQ at its center.
Pioneer Square Labs, or PSL, cropped up in 2015 to create, launch and fund technology companies headquartered in the Pacific Northwest. Operating under the startup studio model, PSL’s team of former founders and venture capitalists, including Rover and Mighty AI founder Greg Gottesman, collaborate to craft and incubate startup ideas, then recruit a founding CEO from their network of entrepreneurs to lead the business. The team uses an innovative method of rapidly ideating, testing and, if necessary, scrapping ideas, dubbed its “validation engine.”
The model differs from an accelerator or incubator. Y Combinator, for example, admits existing business into its months-long program, deploying its expertise and capital to bolster early-stage startups. PSL, on the other hand, creates startups and provides would-be founders with a derisked platform for company building.
“It’s a dream job,” PSL co-founder Greg Gottesman told TechCrunch. “If someone would say to you ‘hey, you can come into work every day, think about all the problems that are interesting to solve, all the tech that’s available and you have the resources to build companies,’ that’s just a dream come true … It’s just been a very fun ride.”
Pioneer Square Labs is invigorating Seattle’s startup ecosystem
Xiao Wang, the CEO of Pioneer Square Labs spin-out Boundless, pitching at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017
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