Widespread climate walkouts expected at Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and many other tech companies

350 Seattle, an organization that worked with the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group that proposed a shareholder resolution calling on the company to present a comprehensive climate change plan, protest outside the tech giant’s annual meeting in May 2019. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg) Climate change will take center stage in the technology industry today as thousands of employees at some of the world’s biggest and most influential companies plan to walk off the job. Employees from Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Square and more are walking out Friday in support of the Global Climate Strike, a week-long series of youth-driven marches and demonstrations across the globe demanding reduced… Read More

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Widespread climate walkouts expected at Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and many other tech companies

350 Seattle, an organization that worked with the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group that proposed a shareholder resolution calling on the company to present a comprehensive climate change plan, protest outside the tech giant’s annual meeting in May 2019. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg) Climate change will take center stage in the technology industry today as thousands of employees at some of the world’s biggest and most influential companies plan to walk off the job. Employees from Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Square and more are walking out Friday in support of the Global Climate Strike, a week-long series of youth-driven marches and demonstrations across the globe demanding reduced… Read More

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Fred Hutch spinout Faraday Pharmaceuticals raises $25M for muscle loss prevention drug

The Faraday team. (Faraday Photo) When a patient is bedridden during a hospital stay, they can lose muscle mass at a rapid clip, compounding problems from their original illness. But what if there was a way to prevent that muscle loss from happening in the first place? Seattle-based biotech startup Faraday Pharmaceuticals is trying to do just that and has raised $25 million to fund their efforts, with backing from ARCH Venture Partners, Polaris, and others. The round, which has not yet closed, could bring in as much as $30 million this year, the company said. Faraday CEO Steve Hill. (Faraday Photo) “Many diseases are compromised by additional loss of… Read More

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Boeing’s MQ-25 military refueling drone aces its first test flight at St. Louis airport

Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray drone successfully completed its first test flight today, marking a big step toward providing the Navy with robotic refuelers for carrier-based warplanes. The test aircraft, known as T1, went through a two-hour autonomous flight that was conducted under the direction of Boeing test pilots at a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., Boeing and the Navy reported in a news release. Boeing said T1 completed an autonomous taxi and takeoff, and then flew a predetermined route to validate the aircraft’s basic flight functions and operations with the ground station. The MQ-25 is meant to provide a robotic refueling option for crewed jet… Read More

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Seattle’s dwindling car-sharing market offers tough lessons for an untested industry

A LimePod in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg) Just a few months ago, Seattle was pioneering free-floating car-sharing in the U.S. as the preferred test market for these new automotive mobility services. But the news today that Lime will cancel its LimePod service, just two months after BMW shuttered its own ReachNow service, casts a new cloud of uncertainty over this form of urban transportation. New mobility is a fast-moving industry in which innovations can take over cities only to go belly-up a few months later. It’s a phenomenon that has already played out in Seattle and abroad. Experts don’t believe these experiments are over, but what has happened… Read More

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Why this Seattle tech entrepreneur is trying to solve health insurance for freelancers in Texas

The Decent team in Austin, Texas. (Decent Photo) After selling a startup and leaving full-time work for the life of an independent consultant, Nick Soman stumbled across the idea for his next company. It came in the form of a health insurance bill that was higher than his rent in San Francisco. Decent CEO Nick Soman. (Decent Photo) “Wow, this is extremely broken,” he recalled thinking at the time. After graduating from Techstars Seattle, Soman founded matchmaking platform LikeBright and later Reveal, a Seattle-based chat app that sold to Napster in 2015. After that, he went on to lead growth at Gusto, a payroll and health benefits software company. But… Read More

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Spruce Up pairs AI and stylists to create a curated, online home-decorating experience

The Spruce Up team on a team-building sailing day on Seattle’s Lake Union in August 2019. CEO and co-founder Mia Lewin is on the far right. (Spruce Up Photo) Spruce Up founder and CEO Mia Lewin has a vision for what she calls “the next generation of commerce.” She defines it as online sales that are customized for individual tastes using AI and real-life consultants to serve up items artfully matched to shoppers’ preferences, style, budget and needs, and delivered directly to them with a price-matching guarantee. And it’s what she’s striving to offer through Spruce Up, a décor and interior design platform that has raised $4.5 million in seed… Read More

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Microsoft shakes up board, nominating GlaxoSmithKline CEO as two longtime directors depart

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley. (GSK Photo) Microsoft announced big changes to its board of directors today. Two longtime members of the board — Charles Noski and Helmut Panke — are stepping down from positions they have held since 2003. At the same time, Microsoft nominated GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley to join the board. “Emma is an accomplished business leader who led major advances in research and development at GSK and will bring her significant insights and global experience to Microsoft,” John W. Thompson, Microsoft’s independent board chair, said in a statement. Charles Noski and Helmut Panke. (Microsoft Photos) Noski was the CFO at Bank of America and AT&T group and… Read More

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Lime shutters LimePod, raising questions about viability of free-floating car-sharing model

A LimePod and Lime bike in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo) Car-sharing is stalling in Seattle. Lime is shuttering LimePod, a spokesperson confirmed Wednesday, marking the second closure of a free-floating car-sharing service in Seattle in two months. Lime will begin removing its LimePod vehicles from Seattle streets next month and plans to wind the service down completely by Dec. 31. Lime will stop taking new sign-ups for LimePod on Oct. 14. LimePod’s demise, on the heels of the sudden shutdown of ReachNow’s car-sharing service, is a blow to a somewhat untested industry with unforgiving margins. It also reflects the novelty of the Seattle market, where mobility companies go to test new… Read More

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GeekWire Elevator Pitch Ep. 3: Can these three entrepreneurs make an IoT connection? Watch as they ride to top of Seattle’s Smith Tower

GeekWire Elevator Pitch Episode 3 features, from left, Alan Meekins of RosHub, Jinesh Varia of Industrility, and Robert Hamlet of Teal Communications, ready to pitch their ideas at Smith Tower in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong) The elevator is really humming now, as we’ve reached the third episode in the latest season of GeekWire’s Elevator Pitch, the show in which entrepreneurs use a 32-second ride to the top of Seattle’s iconic Smith Tower to pitch their business concepts. As the clock ticks, watch for the most compelling arguments from three startup CEOs working around the issues of IoT connectivity, sensors and more. What will our panel of judges think… Read More

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