Former VC Partner to Help Grow Groundbreaking Startup Studio Model


Pioneer Square Labs (PSL), the Seattle-based startup studio, announced today that Julie Sandler is joining the organization as a Managing Director. She joins Greg Gottesman, Mike Galgon and Geoff Entress as the fourth member of the firm’s Managing Director group.

Sandler most recently was a Partner at Madrona Venture Group, a Seattle-based venture capital firm. She served in both board director and observer capacities across several of the firm’s portfolio companies, including leading investments in Integris, Poppy and Julep.

“Julie is crazy smart and brings an incredible network, but the culture fit was the most important thing to us,” said Gottesman, who worked for many years with Sandler at Madrona. “She’ll walk to the moon and back to help an entrepreneur succeed. It’s that kind of devotion that we strive to bring to our work with founders every day.”

Since its inception 18 months ago, PSL has spun out six companies. Four of those companies – Ad Lightning, Boundless, LumaTax and JetClosing – have closed venture funding, and the two additional spinouts expect to announce venture financings soon. PSL also has an active Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program and is currently working with five EIRs on new projects.

Over the last several years, Sandler has founded a series of local initiatives focused on women entrepreneurs – including the Seattle Entrepreneurial Women’s Network – and currently serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Washington Foster School of Business where she teaches a course on entrepreneurship. She was voted by the Seattle technology community as GeekWire’s 2014 Geek of the Year for her efforts supporting women entrepreneurs.

“I am thrilled to join the extraordinary team at PSL to help build upon this groundbreaking platform for early-stage entrepreneurship,” Sandler said. “PSL’s entrepreneur-first ethos resonates deeply with me. A new and diverse generation of founders is emerging with unprecedented velocity here in the Northwest. I am excited to join this team in supporting and empowering these inspiring local innovators through our work.”

Sandler is a director on the boards of both the Washington Roundtable and the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. She also was a 2016 Presidential Leadership Scholar with the Clinton Foundation, Bush Center, George H.W. Bush Presidential Center and Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Center.

“Julie has a great reputation among entrepreneurs and investors here and in the Valley,” said Entress. “Everyone knows and respects Julie, and we are incredibly excited to have her join us here at PSL to help lead our team and mission.”

Before her career in venture, Sandler managed digital marketing and new products within Amazon’s Kindle business and was a consultant and product manager with Accenture. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School, and both a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University.

About Pioneer Square Labs

Pioneer Square Labs is a Seattle-based studio that creates and launches technology startups. For more information, visit

Pioneer Square Labs
Greg Gottesman, 206-202-2227