Madrona Venture Labs (MVL) announced today the “Friends of Labs”, an advisory board of ten distinguished inventors, entrepreneurs, founders and angel investors. This group will help further the MVL mission of creating the next wave of innovative, large-scale Seattle-based companies. They will work with the MVL team and spin-out founders on new ideas, customer development, talent acquisition and company building practices.

The Friends of Labs include: Spencer Rascoff, Darrell Cavens, Jane Park, Raj Singh, Dawn Lepore, Oren Etzioni, T. A. McCann, Jonathan Sposato, Andy Liu, and Mark Mader.

“Our advisors have an established track record and know what it takes to bring an idea from napkin to traction to scale, having built multibillion dollar enterprises from the ground up,” said Mike Fridgen, CEO of Madrona Venture Labs. “We want Labs spin-out founders to have every possible advantage, which is why we are partnering with some of the top entrepreneurial minds in our region.”

Madrona Venture Labs is a startup studio housed at Madrona Venture Group. The MVL team considers dozens of ideas, but only the precious few survive a rigorous testing and validation process. Successful ideas get access to seed capital from Madrona and others. Since inception in 2014, MVL has spun off Spare5, which provides intelligent crowdsourcing to big data problems and ReplyYes, which is a conversational commerce company.

Mike Fridgen, a well known startup leader, joined Labs late last year to lead the team and has doubled the size of the Labs group. “Seattle is a great place to build a company in part because there is this spirit of success for one is success for the whole region. As we look to build a crop of successful companies, this group will be invaluable.”

Madrona Venture Labs Advisors

  • Spencer Rascoff, CEO Zillow Group (Z)
  • Darrell Cavens, CEO zulily
  • Jane Park, CEO Julep
  • Raj Singh, CEO Accolade, Co-Founder Concur (CNQR)
  • Dawn Lepore, former CEO Drugstore, Board Director AOL
  • Oren Etzioni, CEO Allen Institute for AI
  • T.A. McCann, Founder Rival IQ, former CEO Gist (BBRY)
  • Jonathan Sposato, CEO PicMonkey, Chairman GeekWire
  • Andy Liu, CEO BuddyTV
  • Mark Mader, CEO SmartSheet

About Madrona Venture Labs

Madrona Venture Labs is a startup studio housed at Madrona Venture Group. Madrona Venture Labs brings together the best from a startup studio and a venture firm – testing and validating ideas, growing the winners through customer traction, and adding capital and talent to turn the most promising concepts into thriving companies. The team is comprised of experienced founders and entrepreneurial product leaders, designers, and engineers.

For more information, visit and twitter @madronavl

Erika Shaffer, 206-972-5514

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