Tech Moves: Rad Power Bikes co-founder resigns; WRF CEO Ron Howell to retire; and more

Ty Collins (right) and Mike Radenbaugh, Co-Founders of Rad Power Bikes, are named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2019 GeekWire Awards. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

– Rad Power Bikes co-founder Ty Collins has stepped down from the fast growing e-bike startup. Collins, who was previously chief marketing officer, now has an advisory role and remains closely associated with the company. He participates in onboarding and speaks to executives on the phone.

“I spent six wonderful years building bikes and working in the startup lifestyle and was just ready to go to the park on a weekday with my wife and kids,” Collins told GeekWire.

Collins co-founded the company with Co-Founder and CEO Mike Radenbaugh in 2015 when they raised $ 320,365 through a crowdfunding campaign from Indiegogo. The duo was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2019 GeekWire Awards. Prior to Rad, Collins was a senior account executive at the marketing data platform Velocidi.

The pandemic has boosted the demand for e-bikes. The Seattle-based company is profitable and raised $ 150 million earlier this year.

“What comes next, I dedicate an unknown amount of time to be with my family. I’m sure that the startup life will pull me back at some point,” said Collins.

The company’s chief revenue officer, Jed Paulson, will oversee the marketing efforts of Collins’ departure.

Ronald Howell. (WRF photo)

– Ron Howell, CEO of the Washington Research Foundation (WRF), will retire in late April after leading one of Washington State’s largest private foundations for 29 years. Jeff Eby, CFO of the WRF, will serve as acting CEO until a new head is announced.

“I love that I’ve met so many great innovators and been able to learn about interesting science and technology and then think creatively about their role, their value and how we can help,” Howell said in a statement.

The Washington Research Foundation was founded in 1981 by Tom Cable, Bill Gates Sr., and W. Hunter Simpson. The organization supports life sciences and technology through grants, commercialization, and licensing technologies from universities and other nonprofit research organizations. The University of Washington, for example, has more than $ 445 million in licensing revenues from WRF.

During Howell’s tenure, the organization expanded from intellectual property management to grant-granting programs and a venture investment arm, WRF Capital. The organization’s net worth rose from $ 13 million to $ 300 million.

“Under Ron’s leadership, WRF has prospered and dramatically expanded its mission,” Cable said. “… Thanks to Ron, the WRF is on a very solid foundation as it focuses primarily on supporting technologies in the life sciences.”

– Expedia Group has added Patricia Menendez-Cambo, Assistant Advocate General of SoftBank, to its board of directors. She is filling a position that arose from the resignation of long-time board member A. George “Skip” Battle. Read the story.

Leila Kirske. (Marchex photo)

– Seattle-based sales and marketing analytics firm Marchex has named Leila Kirske as its new CFO. Kirske joined Marchex at the end of 2020 as SVP for finance and administration.

She was previously CFO at Healthpoint 98point6. She also held senior finance roles at startups Tune, Simply Measured, and EMC’s Isilon division in Seattle.

– Saad Syed, former vice president of engineering at Azure Core, has left Microsoft to join Stripe as head of reliability and business continuity.

Syed spent 20 years at Microsoft and was a founding member of Project RedDog, which later became the company’s cloud computing service, Microsoft Azure.

Kristin McNelis. (Closet photo)

– Armoire clothing hire company announced Kristin McNelis as its first CMO. McNelis was also the startup’s first customer in Seattle when it launched.

McNelis, based in Boston, was most recently Senior Director at Drinkworks, a joint venture between AB-INBev and Keurig Dr. Pepper. She was a classmate of Armoires co-founder and CEO Ambika Singh at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

“As Armoire’s first customer in 2016, I understand the unique in-clothing membership solution for busy Boss women who want to look good wherever their crazy life takes them,” said McNelis.

Armoire received funding from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and others in January.

– Immersive entertainment company Hunt A Killer added three new members to its board:

  • NextLevel Partner and Hunt A Killer CFO Allyn Hebner.
  • John Kretchmer, CEO of the American Licorice Company.
  • Yasmin Moorman, former Vice President of Digital Growth at Discovery Inc., also joins the company as Chief Business and Operations Officer.

Founded by Ryan Hogan and Derrick Smith, the company offers monthly subscription boxes that deliver stories, clues, correspondence, interactive assignments, and more to help solve a crime. Seattle-based Hunt A Killer posted sales of over $ 50 million last year and is expanding its digital offering and delivery formats.

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