This Capitol Hill entrepreneur could make human composting a reality

(Image: Katrina Spade)

“Magical” might not be the first word that comes to mind while enumerating the process of human decomposition. And yet, it is the exact word that Capitol Hill designer and entrepreneur Katrina Spade uses — twice — to describe the process of converting human bodies into soil.

“The fact that all we really need is nature is pretty magical to me,” Spade says, her soft timbre nearly drowned out by the clinking of coffee cups and cookie plates at Victrola.

With her company, Recompose, Spade hopes to make human composting in Seattle an alternative to burial and cremation, or at least a reality, by 2020. By then, she hopes to open a human-composting facility in the city. Spade dreams of a large, warehouse-like space where lush plants welcome grieving families. Hexagonal recomposition vessels are stacked high against the walls. Human bodies will recompose in the aerated, heated containers along with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. Continue reading

Future For Us: This Capitol Hill entrepreneur quit her job — so other women of color could get more opportunities

Sage Ke’alohilani Quiamno by Jill Chang (Image: @sageq via Instagram)

Women still only earn 77.9 cents on the dollar, but in the past few years, there’s been a much more concerted push to address the gender wage and opportunity gaps.

There’s still an elephant in the room, however, says Capitol Hill businesswoman Sage Ke’alohilani Quiamno.

The pay and opportunity gap for women of color remains the obvious but unaddressed truth. On average, women of color experience a much higher wage deficit than white women.

“Women of color are on the bottom of the totem pole,” Quiamno says.  Continue reading

Capitol Hill startup Shelf Engine gets $800k seed to grow ‘highly perishable food’ AI

Anybody who has made a Capitol Hill coffee shop their office is probably familiar with neighborhood entrepreneur Stefan Kalb’s work. His Molly’s brand sandwiches and snacks are a ubiquitous part of the Seattle-area cafe scene. Another of his ventures just got a big financial vote of confidence:

Shelf Engine, a Seattle-based startup who uses artificial intelligence to help retailers and distributors order better to optimize for profits in highly perishable food categories, announced today a seed investment of $800k. The investment from Bay Area and Seattle funds is lead by Initialized Capital with participation by Founder’s Co-op, Liquid 2 Venture, and other angel investors enabling Shelf Engine to scale in 2017.

Kalb and co-founder Bede Jordan created Shelf Engine to help reduce waste in the Molly’s business, according to an announcement on the funding round. The startup’s office is on 12th Ave below Plum Bistro and La Spiga in the Piston Ring building.

“Most grocery stores leave ordering of fresh food up to individual category managers. But those managers typically lack appropriate tools and data needed to match orders of hundreds or thousands of products to demand,” CEO Kalb said in the announcement.

Shelf Engine’s order prediction engine analyzes historical order and sales data to generate automated order recommendations, according to the company.

Kalb has stepped down from his CEO role at Molly’s to focus on Shelf Engine, the Seattle Time reports. The news will also create a few new 12th Ave jobs. Much of the financing will go toward hiring developers.

You can learn more at shelfengine.com.

 

Chophouse Row lines up mobile tech company Glympse for Pike/Pine marketplace + office development

(Image: Dunn + Hobbes)

(Image: Dunn + Hobbes)

glympseIOSTech backlash or no, startups have and will continue to make Capitol Hill their home. One new building preparing to open in Pike/Pine appears to have landed exactly what its developer was looking for in creating a mixed-use project just off E Pike with a focus on office space, not apartments.

Glympse, a Seattle-based mobile technology startup currently making its home in South Lake Union, is making plans to bring its employees to Capitol Hill with 10,000 square feet of office space in the upper levels of Liz Dunn’s nearly complete Chophouse Row development.

Dunn told CHS she cannot comment on tenants in the preservation and development project and Glympse hasn’t returned our messages from earlier this week but early plans on file with the city show preparations to construct a two-level office for the startup on the third floor of the 11th Ave project between Pike and Union that is combining an old auto row-era structure with new construction to create a Melrose Market-like marketplace at street level with office space above. Continue reading

Baked with love on Capitol Hill, Treatbox cookie delivery service hopes to grow here, too

Hubrath and De Moss (Image: CHS)

Hubrath and De Moss (Image: CHS)

IMG_5427Out of a commercial kitchen space on Capitol Hill, Keith Hubrath created Treatbox, Seattle’s only cookie delivery service. Treatbox might be ready to help you romance somebody with sweet treats this Valentine’s Day but Hubrath isn’t ready to settle down in a brick and mortar cookie shop on Capitol Hill just yet.

Treatbox puts prepackaged, love-less sweets to shame by offering “fresh baked, scratch made, home style cookies.”

“They’re the first thing I learned how to bake and they’re my favorite — and don’t let me understate favorite,” Hubrath said. Continue reading

In Capitol Hill tech M&A, Redfin closes deal for 12th Ave’s Walk Score

Team Walk Score in front of a familiar Capitol Hill landmark (Image: Walk Score)

Team Walk Score in front of a familiar Capitol Hill landmark (Image: Walk Score)

Employees may not buy flashy new cars in celebration but there are probably going to be at least a few pairs of fancy new shoes on display around 12th Ave this week after Capitol Hill-headquartered start-up Walk Score’s big deal with Seattle-based online real estate company Redfin:

The real estate brokerage today is announcing the acquisition of Walk Score, a 10-person Seattle company that ranks millions of addresses across the country based on their walkability, bikeability or proximity to public transportation. It does this on a scale of 1 to 100 by measuring the distance from a specific addresses to certain neighborhood amenities, such as schools, restaurants, libraries and coffee shops.

Walk Score creates technology to measure walkability, bikeability and proximity to public transportation. You can check out your address’s score here. In 2012, the company secured a $2 million first round of financing.

The tie-up, Mobilisafe CEO Giri Sreenivas points out, marks the second recent successful “exit” for tenants of the Hunters Capital-owned Ballou Wright building on 12th Ave:

Continue reading