Seattle Roundup: Cyber Liability, Gravity Payments, Poachable, Angels

Catch up on the latest offering from the Washington Technology Industry Association, a bold move made by Gravity Payments, funding for Poachable, and companies tapped for Northwest angel investment competition finals:

—The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) is offering smaller companies an insurance policy to protect against damage resulting breaches of customer information. The Cyber Liability Protection program, provided by insurance brokerage HUB International, costs between $750 and $2,500 a year and offers protection starting at $1 million for a company’s costs related to privacy breaches, cyber extortion, business interruption, and other risks stemming from a hack. The offering is geared to companies with fewer than 100 employees. “We believe companies that conduct business with large organizations that store mountains of confidential data will soon be required to have cyber insurance,” said WTIA chief operating officer Mike Monroe in a news release. “A WTIA cyber-insurance policy ensures that you have the right protections in place to work with these industry leaders.”

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price captured a bit of the national spotlight this week when he pledged to raise the salaries of all the Seattle company’s employees to $70,000 a year within the next three years. Price said the raises would come from company revenue and a cut to his own outsized CEO salary. The New York Times was on hand at the credit card payment processing company to film and report on Price’s announcement.

Poachable, the Seattle startup with a new take on recruiting and job hunting in the tech industry, announced $750,000 in fresh seed funding from Dawn Lepore, the former CEO of, and Vulcan Capital, which backed the company last year. The company says it has now raised $1.8 million since last summer, when co-founders Tom Leung and Ian Shafer launched Poachable from the ashes of two earlier startup ideas that didn’t gain traction. Poachable has some 35,000 members who anonymously provide their qualifications and work desires to be matched to openings at employers, now numbering more than 1,000 and including eBay, Cisco, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and many smaller tech startups.

Seattle Angel Conference VII has picked six startups as finalists to pitch May 20 for a chance at more than $200,000 in funding from the group, which helps educate novice angel investors and entrepreneurs. The finalists, culled from a record 51 applicants, are: YOTTIO, Glamhive, Tomboy X, attachedapps, payboard, and Sqoop.

—In other Seattle Angel news, Susan Preston, tapped as managing partner last year for the new Seattle Angel Fund, was recognized by her peers with the Angel Capital Association’s Hans Severiens Award. It honors an individual “whose actions advance the role of angel investing, expand entrepreneurship and benefit the angel investing industry as a whole.” Preston’s other roles include general partner of the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, entrepreneurship fellow at the University of Washington’s MBA program, and leader of the Angel Resource Institute.

—Meanwhile, the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s Angel Oregon Spring 2015 investment competition has picked three finalists vying for upwards of $240,000 in early capital. BuddyUp, MotioSense, and SpaceView, beat out a field of 61 applicants to pitch at the event in April 22.


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