Seattle Week in Review: Early End of Summer Edition

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Friday morning’s drumming rain and Bumbershoot, the arts and music festival named for a portable rain shelter, herald the end of summer. OK, not quite yet. But soon.

In this edition of Xconomy Seattle’s Week in Review, we’re talking migration. The Obama Administration wants to make it easier for entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. to build startup companies. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy have a fascinating new visualization of animal migration patterns resulting from a changing climate (more below).

In local tech news, another Seattle-area tech company, Apptio, is planning an IPO, and Impinj, which went public last month, gave its first earnings report and watched its stock price rise. DefinedCrowd raised seed funding. Apple job listings provided clues to the company’s machine learning plans, and where recently acquired Seattle startup Turi may fit. That and more follows:

—The Obama Administration proposed a new rule to allow non-U.S. entrepreneurs behind successful startup companies to stay in the country for up to two years (with possibility of extensions) to continue building their companies. The International Entrepreneur Rule would factor in things like whether a startup has raised capital from “certain qualified U.S. investors” and other factors in determining whether the company “would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.”

The White House made its case for the proposed rule in this post on Medium. “Immigrants have helped start as many as one of every four small businesses and high-tech startups across America, and the majority of high-tech startups in Silicon Valley,” wrote Tom Kalil and Doug Rand of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Immigrants in Washington state comprise significant pieces of the agricultural and technology workforce, according to a report released earlier this month.

Donald Trump campaigned in Everett, WA, this week, just before a visit to Mexico where he claimed the issue of who would pay for his proposed border wall did not come up in conversations with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. (Trump has suggested his administration would compel Mexico to pay by holding hostage remittance payments, in part through requiring money transfer companies such as Seattle-based Remitly to verify the lawful residency of anyone seeking to wire money outside the U.S.) Nieto made clear in a tweet that Mexico has no intention of paying.

—Animal movement patterns are expected to shift as global temperatures, precipitation, and habitat changes with the changing climate. Researchers at the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy modeled those changes, creating a map of how nearly 3,000 mammal, bird, and amphibian species may need to move to find suitable habitat.

The map doesn’t project the movement of insects, but as the spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses is already illustrating, climate change promises changes in these patterns, too. The big question is, are we ready? (No.)

The Seattle-based Center for Infectious Disease Research has a cool new poster series, on display at Bumbershoot, calling attention to the spread of infectious disease through this vector, and efforts to combat it.

The “Mankind vs. Pathogen” poster series from the Center for Infectious Disease Research.

The “Mankind vs. Pathogen” poster series from the Center for Infectious Disease Research.

Some tech news:

Apptio is preparing to go public, which would make it the second Seattle-area IT company to do so this year. Impinj, which raised $67.2 million in a July IPO, released its first quarterly earnings report as a public company on Wednesday. The maker of radio frequency identification technology had second quarter revenue of $26 million, up 36 percent year-over-year. Impinj (NASDAQ: PI) swung to a loss of $254,000, compared to a profit of $974,000 in the second quarter of 2015. Investors cheered the report, bidding up shares in Impinj further. The company’s stock has more than doubled from the $14-a-share IPO price.

The Seattle Times, meanwhile, looked at another way a couple of Seattle tech companies have gone public: through “reverse IPOs” with companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Syntonic and Buddy Platform have both done this in the last year.

—Kirkland, WA-based startup DefinedCrowd raised $1.1 million in seed funding from investors including the Amazon Alexa Fund, Sony Innovation Fund, and Portugal Ventures. The company, which also has a research arm in Portugal, says it is combining machine learning, data science, and crowdsourcing to help companies train and model datasets.

—More details of Apple’s plans for Turi, the Seattle company it acquired earlier this summer, emerged in job listings for a new machine learning division at the technology giant spotted this week by 9to5Mac. Apple posted want ads for application developers and data scientists to join the new division, based in Seattle. Turi, a startup building machine learning tools, is forming a core piece of Apple’s strategy in this area.

—Women returning to work from maternity leave or other extended absences have a new resource in the Seattle area. ReBoot is offering a nine-week education and networking program focusing on technology skills and support for women returning to the workforce or making a career transition. The first Seattle session of the program, hosted at the University of Washington’s CoMotion Labs in Fluke Hall, begins Sept. 21. The cost is $795.

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