Google Voice Founder Craig Walker Launches Firespotter, an ‘Accelerator’

Firespotter Labs launched today with $3 million in funding from Google Ventures. The Mountain View, Calif.-based accelerator, as it is being dubbed, sounds a lot like an incubator. It has an impressive founder, though: Craig Walker, the entrepreneur behind GrandCentral, the startup that Google acquired to create Google Voice.

Walker was most recently an entrepreneur-in-residence at Google Ventures. He’s joined at Firespotter by Google Voice engineers Brian Peterson, John Rector, and Alex Cornell.


May 5, 2011 Firespotter Labs today announced its launch with $3 million in Series A funding from Google Ventures. The new accelerator generates ideas, builds products and launches the most promising ones as independent companies. Firespotter aims to accelerate the delivery of multiple products and use the core technologies and business insights gleaned from one product to build the next.  The company is founded by former Google Ventures Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Craig Walker, former Google Voice engineers Brian Peterson and John Rector, and Alex Cornell.


“At Firespotter we have no shortage of ideas for creating products for mass markets that impact people’s lives,” said Walker, founder and CEO.  “Our team has an abundance of expertise in developing new products and intimately understands the process of building them to scale. Firespotter Labs gives us the creative freedom to explore and manage multiple ideas simultaneously, and to take what we’ve learned on one project to ignite the next.”


Walker brings 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, corporate executive and attorney to Firespotter.  Walker founded and was CEO of GrandCentral Communications, acquired by Google in July 2007 (now Google Voice), and also was CEO of Dialpad Communications, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2005 (now Yahoo! Voice). Prior to Dialpad, Walker was a technology venture investor at Sterling Payot Capital and TeleSoft Partners, as well as a corporate attorney at top-tier law firms in Silicon Valley.


“Today, technology innovation and the ability to bring products to market is advancing at a pace we have never seen before,” said Wesley Chan, Partner, Google Ventures. “I’ve personally worked with the members of the team for many years and am excited to be part of an endeavor that is taking a new approach to how companies are created in the Valley.”


Chan will serve on the board of Firespotter.  The company plans to invest the funds in operations and scaling the business.


About Google Ventures

Google Ventures seeks to discover and help develop great companies – we believe in the power of entrepreneurs to do amazing things. Our investments range from seed to late stage, across a broad range of industries, including consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean tech, biotechnology and health care. We embrace the challenge of helping young companies grow from the proverbial garage to global relevance. The Google Ventures team includes entrepreneurs, investors and innovators, along with some 26,000+ exceptional Googlers whose breadth of knowledge, experience and creativity constitute perhaps our most valuable resource. For more information, visit


About Firespotter Labs

Founded in 2011 by serial entrepreneur and former Google Ventures Entrepreneur in Residence Craig Walker, Firespotter Labs focuses on fanning the flames of ideas that will revolutionize industries. Not an incubator in the traditional sense, at Firespotter the sparks start inside with one idea fueling another, evolving into products and companies that go on to exist and succeed on their own. Firespotter is funded by Google Ventures. For more information go to

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