Madrona Venture Labs hires Fridgen to lead team

Seattle startup studio Madrona Venture Labs has named Mike Fridgen to lead its team. Fridge is a former general manager of eBay‘s Seattle office.


November 4, 2015, Seattle, WA – Madrona Venture Group (“Madrona”) announced today that Mike Fridgen is joining Madrona Venture Labs (“Labs”) as CEO. Madrona Venture Labs is a Seattle startup studio founded in 2014. Over the past eighteen months, the studio has created and spun out two companies. Under Fridgen’s leadership, Labs will double its staff of product managers, engineers, and designers as it continues to develop innovative Seattle startups in partnership with top local entrepreneurs.

Fridgen is a serial entrepreneur and startup executive, having co-founded and scaled multiple successful Seattle companies, including Farecast and Decide. After selling Decide to eBay in 2013, Mike was the GM of eBay’s 400-person Seattle office, where he also led eBay’s Seller Experience team. This is Fridgen’s fourth partnership with Madrona, which funds and houses Labs and helps the studio’s spinouts raise capital, recruit talent, and establish a presence in the market.

“Madrona Venture Labs has been built by people who are passionate about starting and scaling companies, and it’s a unique opportunity to impact the Seattle technology ecosystem,” commented Fridgen. “In just a year and a half, the Labs team has created some really interesting early stage companies and attracted great entrepreneurs and investors to take them forward. I’m excited to help accelerate the pace of innovation.”

“Mike is a terrific entrepreneur and company builder who has proven success from the very earliest stages of a startup through to maturity,” said Scott Jacobson, a Managing Director at Madrona and board member for Labs. “He thrives on ideating, selecting, and testing ideas, and putting resources behind the best ones to build great products and companies. Mike has already led two Madrona-backed success stories, and we are thrilled to have him back in the family leading Labs.”

Fridgen joins a talented group of developers and designers at Madrona Venture Labs, including Geoffrey Elliott, Amy Falcone, Brian Fioca, Brendan Ribera and Matt Terich. The team has ambitious growth plans, and will be hiring product and engineering team members in the coming months. Labs offices with

Madrona Venture Group in downtown Seattle.
Madrona Venture Labs has already spun off two companies. Spare5 brings the power of crowdsourcing expert opinions to businesses via smartphones, and has raised $13.25 million from NEA, Foundry, Madrona and others. The second company is in stealth but has already secured seed financing from Madrona and other investors.

About Madrona Venture Labs
Madrona Venture Labs is a startup studio housed at Madrona Venture Group. Madrona Venture Labs brings together the best from a startup studio and a venture firm – testing and validating ideas, growing the winners through customer traction, and adding capital and talent to turn the most promising concepts into thriving companies. The team is comprised of experienced and entrepreneurial product leaders, designers, and engineers.

For more information, visit

About Madrona Venture Group
Madrona has been investing in early-stage technology companies in the Pacific Northwest since 1995 and has been privileged to play a role in some of the region’s most successful technology ventures. The firm invests predominately in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum, including consumer Internet, commercial software and services, digital media and advertising, networking and cloud computing, and mobile. Madrona manages approximately $1 billion and was an early investor in companies such as, Isilon Systems, Redfin and Rover. For more information, visit