My guest, T.A. McCann, Managing Director of Pioneer Square Labs, brings an exceptional blend of experience and insight. A serial entrepreneur, T.A. has founded companies like Synosis (acquired by Google), GIST (acquired by BlackBerry), and Rival IQ, a leader in marketing analytics. His journey from leading roles at Microsoft to being an active angel investor and a respected professor at the University of Washington Foster School of Business offers a panoramic view of innovation and entrepreneurship.

In our conversation, T.A. discusses the critical role of venture studios and corporate venture capital in shaping the future of corporate innovation. He delves into how corporations can effectively navigate decision-making, balancing internal development with external collaborations and the strategic importance of engaging with early-stage startups.

This episode is a masterclass in understanding the intricacies of corporate strategy, the build/buy/partner/create decision matrix, and the role of venture studios in realizing ambitious innovation goals.

As we explore these themes, we also touch upon the challenges large corporations face in internal innovation, such as attracting the right talent, creating sustainable equity structures, and the importance of building venture-scale standalone companies.

This episode offers invaluable insights, whether you’re a CEO, a chief innovation officer, a business leader, or just someone fascinated by the interplay of technology and business. Join us as we uncover the strategies that can help corporates not just navigate but thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of tech innovation.

What strategies does your organization employ to stay ahead in the innovation game? Share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Name: T.A. McCann
Title: Managing Director

Company: Pioneer Square Labs

LinkedIn  | Pioneer Square Labs LinkedIn |

T.A. McCann is the Managing Director at Pioneer Square Labs. T.A. is a serial entrepreneur. He was founder and CEO of Senosis (acquired by Google), Gist (acquired by Blackberry) and Rival IQ, a leader in marketing analytics. Previously, he was an EIR at Polaris Venture Partners, Vulcan Capital where he built Vulcan Labs and Providence Health Services, focused on quantified health ideas and investments. He also held senior roles at Microsoft leading Exchange and the Mobile Services divisions. 

In addition to his own startup experience, he is an active angel investor in companies including SkillJar, CreativeLive, Assist, Migo and Vendor Hawk and on the board of Guidant Financial, Volt Athletics, and He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Washington Foster School of Business and active TechStars mentor.

Prior to his startup career, he was a professional sailor having competed in 2 America’s Cups (won one, lost one) and the Whitbread Round the World race. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, where he attended on a full swimming scholarship.