Vulcan Inc.

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Vulcan Inc.
VulcanGreenGray.png
Formation1986; 34 years ago (1986)[1]
Founders
TypePrivate
PurposePhilanthropy, Entertainment, Technology, Investments, Real Estate, Spaceflight, Arts
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Bill Hilf, CEO
Jody Allen, co-founder
Employees
700 (mid-2019)
WebsiteVulcan.com
Formerly called
Vulcan Northwest

Vulcan Inc. is a privately held company founded by the Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his sister Jody Allen[not verified in body] in 1986 to establish and oversee the family's diverse business activities and philanthropic endeavors. It is currently controlled by the estate of Paul Allen. Vulcan Inc. is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.[2]

Vulcan oversees a variety of business activities including the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Great Elephant Census, the Seattle Cinerama, and Stratolaunch Systems.

Vulcan Inc. Headquarters

History[edit]

Vulcan Northwest was formed in Bellevue, Washington in 1986 to manage the business affairs, investments, and philanthropic affairs of Paul Allen. The company initially had a Pacific Northwest focus.[3] The company's headquarters moved from Bellevue to Seattle in 1998. In 2001, they dropped "Northwest" from the company name to reflect growing global ventures.[3]

In 2010, the Green Sports Alliance was conceived and founded by Vulcan Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Inaugural members and partners included Vulcan ventures such as the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Seattle Sounders FC. Green Sports Alliance Members made a variety of commitments to improve their environmental performance such as reducing waste, conserving energy and water, and eliminating toxic chemicals.[4][5][full citation needed]

Following Paul Allen's death in 2018, Vulcan co-executive Jody Allen—who also serves as the estate’s executor and trustee—has taken the lead strategic role at Vulcan. This has included instigating a process to assess the various Vulcan projects and enterprises based on either profit or philanthropic impact. Vulcan had approximately 700 employees as of mid-2019, and in October 2019 was reducing some of those positions.[6]

Areas of focus[edit]

Vulcan Real Estate[edit]

Vulcan's Real Estate division offers development and portfolio management services from site selection and urban planning to build-to-suit construction. Vulcan has developed 6.6 million square feet of new residential, office, retail and biotechnology research space and has a total development capacity of 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2).[7]

Vulcan Real Estate redeveloped the South Lake Union neighborhood north of downtown Seattle and along the south shore of Lake Union. More than $5.7 billion has been invested in the neighborhood since 2002 for development projects and public infrastructure improvements.[citation needed]

Vulcan advocated for the Seattle Streetcar line known as South Lake Union Streetcar, which runs from Seattle's Westlake Center to the south end of Lake Union.[8] The streetcar officially started operation on December 12, 2007. This development has been criticized as a city-supported real estate investment for Vulcan Inc.,[9][8] and concerns over the loss of low-income housing have been expressed.[citation needed].

In 2012, The Wall Street Journal called Allen's South Lake Union investment "unexpectedly lucrative" and one that led to his firm selling a 1,800,000 square feet (170,000 m2) office complex to Amazon.com for US$1.16 billion, one of the most expensive office deals ever in Seattle.[10] "It's exceeded my expectations," Mr. Allen said of the South Lake Union development.[citation needed] The company also developed a five-building complex for Google near Lake Union Park that is planned to open in stages between 2019 and 2022.[11]

In September 2014, Vulcan made a commitment to invest $200 million at Yesler Terrace where it would purchase three land parcels from the Seattle Housing Authority as part of an ambitious redevelopment plan for the 30-acre low-income housing site located southeast of downtown Seattle.[12]

Vulcan Capital[edit]

Formed in 2003, Vulcan Capital is the multibillion-dollar investment arm of Vulcan and is headquartered in Seattle with an additional office in Palo Alto.[13] Vulcan Capital invests in both private and public companies with a focus on making investments of $10 million to $100 million or more in companies mirroring the philanthropic approach of Paul Allen and Vulcan Inc. 4INFO, Alibaba Group, Charter Communications, DreamWorks, Magic Leap, Redfin and Tri Alpha Energy, Inc. are among the companies Vulcan Capital has invested in.[14][15] Vulcan Capital's CEO is Jo Allen Patton.[16]

In 2017, Vulcan Capital provided funding Blokable, a startup that aims to provide affordable housing in Seattle, Sacramento, and the Bay Area.[17] In 2018, Blokable delivered its first model units in Seattle Washington. [18][19][20][21]

Vulcan Arts + Entertainment[edit]

Vulcan Arts + Entertainment launched in 2017 and is guided by Allen's vision of investing in the region. The portfolio includes Upstream Music Fest + Summit, Seattle Art Fair, Seattle Cinerama, and The Hospital Club (h Club London and h Club LA). VA+E also represents museums including Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum and Living Computers: Museum + Labs.

The Hospital Club[edit]

In 2002, Paul Allen reopened the doors of the old St. Paul's Hospital in London's Covent Garden neighborhood, revealing a new 60,000-square-foot creative hub, providing a professional and social hub to those working in the film, television, music, advertising, contemporary art and design, publishing and journalism, interactive media, theatre and fashion industries.[22]

Museums[edit]

  • The Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum displays Paul G. Allen's collection of rare military aircraft, tanks and other military hardware from the United States, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The Collection opened to the public in 2004 at the Arlington, Washington airfield, moving in 2008 to a hangar at Paine Field in Everett, Washington.[23] Several weeks after Allen's death in 2018, the museum opened a larger hangar to preserve related stories.[24]
  • The Living Computers: Museum + Labs (LCM+L) Is a computer and technology museum located in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. LCM+L (originally known as Living Computer Museum, and before that, PDPplanet.com) was founded by Paul Allen, on January 9, 2006.
  • The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP (previously called EMP Museum, Is a nonprofit museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. It was founded by Paul Allen in 2000 as the Experience Music Project. Since that time MoPOP has organized dozens of exhibits, 17 of which have toured across the US and internationally.
  • The Seattle Art Fair displays modern and contemporary art and is a showcase for the arts community of the Pacific Northwest.
  • The Seattle Cinerama is a downtown Seattle theater with a large screen. It was remodeled in 2014 to allow for more projection methods.[25]
  • The Upstream Music Fest + Summit is a three-day music festival.

Vulcan Sports and Entertainment[edit]

Established in 2007, Vulcan Sports and Entertainment (VSE) provides strategic oversight for Allen's professional sports franchises including the Portland Trail Blazers, the Seattle Seahawks and manages CenturyLink Field, WaMu Theater, the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland, Oregon). In the fall of 2018, Chris McGowan was named CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment after Peter McLoughlin left the Seahawks.[26]

Research[edit]

Allen Brain Atlas

Both the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence were incubated at Vulcan Inc. Started at Vulcan Inc. in 2001, the Allen Brain Atlas project sought to understand the connections between genes and brain functioning. From the project's research, Paul Allen created the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003 with a $100 million donation.[27]

Project Halo came next. The project ran from 2002 to 2013, with the goal of creating a "digital Aristotle" that can correctly answer queries about scientific information, using artificial intelligence. The project led to a number of spinoff technologies, including the wiki software bundle SMW+, the Semantic Inferencing on Large Knowledge (SILK) project[28] and the Automated User-Centered Reasoning and Acquisition System (AURA).[29] From Project Halo's results, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence was created.[30]

Vulcan Productions[edit]

Vulcan Productions produces films, digital programs and outreach initiatives. Its programs have won awards including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Emmy Award, and the Grammy Award.[31][31]

Technology[edit]

Vulcan, Inc. has also directly led some technology projects.

Vulcan Aerospace is a subsidiary of Vulcan Inc. set up in 2015 to help achieve Paul Allen's desire to make commercial space travel more convenient and less expensive.[32] Vulcan Aerospace oversaw the development of Stratolaunch Systems project, an air launch system being developed 2010-2019 to transport payloads to low Earth orbit using a large carrier aircraft.[33] In 2016, initial test flights were projected to take place as early as 2016.[34] In September 2016, Vulcan Aerospace President Chuck Beames left his role leading the effort and was replaced by an interim executive director: "Jean Floyd, the CEO of Vulcan’s Stratolaunch Systems."[35][needs update] Although the super-sized Stratolaunch carrier aircraft first flew on April 13, 2019, at the Mojave Air and Space Port in a 2 h 29 min flight,[36][37] Vulcan announced in May 2019 that the company would cease operations.[38] The assets of Stratolaunch, including all intellectual property and the 385 feet (117 m)-wingspan carrier aircraft—"the world’s largest aircraft to fly"[36]—were put up for sale for US$400 million in June 2019.[39]

Vulcan Spectrum, a branch of Vulcan, Inc., participated in the United States 2008 wireless spectrum auction, and paid US$69 million for "A Block" spectrum in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area, and US$43.6 million for "A Block" spectrum in Portland-Salem.[40][needs update]

In 2003, Vulcan began developing the Vulcan FlipStart, a subnotebook with a 5.6-inch screen. The company began to manufacture and sell the FlipStart in March 2007, and ceased production in May 2008.[41]

Philanthropy[edit]

In 2014, Vulcan Inc. partnered with Elephants Without Borders to secure a $7.3 million grant to conduct the Great Elephant Census.[42] The census was designed to provide accurate and up-to-date data about the number and distribution of African elephants by using standardized aerial surveys of thousands of square miles. Prior to the survey, many countries had not conducted surveying flights in as many as 10 years. Dozens of researchers flying in small planes captured comprehensive observational data of elephants and elephant carcasses.[43] The census was completed in 2016, finding that elephant populations had declined by as much as 30 percent over the previous seven years as a result of poaching.[44]

In February 2016, Allen announced that Vulcan would donate $2 million in grants to stop the spread of the Zika virus.[45] Most of the funds went to mosquito control efforts in countries where the virus was quickly spreading, while the remainder was used to fund a diagnostic test.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About - Vulcan". vulcan.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Company Overview of Vulcan Inc. Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Bloomberg
  3. ^ a b Lee Moriwaki (March 13, 1998). "Paul Allen To Move Headquarters Of Vulcan Northwest Downtown". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "This U.N. Framework Rallies the Global Sports Sector Behind Climate Action". TriplePundit. May 3, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  5. ^ "ABOUT -". greensportsalliance.org. Archived from the original on November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  6. ^ https://www.geekwire.com/2019/paul-allens-vulcan-holding-company-cutting-jobs-sources-say/.
  7. ^ ifthen.com. "About Us - Vulcan Real Estate". vulcan.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "How did we get here? A look back at Seattle's Center City Connector and streetcar history". Seattle Times. September 7, 2018. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "Venture Capital: Airplanes ... to antibodies". seattlepi.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "Amazon to pay Vulcan $1.16B for headquarters campus in South Lake Union - Puget Sound Business Journal". Puget Sound Business Journal. October 5, 2012. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  11. ^ Khashimova Long, Katherine (October 3, 2019). "Google unveils first of five South Lake Union offices, cheek by jowl with Amazon". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "Vulcan to buy three blocks in Yesler Terrace". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital expanding to Silicon Valley". geekwire.com. April 1, 2013. Archived from the original on September 9, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "Vulcan Capital | Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "Vulcan Capital Provides Seed to TriLinc for Global Impact Investments". Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  16. ^ Company Overview of Vulcan Capital Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Bloomberg
  17. ^ https://www.columbian.com/news/2017/oct/01/building-blocks-at-blokable-may-change-industry/
  18. ^ https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/blokable-closes-23-million-in-series-a-financing-to-lower-the-cost-of-developing-building-and-owning-multi-family-housing-in-west-coast-communities-300903401.html
  19. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/modular-housing-startup-blokable-raises-23-million-series-a-11566230585
  20. ^ https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-housing-startup-blokable-raises-23m-plans-new-california-manufacturing-facility/
  21. ^ https://impactalpha.com/blokable-secures-23-million-for-modular-housing-that-promises-affordability/
  22. ^ "The Hospital Club". thehospitalclub.com. Archived from the original on November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  23. ^ "Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum, Vulcan". Archived from the original on January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Caleb Hutton, November 18, 2018, Vintage war machines live on at Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, HeraldNet
  25. ^ Mudede, Charles. "If the New Cinerama Can't Save Movie Theaters, Nothing Can". The Stranger. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  26. ^ "Peter McLoughlin out as Seahawks president and CEO in organizational restructuring". The Seattle Times. September 24, 2018. Archived from the original on October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  27. ^ Weintraub, Arlene. "Paul Allen Just Made His Biggest Step Yet To Map The Human Brain". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  28. ^ "The SILK Project: Semantic Inferencing on Large Knowledge". semwebcentral.org. Archived from the original on February 27, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  29. ^ "Automated User-Centered Reasoning and Acquisition System". Artificial Intelligence Center. SRI International. Archived from the original on May 19, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  30. ^ Brandom, Russell (October 24, 2013). "Paul Allen and the Machines: teaching the next generation of artificial intelligence". theverge.com. Archived from the original on December 25, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  31. ^ a b "Vulcan Productions". vulcanproductions.com. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  32. ^ "Paul Allen Launches 'Vulcan Aerospace' to Boost Private Space Travel". space.com. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  33. ^ Johnsson, Julie (April 13, 2015). "Paul Allen Wants Path to Space to Start on World's Biggest Plane". Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  34. ^ "Vulcan Aerospace". stratolaunch.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  35. ^ "Internal email: Paul Allen's top space exec Chuck Beames leaving Vulcan Aerospace". geekwire.com. September 23, 2016. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  36. ^ a b "Stratolaunch becomes world's largest aircraft to fly". Flightglobal. April 13, 2019. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  37. ^ "Maior avião do mundo decola na Califórnia". G1 (in Portuguese). April 13, 2019.
  38. ^ "Exclusive: Space firm founded by billionaire Paul Allen closing..." June 1, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2019 – via www.reuters.com.
  39. ^ "The world's largest airplane is up for sale for $400 million". June 14, 2019.
  40. ^ "Verizon Gets the "C" Block - dailywireless.org". dailywireless.org. Archived from the original on March 24, 2008. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
  41. ^ Is FlipStart closing up shop? Archived August 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Joshua Topolsky, Engadget, May 4, 2008
  42. ^ "How Paul Allen's $7 Million and Big Data Are Combating Africa's Elephant Crisis". Mashable. October 31, 2014. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  43. ^ "Great Elephant Census". Great Elephant Census. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  44. ^ "Paul Allen's Great Elephant Census Confirms Catastrophic Decline in Africa". GeekWire. August 31, 2016. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  45. ^ "Paul Allen Giving $2 Million in Effort to Help Fight Zika Virus Outbreak". GeekWire. February 19, 2016. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  46. ^ "Philanthropist Paul Allen Announces $2 Million in Grants for Zika Diagnostic, Mosquito Control". The Washington Post. February 19, 2016. Archived from the original on June 30, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.

External links[edit]