The end of 2016 was also the end of Startup Spokane’s second year, and what an incredible year it was. In addition to growing the number of participants in the region-wide entrepreneurial ecosystem, Startup Spokane convened, connected, and facilitated a myriad of new activities and programs. The inaugural Triangle Venture Expo was very successful in creating awareness across our entire region about our high growth technology startups. We officially launched our Mentor Connect program in October, with over 20 proven entrepreneurs offering to be mentors to budding entrepreneurs and startups. Startup Spokane met with nearly 130 individual entrepreneurs and provided direction and guidance to each of them, including a multitude of referrals to other organizations for support and assistance. The snapshot below provides a high level overview of the outcomes from Startup Spokane. This does not include the outcomes from each of the other 35+ organizations that serve entrepreneurs in our community.
In 2017, Startup Spokane will continue to provide assistance and programming to entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking to grow. In addition, a major area of focus will be on creating more “idea flow” in the region. This has been identified as a critical need, and will require collaboration among the colleges, universities and private sector. With over 70,000 students attending our area colleges and universities, there is an opportunity to facilitate greater ideation, and work closer with university researchers, technology transfer, and commercialization to transform ideas into businesses. We are on the precipice of creating many high growth companies in our region, and will accomplish this through intentional cooperation and collaboration between all of the partners and stakeholders.
Many thanks to all of the individuals and organizations who are passionately and collectively contributing toward making our region known for entrepreneurship across a myriad of industries! It takes a village, and a very strong and united village we are.