Startup Spokane just completed its third year of operations. 2017 was a year full of tremendous accomplishments, some of which need to be acknowledged and celebrated. The entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to evolve, expand, and thrive. Year-over-year accomplishments and outcomes since its inception in 2015 are nothing short of "hockey stick" growth. Collaboration is strong across the region, and our network of community partners and support resources are working very effectively and efficiently so as to help entrepreneurs be successful, regardless of type of business or industry sector. Megan Hulsey, Startup Spokane Program Manager, along with April Needham, Avista Community Loaned Executive, have done an exceptional job of convening, connecting and facilitating across the regional ecosystem. This work has really transformed the ecosystem, eliminating uncertainty for entrepreneurs and small businesses as it regards where to go for support. Some of Startup Spokane’s notable outcomes from 2017 include:
- Entrepreneur Assistance – assisted 268 entrepreneurs, which led to the creation of over 450 jobs in our region.
- Events – 94 entrepreneur-related events were held with over 7,500 attendees
- Triangle Venture Expo – over 200 attendees attended to hear presentations from 7 of our regions up-and-coming startups, including Gestalt Diagnostics, TMS Solutions, MotoTrax, Spiceologist, Sportscope Video, Safeguard, and Phytellingence.
- Office Hours – 17 organizations providing free consultation to entrepreneurs
- Mentors – 26 local mentors plus 150 mentors statewide
- Stakeholder and Partner meetings – 85 stakeholder and partner meetings
- Knowledge Network – 57 ecosystem partners, each of whom serve entrepreneurs. Startup Spokane has created a mesh network, whereby each of the partner organizations refer entrepreneurs to the appropriate support resources in the ecosystem.
- Newsletter – weekly e-newsletter to a distribution of over 5,500 subscribers
- Podcasts – 19 podcasts were recorded and broadcasted, covering a range of entrepreneurship topics
- Blog Posts – 10 blog posts
- Earned Media – 20 stories and articles featuring Startup Spokane
With 2018 fully underway, we continue to identify needs and gaps in the ecosystem, and are focused on engaging resources from our region and beyond. Harnessing the tremendous ideas that are emerging from our colleges, universities, business & industry, and the community at large is our top priority for creating viable and scalable companies. Our ecosystem is strong, and will continue to support native entrepreneurs as well as those we can recruit to our region. With the cost of startup operations being 35% less than Seattle, along with the incredible attributes of “livability” in our region, we are poised to launch and grow a multitude of startups. As Steve Case, Founder of AOL, and author of The Third Wave, succinctly characterizes communities like Spokane as “The Rise of the Rest”. In his book, he says “over the next two decades we will see cities that were once marginalized become entrepreneurial powerhouses…geographical diversity is vital to our future. Startups are the engine of our economy. The communities they form, the talent they recruit, the products they make, the jobs they create, and the lives they improve can all be leveraged to transform communities”. Spokane is on the RISE!!!!