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Startup Momentum Continues Across Our Region

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With the dog days of summer behind us, Fall brings renewed energy for education, events, and activities that encourage and support entrepreneurship across our region. Share Space Spokane moved to a much larger and hip space in the Plechner Building (610 W. 2nd) on September 1st. With the move came a simpler name – Central, which is part of the Startup Spokane platform. An open house is scheduled for Thursday, October 15th from 5:00-7:00pm with food, beverage, and remarks from City of Spokane Mayor Condon, GSI President Steve Stevens, and others.

Startup Washington 365, a Washington State legislative appropriation of $150K, is gearing up to assist startup companies in urban and rural communities throughout Eastern Washington, as well as across the state. Southeastern Washington Economic Development Association (SEWEDA) has identified individuals in Pullman and Clarkston to be their conveners, connectors, and facilitators in the rural entrepreneurial ecosystems of Whitman and Asotin counties. Walla Walla Community College – Clarkston and Crimson Commerce Club, owned by Velle and Judy Kolde in Pullman have both made generous in-kind contributions of physical space for the two rural Centers for Entrepreneurial Success (CES). This allows our legislative appropriation dollars to be used for staffing and programming for the next two years, focusing on assisting entrepreneurs and existing small businesses in rural eastern Washington.

Additionally, WSU has led the application process for two federal grant opportunities, each worth $500K. If we are successful in being awarded one or both, the model of creating rural Centers for Entrepreneurial Success and integrating urban and rural ecosystems will be greatly enhanced. Plans include creating additional CES’s in Kootenai County in north Idaho, as well as Stevens County in northeastern Washington.

Lots of events and activities are being planned for this Fall, so definitely check out our Startup Spokane community events calendar regularly. Global Entrepreneurship Week is November 16-20. Startup Weekend Spokane #8 is scheduled for the weekend of November 13-15th, and several events and workshops are lined up during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Even with the tremendous progress made in our region to create a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, there are still many entrepreneurs, locally and further afield, who are uneducated about the incredible support resources that exist throughout our region. To that end, Greater Spokane Incorporated has engaged M. Garrett Consulting to create a strategic communications and media relations plan that will help us enhance our entrepreneurship culture and ecosystem by retaining and recruiting entrepreneurs and startups. We will increase the local, regional, and national awareness of our regions programs, services, and resources, thereby retaining local entrepreneurs, and attracting entrepreneurs to our region.

With so much momentum underway, we encourage you to engage in the myriad of events, activities, and the like. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a member of a startup team, a mentor, or a service provider, our region will benefit from your participation.

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