As the only accelerator in the Eastern Washington region, Ignite Northwest serves a wide range of technology related enterprises.
Hear what some of our clients have to say
Our comprehensive, 12-week curriculum equips entrepreneurs with resources and prepares them for the next stages of business growth in 11 functional areas:
- Product-Market Fit
- Market Planning and Strategy
- Go-To-Market Strategies
- Financial Reporting
- Value Proposition
- Intellectual Property
- Marketing Tactics
- Revenue Models
- Team/Leadership Development
- Growth Financing Options
Entrepreneurs will receive customized mentoring based on their company’s needs to guide them through the challenges of growing a business. Additionally, entrepreneurs receive valuable access to community contacts and funding resources and will become integrated into a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.
Our next Demo Day celebration is April 30th, 2019!
Ignite Northwest’s 12-week program in which a class of 10 businesses attend weekly sessions concurrent with specialized mentoring. We advise companies using a framework based on the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup principles to find and analyze areas of success and those that need strengthening. Advisors and staff will work with you to hone your business plan, pitch presentation to investors and partner organizations and prepare you for the next level of growth.
At the end of the program, companies will present to the media, local officials, and potential customers to reintroduce your elevated business to Pacific Northwest communities.
Ignite Northwest will continue to support you after your graduation through alumni and advisor network, virtual assistance, speaker podcasts and much more.
Ignite Northwest’s Program offers entrepreneurs a wide range of support in addition to weekly classroom material.
- Space in the Ignite Northwest – WSU Center for Innovation facility to conduct work.
- Access to support from the Technology Growth Fund (TGF), a revolving loan fund able to provide $50k to $250k loans.
- Diverse advisors and a growing alumni network with regular events and a private online community to keep entrepreneurs well connected long after graduation.
- Access and training for Washington State University’s library, Spokane library, and other research databases for in-depth market analysis, competitive landscape scans, sector research, industry profiles, and finance charts.
What is an accelerator?
An accelerator is a consulting organization designed to provide second stage companies with strategic and technical resources that accelerate their progress and success.
What is a “second stage” company?
In a nutshell, we define second stage companies as those that have at a minimum a working prototype meeting the Department of Defense’s Technology Readiness Level of 4 or higher and some revenue from customers. They should also have some sort of defensible intellectual property.
Why would my company need an accelerator anyway?
This is a great question that we get frequently enough that we have a blog entry on it. Please read that here.
Is my company ready for an accelerator?
A company is ready for Ignite Northwest’s program when they have: proof of concept or working prototypes, some defensible intellectual property, a skeletal but committed management team, defined market opportunity and market validation.
How is Ignite Northwest different than Startup Spokane or Startup Weekend?
Startup Spokane and Startup Weekend focus on working within the “idea” phase, meaning the entrepreneur has not fully conceptualized or validated the venture. Ignite Northwest's 12-week accelerator works with entrepreneurs who have more maturely developed companies that need involved and customized resources to quicken their growth rather than begin it. If you are an idea-stage company, check out out SparkTrack™ program.
What is the Business Model Canvas?
The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a conceptual tool that was originally proposed by Alexander Osterwalder after an intensive literature review about business model concepts, attributes and their relationships. The BMC can be used to quickly describe the rationale of how a company creates, delivers and captures values. The BMC has been applied and tested in many organizations (e.g. IBM and Ericsson), being successfully used to easily describe and manipulate business models to create new strategic alternatives. The BMC breaks down a business into 9 key elements (as shown below). Defining the elements which compose a business model is the first step to plan the business and help companies understand and describe the business logic of their firm. The Business Model Canvas is a better tool for second stage companies versus a Business Plan because it can be quick and nimble, allowing strategy pivots, without a bunch of re-work.
Who are the advisors?
Our Professional Services Network is a growing list of persons that come from a cross-section of business, health, investment, and technology industries. The advisors are successful entrepreneurs, executives, CEOs, investors, and business veterans who are willing to share their experience, lessons-learned, and connections to help your company excel.
How are the advisors chosen for each company?
Each company in the program will be assigned a coach from the program team. Based on interviews, advisors can be matched with the unique current needs for the company and industry. There will also be informal networking events that will allow the companies to interact with advisors.
How much does the accelerator cost?
Companies pay Ignite Northwest (a nonprofit company) a $2,000 up-front cost to participate in the accelerator. Please know that this fee gets you a wealth of information and discounted or free services, as well as networking and advisory opportunities. Additionally, being a little different than many accelerators, we do not take an equity stake from your company. Your equity is yours! Partial scholarships are available from time to time, so please inquire.
When can I apply?
Ignite Northwest typically offers two accelerator sessions annually, one in the Fall and one in the Spring. The application period will be rolling starting at the conclusion of the previous session and will close approximately one month before the next session starts. You can see if applications are open and apply here.