Help make Qkey the Last Gadget Standing at the Consumer Electronics Show

We are happy to report that Qkey , the signature product of uQontrol, has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the longest-standing contest at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Goodbye passwords.  Qkey utilizes advanced “Chip and PIN” technology to provide a secured environment for online transactions.  Please help support one of our accelerator’s alumni by voting here before Jan 6: http://lastgadgetstanding.com/competitions/2017-2/entries/qkey/

Ignite Northwest Alum, Rohinni, in the News

Rohinni, a graduate of the Spring 2016 accelerator, is making large strides in the commercialization of its wafer thin micro-LED technology.  Having formed a joint venture with a Taiwanese manufacturer for back-lit keyboards, they have started production at the rate of 100k units per month with the goal of scaling that to 1 million units per month next year; and this is only their first target market. The technology has far reaching uses in other tech applications like tablets and handsets, but also in large industries like automotive lighting and architectural lighting.  Rohinni offers lighting designers unmatched power efficiency and form-factor innovation potential.

But don't just take it from us, see this article in Fast Company covering them. 

We wish Rohinni and all of our alums all the best, you guys make us proud and we're so honored to be even a small part of your entrepreneurial journey.

Expanded R&D Tax Credit Available for Startups Without a Large Income Tax

So, you're a entrepreneur and have heard about the Federal Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, but haven't been able to utilize it because until now you've had to have a hefty income tax to write the credit against.  Well, that is now changing.  Realizing that many startup businesses do not have large incomes (yet), Congress has expanded the rules to help offset payroll taxes as well.  So while your startup may be light on income, it's likely to have employees performing R&D.

If this is the case,  you'll want to follow the rule changes and note the details.  The first hurdle is this:  "Newer companies qualify for the payroll offsets for the 2016 tax year if the startup was launched after 2011 and their 2016 revenues are less than $5 million."  More details and a good primer on the topic can be found in the Forbes blog post about it.

We'll be following the topic pretty closely as it can have positive impacts on many of the companies coming through our accelerator, so feel free to reach out to us as well as this progresses.

All the Best,

The Ignite Northwest Team

Spring 2017 Accelerator Applications Open

We’re excited to announce that the application period for the Spring 2017 Accelerator class is open.  We received some great feedback from our last classes and plan improvements.  If you haven’t seen the top takeaways videos of the program from companies that have been through the accelerator, you can view them on our Accelerator Services page.

 

In case you need a quick recap of the program, Ignite Northwest's business accelerator is a 12-week program that provides business growth support through knowledgeable instructors and panelists, 1:1 business coaching, strategic and technical resources, and the development of a strong business canvas for your company.   Why might you need an accelerator? We have a blog post about that here.  

 

Key dates to be aware of:

  • Applications close – Jan 15th, 2017
  • Program begins – Feb 7th, 2017
  • Fall 2016 Demo Day – May 2nd, 2017

 

If you are the CEO of an early stage business, or know of one that can use our help, come find out more about us at our accelerator homepage.  Need more information or want to meet with someone from the Ignite Northwest staff? Email us at info@ignitenorthwest.com or drop us a line on social media.

 

We all have a vision for the Inland Northwest to expand as a hub for business and technology—we are part of the collaborative ecosystem that cultivates and develops businesses in the region. At Ignite Northwest, we are Moving Companies that Move the Market, we look forward to working with you.

 

Ignite Northwest Graduates the Fall 2016 Class

Congratulations to the hard-working CEOs

After completing a 13-week program taught by 34 volunteer regional leaders in business planning, marketing, legal, intellectual property and more, the Fall 2016 class presented to a general audience on Demo Day last Tuesday at the Lincoln Center.  The graduates now join Ignite Northwest’s collaborative network of mentors and their success will be tracked and reported.  Locally renowned Venture Capitalist Kirk Washington gave commemorative remarks to the newest graduating class, including a “look from the other side of the deal-making table” for the entrepreneurs.

Amid the success of its past classes, Ignite Northwest continues to see enrollment interest for future classes. Applications are open for the Spring 2017 class from now until January 15th, 2017.


The full graduating class includes 15 companies with CEOs participating in Spokane (at Ignite Northwest’s headquarters), the Tri-Cities (via Fuse SPC, a co-working location in the Tri-Cities), and Hayden, ID (via the Panhandle Area Council offices).  The full graduating class consists of: 

Afterimage is the easiest way to make custom interactive displays for kiosks and signage.

 

Arise Assist attaches to standard walkers allowing physically challenged individuals to stand from a seated position.

 

BluPrint is revolutionizing the world of USB technology, making all wired USB devices wireless. 

 

Business Intelligence Solutions provides financial systems solutions that accelerate mission-driven companies towards realization of their vision.

 

Coeur d'Alene Wood has patented a wood aging and acceleration process, which gives new wood the appearance of a weathered and reclaimed look.

 

Compass DMS provides comprehensive software solutions to automobile dealers, including inventory tracking, customer analytics, reporting, and web services.

 

Dionysus Technology Concepts produces the Sonic Decanter, an innovative tabletop wine accessory product to make every wine taste better in 20 minutes.

 

PlayBash.com is a social game platform bringing people together to experience challenging and engaging cinematic themed entertainment activities.

 

Remio is a form and document generating web service that guides a buyer or seller of residential real estate through the entire purchase and sale contract process.

 

Rugged Trading Company is an online retailer that specializes in the redistribution of quality used goods and distribution of socially conscious goods that meet the company's values.

 

SCRYPTmail provides an encrypted email service for safe, secure communication.

 

Stay Alfred provides hotel style accommodations in downtown apartment buildings.

 

Wedding Nook is an automated wedding planning system that allows couples to find vendors who are local, available, and within their budget.

 

WholeStory is an anonymous professional network connecting candidates with a growth mindset and outstanding soft skills with companies who value them.

 

xCraft is a Northwest drone developer with a passion to provide flying machines that change the world.

 

Join Us at Ignite Northwest Demo Day!

Ignite Northwest Demo Day

November 15th, 2016, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Lincoln Center, Spokane, WA

Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Month by joining us at our semi-annual Demo Day. The Inland Northwest is home to highly innovative and driven tech companies and Ignite Northwest strives to highlight the best in the region. Come support these remarkable companies and help us launch them into the community. These companies have been working diligently on all aspects of their businesses with help from our business accelerator and mentor network. We are thrilled to share their promising new ventures with you!

We are also very honored and delighted to have renowned venture investor Kirk Washington keynoting our accelerator graduation.  Kirk was a Co-founder and General Partner of Yaletown Venture Partners, a leading venture capital and private equity investment firm in the Northwest.  He is also an investment committee member of The W Fund and serves on the advisory council of Element 8 Angels.  Kirk will be sharing his valuable investor insights with our audience.

Online registration for our Demo Day is now open at http://ignitenwfall2016.eventbrite.com.  We encourage you to attend both the company pitches (2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and the graduation ceremony (6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.). There will be a networking session (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.) between the pitches and the ceremony along with drinks and hors d'oeuvres.  If your schedule prohibits you from attending both events, there is an option to attend just the graduation ceremony. 

Join us for this complimentary event using this link above or the sidebar to the right!

Kirk Washington to Keynote Ignite Northwest's Demo Day

We're very excited to have Kirk Washington joining us for Demo Day.  Kirk's full bio can be found below.

Kirk Washington is Principal at Washington Associates that provides consulting services to early-stage technology companies. He serves on the Investment Committee of The W-Fund and as an advisor to the CoMotion Innovation Fund at the University of Washington, where he is a board observer at Hypersciences and an advisor to WiBotic. He is also on the Advisory Council of Element 8 Angels in Seattle Washington, and the Board of Directors of OregonBEST in Portland Oregon that facilitates commercialization of technology from Oregon’s research universities.


Kirk spent 14 years as co-founder and General Partner of Yaletown Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle, and was responsible for Yaletown’s investments in EnerG2 (acquired by BASF), 6N Silicon (acquired by Silicor), and Microstaq (acquired by Zhejiang DunAn), as well as Cooledge Lighting, Columbia Green, and Endurance Wind Power.


Prior to founding Yaletown, Kirk spent 13 years with Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) where he directed the development of stationary powerplants for distributed power generation and advanced vehicle propulsion systems, then went on to lead corporate development including mergers & acquisitions, and negotiation of joint development, technology licensing, and strategic supply agreements.  Prior to Ballard Power Systems, Kirk managed major projects at defense and space systems company MacDonald Dettwiler (TSX:MDA), several startup companies in the Silicon Valley, and began his career with IBM Corporation in San Jose CA. Kirk is a mechanical engineer, and holds 11 patents.

Looking forward to seeing all of you at Demo Day!

 

Announcing Fall 2016 Demo Day

Our twice a year event is your opportunity to see the final presentations of the companies graduating the Ignite Northwest accelerator.  They have all put significant time and effort in our 13-week intense program to make their companies even better than when they started.  Come meet with these teams and the advisors, instructors, and community that believes in them.  We’re planning presentations, guest speakers, demonstrations, and fantastic networking opportunities at our Demo Day on November 15th.  We will be opening registration soon at our event page.

 

All the best,

The Ignite Northwest Team

Meet Our Fall 2016 Accelerator Class

Ignite Northwest, the business accelerator for innovative companies in the Inland Northwest, is pleased to announce its third class.  A total of 18 companies will be participating in the program this session, up from 14 last session.  Last session Ignite Northwest piloted a remote participation feature to include companies from the Tri-Cities, WA in partnership with Fuse SPC.  Due to the success of that pilot, Fuse is participating again and now the program’s reach has expanded to Hayden, Idaho in partnership with the Panhandle Area Council (PAC).    This strong partnership represents Ignite Northwest’s continuing effort to bring accelerator services and business education to companies throughout the Inland Northwest.  This group of emerging companies is poised to be the next wave of fast-growing companies in the region.

 “We are very excited to welcome our newest class and are pleased to see the growth in remote participation, it opens doors to many new partnerships” said Bill Savitz, Ignite Northwest’s CEO.  John Overby, Senior Business Consultant for Ignite Northwest added “Again, our first-class instructors have renewed their commitments to help these companies be the best they can.”

The following companies have been selected for the third class:

·    Afterimage is the easiest way to make custom interactive displays for kiosks and signage.

·        Arise Assist attaches to standard walkers allowing physically challenged individuals to stand from a seated position.

·      Becker's Tackle Shop is a one-stop Coeur d'Alene bass shop for the newest tackle paired with expert advice.

·        BluPrint is revolutionizing the world of USB technology, making all wired USB devices wireless. 

·        Bombastic Brewing is a national brand craft brewing company.

·        Business Intelligence Solutions provides financial systems solutions that accelerate mission-driven companies towards realization of their vision.

 ·        Coeur d'Alene Wood has patented a wood aging and acceleration process, which gives new wood the appearance of a weathered and reclaimed look.

·        Compass DMS provides comprehensive software solutions to automobile dealers, including inventory tracking, customer analytics, reporting, and web services.

·        Dionysus Technology Concepts produces the Sonic Decanter, an innovative tabletop wine accessory product to make every wine taste better in 20 minutes.

·        North Idaho Cider crafts cider to be dry, crisp and refreshing using Northwest grown ingredients with no artificial sulfites or preservatives.

·        PlayBash.com is a social game platform bringing people together to experience challenging and engaging cinematic themed entertainment activities.

·        Remio is a form and document generating web service that guides a buyer or seller of residential real estate through the entire purchase and sale contract process.

 ·        Rugged Trading Company is an online retailer that specializes in the redistribution of quality used goods and distribution of socially conscious goods that meet the company's values.

 ·        SCRYPTmail provides an encrypted email service for safe, secure communication.

·        Stay Alfred provides hotel style accommodations in downtown apartment buildings.

 ·        Wedding Nook is an automated wedding planning system that allows couples to find vendors who are local, available, and within their budget.

 ·        WholeStory is an anonymous professional network connecting candidates with a growth mindset and outstanding soft skills with companies who value them.

·        xCraft is a Northwest drone developer with a passion to provide flying machines that change the world.

 

Those companies not selected for the second class are encouraged to re-apply for the Spring 2017 session that will commence in February. Again, companies will be chosen for the 13 week accelerator to access a high-growth curriculum and mentoring in all aspects of building a business. They will further benefit by having personal advisors with industry expertise to help guide them as they build and grow their businesses.  Those companies in the Tri-Cities should contact Fuse and those in northeastern Idaho should contact the Panhandle Area Council if they are interested in the Spring 2017 session.  Also Ignite Northwest is looking for future partnerships to bring the Ignite Northwest accelerator to your region.

Fall 2016 Application Deadline Extended

Many applicants have reached out and asked for more time to complete applications. Given that it's summertime and the summer plans, Ignite Northwest has decided to extend the timeline until August 15th.  This provides two more weeks to get your applications finalized and submitted for consideration.

If you have questions about your application or want to meet one of the Ignite Northwest staff to learn more about the program, come to our Alumni Celebration event on July 26th.  You'll also get the chance to meet Hap Klopp, the 20 year founder and CEO of The North Face, at the event.

Submit your application here for the accelerator if you haven't done so.

Fall 2016 Application Period Closing Soon

  The July 30th deadline is fast approaching and we want to make sure that all companies interested in applying do so before the application period closes.  If you are a such a company, you can apply here.  If you know of a company that would be a great candidate, please forward along this message.

  In case you need a quick recap of the program, Ignite Northwest's business accelerator is a 12-week program designed to provide early-growth stage companies with strategic and technical resources that accelerate their progress and success.  Our business growth support uses lean startup methodologies and is taught by practicing professionals from a variety of disciplines. These teachers are successful entrepreneurs, executives, CEOs, investors, and businesses who are willing to share their experience.  The program also includes 1-on-1 business coaching, strategic and technical resources, company promotion, and the ability to interact with investors.  For more information about the program and to see what past participants are saying about the program, please read more here.  

We look forward to working with you.

All the best,

The Ignite Northwest Team

Celebrate Our Alumni With Us

 Ignite Northwest is happy to announce its first alumni event honoring the first two classes that graduated our accelerator.  Come join us for a fun social mixer to celebrate the companies, hear their stories, and catch up with them since the accelerator.


 We are also pleased to announce that our guest speaker for the event will be Hap Klopp.  Hap, a Spokane native, was the founder and for 20 years the Chief Executive Officer at The North Face.   Mr. Klopp has subsequently been involved in a number of globally branded companies including the rugby company Canterbury of New Zealand.   He regularly lectures at major graduate business schools including Cal, Carnegie Mellon, USF and Hult University.  He has been involved in a number of entrepreneurial business ventures as well as the author of three business books, including the bestselling, recently published book Almost—12 electric months chasing a Silicon Valley dream.   He serves as an operating partner and advisor at VO2 Partners a New York based Private Equity company.  He is the Chairman of Obscura Digital a world leading digital marketing and data visualization company.  And he is on the Boards of Cocona/37.5 and Mission Athletecare.   His achievements have been recognized on national television and in publications such as BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine and Success. Mr. Klopp holds a BA and an MBA from Stanford University.  Hap will be sharing his tales and lessons learned from his rich and unique experiences. 

The Ignite Northwest Alumni Celebration Event will be held at No-Li Brewhouse on Tuesday, July 26th from 430pm to 630pm.  We will have food and drinks on-hand for the event.  And since this is a mixer celebration we will have a strict no suits, ties, or breakfast muffins policy.  We’re here to celebrate. Register for this complementary event using bar to the right.

 

 

Fall 2016 Accelerator Applications Open

 

We’re excited to announce that the application period for the Fall 2016 Accelerator class opened today, June 1st.  We received some great feedback from our last classes and plan improvements.  If you haven’t seen the top takeaways of the program from the first class, you can view that and our Frequently Asked Questions on our Accelerator Services page.

 

In case you need a quick recap of the program, Ignite Northwest's business accelerator is a 12-week program that provides business growth support through knowledgeable instructors and panelists, 1:1 business coaching, strategic and technical resources, and the development of a strong business canvas for your company.   Why might you need an accelerator? We have a blog post about that here.  

 

Key dates to be aware of:

  • Applications close – July 29th
  • Program begins – August 23rd
  • Fall 2016 Demo Day – November 15th

 

If you are the CEO of an earlier stage business, or know of one that can use our help, come find out more about us at our accelerator homepage.  Need more information or want to meet with someone from the Ignite Northwest staff? Email us at info@ignitenorthwest.com or drop us a line on social media.

 

We all have a vision for the Inland Northwest to expand as a hub for business and technology—we are part of the collaborative ecosystem that cultivates and develops businesses in the region. At Ignite Northwest, we are Moving Companies that Move the Market, we look forward to working with you.

We've Launched Our Company Facebook Page!

Ignite Northwest has launched its official Facebook page, as a new platform to communicate with customers, supporters, advocates, and networkers in the startup ecosystem.  Fans of Ignite Northwest will be able to find out about the latest companies in the accelerator, company news, and event updates. We will also be posting pictures, videos, and other media related to Ignite Northwest. Allowing for quick and easy interaction, the new Facebook page will enable fans to share their own experiences and offer the ability to communicate with Ignite Northwest directly.

Come check us out and give us a like to stay up-to-date with us.

Ignite Northwest Graduates the Spring 2016 Class

TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURS PRESENT TO THE PUBLIC AT GRADUATION DAY EVENT

Grad2.png

After completing a 13-week program taught by 34 volunteer regional leaders in business planning, marketing, legal, intellectual property and more, the Spring 2016 class presented to a general audience on Demo Day last Tuesday, May 17th.  The graduates now join Ignite Northwest’s collaborative network of mentors and their success will be tracked and reported.  Spokane’s Mayor David Condon and WSU Health Science Chancellor Lisa Brown, both long-time supporters of the entrepreneurial spirit in the Inland Northwest, gave commemorative remarks to Ignite Northwest’s newest graduating class.

"We're proud to see our Spring 2016 class graduate the program and we wish them the best in their future successes," added Bill Savitz, CEO of Ignite Northwest.  

Amid the success of its classes, Ignite Northwest continues to see enrollment interest for future classes. Applications are open for the next class during Fall 2016 from now until July 30th.


The full graduating class includes 5 companies from Fuse SPC, a co-working location in the Tri-Cities.  The full class consists of: 

  • Ag Energy – Ag Energy mobile equipment converts agriculture by-product waste into a renewable fuel source and valuable biochar for sale

 

  • ChalkLabs – Chalk Labs helps large private and public sector organizations to rapidly visualize and analyze large amounts of data in order to help them discover knowledge

 

  • CharityCheckin – CharityCheckin is a philanthropic Facebook advertising network for retailers & brands and a passive fundraising tool for charities by their supporters

 

  • PlaySav – PlaySav provides interactive incentivized gaming that eliminates advertisement intrusion by offering real-world discounts to be won during gameplay in the web and mobile environments

 

  • Rohinni – Rohinni has developed a proprietary method for high speed precision placement of light emitting diodes resulting in consumer products that are thinner, lighter, energy efficient and low cost

 

  • sleepOrbit – sleepOrbit creates and manages sleep health improvement programs that assess sleep health and provide targeted and individualized sleep improvement insights

 

  • Spiceologist – Spiceologist helps cooks get creative in the kitchen with its line of innovative spice blends

 

  • uQontrol – uQontrol, Inc. developed Qkey, the first chip and PIN Payment platform for storing payment cards and securing ecommerce transactions

 

  • Local Pumpkin (Fuse) – Local Pumpkin is developing a local food distribution system, primarily to delivery local farm produce to homes, businesses, restaurants and schools utilizing an online food hub

 

  • Denovo (Fuse) – Managed Square provides legal- case management software and a professional legal marketplace in the Cloud

 

  • Penny's Loafer (Fuse) –  The Penny’s Loafer dog toy is the ideal way to channel your dog’s energy and boredom in today’s fast paced life; dogs eat the edible shoe laces, chew the crazy-durable rubber body of the shoe, and mouth or squeak the plush ball heel. 

 

  • Red Level Games (Fuse) – Red Level Games is an independent developer of entertainment software that specializes in iterative design and emergent gameplay

 

  • Solar Spirits (Fuse) – Solar Spirits is a craft distillery producing craft spirits and developing production management software for distillery, winery and brewery industries

 

  • Wildland Labs (Fuse) – Wildland is a software company focusing on agile development for startups, entrepreneurs and emerging markets

 

Many thanks to all the companies that applied and to our community for the support we have received—we cannot do this without you. 

Spring 2016 Demo Day

Ignite Northwest, the regional business accelerator, will be hosting its next Demo Day graduation event on May 17th and is pleased to announce the event’s keynote speakers—Spokane’s Mayor David Condon and WSU Health Science Chancellor Lisa Brown.  Long-time supporters of the entrepreneurial spirit in the Inland Northwest, they will come to commemorate Ignite Northwest’s newest class graduating the accelerator.

 The Ignite Northwest accelerator is a business program crafted to accelerate the growth of early stage companies from around the Inland Northwest.  The 14 companies featured this semester hail from Ignite Northwest’s traditional areas of northern Idaho and the greater Spokane area, while also featuring companies from the Tri-Cities area through a partnership with Fuse SPC.

During the 12-week program taught by regional leaders in business planning, marketing, legal, product development and more, the class participants reflected on their early successes and tailored their plans for future success with mentorship, connections, and business tools provided by Ignite Northwest.  On May 17th, these companies will be presenting their newly-tuned businesses to the Inland Northwest community to bolster awareness and celebrate their efforts to take their business to the next level.


“In our continuing efforts to further the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem here, we’re proud to see our next class of entrepreneurs graduate as stronger businesses prepared for their next stage of growth,” says Bill Savitz, Ignite Northwest’s President and CEO. “We’re excited to see them continue their journey.” 

 

 

 

Save the Date - Demo Day 5/17/16

Our twice a year event is your opportunity to see the final presentations of the companies graduating the Ignite Northwest accelerator.  They have all put significant time and effort in our 13-week intense program to make their companies even better than when they started.  

Come meet with these teams and the advisors, instructors, and community that believes in them.  We’re planning the presentations, guest speakers, demonstrations, and fantastic networking opportunities at our Demo Day on May 17th.  

Update: You can register for the event on this page.

All the Best,
The Ignite Northwest Team

Ninth Annual Life Science Leadership Summit

Our partner, Life Science Washington (formerly WBBA), is proud to recognize Eastern Washington as one of the most promising areas for growing jobs in the Washington State life science sector.  They are hosting the Ninth Annual Life Science Leadership Summit in Spokane on March 31st. 

 

The conference is free to attend, lunch is provided and there will be a dedicated networking session.

 

Our CEO, Bill Savitz, will be participating in two of the panel sessions that day.  And we are happy to announce one of our own business accelerator alumnus, Dave Vachon of Iasis Molecular Sciences will join in a panel.  Join us at WSU Spokane to learn more about the major life science activities in Eastern Washington, the newest collaboration opportunities, and help us build a more cohesive statewide life science ecosystem.

 

For more information please see the Life Science Leadership Summit Factsheet.

 

To register to attend the event, do so here: Life Science Washington Ninth Annual Life Science Leadership Summit