Meet Our Spring 2016 Accelerator Class

We are pleased to announce the second class of the Ignite Northwest Accelerator.  We received a total of 24 qualified applications for our program.  This session we have partnered up with Fuse SPC in the Tri-Cities to pilot a new feature for our accelerator, remote participation.  With the assistance of Fuse, we have increased our class size to include five companies located in the Tri-Cities and we are trialing a long-requested feature for our accelerator.  We are happy to have the following companies on-board:     

  • 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
  • Lite-Check – Lite-Check designs and manufactures the first all-digital, fully automated trailer inspection system for collecting, storing and printing a complete trailer report
  • 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.  If you are a company that applied and did not gain entry into the program, we encourage you to apply again for our Fall 2016 session which will be starting in August.

 

We all have a vision for the Inland Northwest to expand as a hub for science, health and technology—we want to be a collaborative part of an 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.

 

All the Best,

The Ignite Northwest Team

Spring Applications Closing January 24th

The January 24th 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 such a company, you can apply here.  If you know of a company that would be a great candidate, please forward along this message.

For some accelerator updates, we are happy to announce that all of our top-notch instructors from the last accelerator session are returning again this semester and we’ve even added a few more.  You can view our latest curriculum here.  We received some great feedback from our first class and plan other minor improvements.  If you haven’t seen the top takeaways of the program from the first class, you can view them on our Accelerator Services page along with our Frequently Asked Questions. 

 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 model for your company.  For more information about the program, please read more here.
  

We all have a vision for the Inland Northwest to expand as a hub for science, health and technology—we want to be a collaborative part of an 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.

 

All the best,

The Ignite Northwest Team

What Can an Accelerator Do for Your Company?

things-to-consider.jpg

Of course you can build a company, secure investment and create an incredible advisory network without an accelerator, but as a CEO running a company, time is your most valuable asset.  Why not leverage what Ignite Northwest has built into its accelerator program to benefit your company and conserve your valuable asset?  Ignite Northwest is a non-profit organization that takes no equity from the companies we assist-- what you have built is yours. Here’s a look at what Ignite Northwest can do for your company.

 

Provide business knowledge for earlier stage companies

At Ignite Northwest, we screen for the companies we can help most, those that are earlier stage companies with growth potential.  More well-established companies can hire consultants for key areas of their business, however, those companies tend to have systems in place that can be tuned.  What if you need strategies on setting up those systems or just a general idea of the different approaches possible? What if you just want to talk to someone that has been down this road before?  This is where Ignite Northwest shines, we target our program for those companies that we believe are underserved and most coachable. 

Some of our alumni have described our program as a highly compressed executive MBA program.  We first start by introducing you to a tool called the Business Model Canvas that allows you to take a holistic view of your company, monitor progress, and chart a roadmap for your business growth.  We cover topics from marketing to legal to human resources to funding growth and more.  For a more detailed look, please see our curriculum

 

Build your network

Our program will allow you to build your regional business network.  In addition to working side-by-side with other CEOs, an aspect that our alumni have ranked highly, you will also work with industry leading professionals.  Our courses are taught by experts who have been working in their fields for decades, our advisors are curated to bring specific knowledge on a range of topics, and our alumni can bring insight for how they applied these subjects to their businesses.  And you’ll get a business coach to help you facilitate your options and understand the material.

 

Fund your company’s growth

There are many different paths to bring more funding to your company to sustain growth.  We cover all the options that are available to companies of your size including:

  •               Angel / Venture Capital
  •               Bootstrapping
  •               Crowd funding
  •               Debt funding/banks

We also cover the benefits and tradeoffs for each.  Usually one makes better sense for your company than others, but we can help you navigate your best path and put you in touch with those you’ll want to meet.

 

Help pivot your company

Are you experiencing problems and considering a shift in strategy?  By being candid about the challenges you are facing and using the Business Model Canvas, our team can help you consider all options before you leap. 

 

Applications are open now

If you are the CEO of an earlier stage business, or know of one that can use our help, come find out more about on the Accelerator homepage.  Then if it sounds like something you are ready for, you can applyApplications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the more you can stand out.  We look forward to working with you.

 

Ignite Northwest Graduates First Class

Graduate_Icon-01.png

10 technology entrepreneurs present to the public at first graduation day event

Spokane, WA — November 24, 2015 — Ignite Northwest, a regional business accelerator, has graduated its first class of 10 technology companies. After completing a 13-week program taught by 34 volunteer regional leaders in business planning, marketing, legal, intellectual property and more, the class presented to investors on Demo Day last Tuesday, November 17th.


Ignite Northwest helps second-stage companies across the Inland Northwest build stronger business models and prepare for future growth. The organization launched in May 2015 and worked with its inaugural class this fall.


“It’s wonderful to see our first class of entrepreneurs graduate as stronger businesses prepared for the next stage of growth, but it’s particularly rewarding to see many of these businesses take steps toward connecting with investors under our network of mentors,” says Bill Savitz, Ignite Northwest’s President and CEO. “We’re excited to play a role in further developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region.” 

The graduates now join Ignite Northwest’s collaborative network of mentors and their success will be tracked and reported. 

“As an entrepreneur it’s important to think deeply about your innovation. I didn’t do that enough before coming to the accelerator,” recalls David Vachon, president and owner of Iasis Molecular Sciences. “The class gave me a great deal of insight, and it’s not just the class, it’s the people, the network, and the discussions that really facilitated me to think more deeply about not only the innovation, but how to get this funded, to bring this to market and make it a reality.”   


In spite of the devastating windstorm on November 17th, over 100 community members attended Demo Day to meet the inaugural class.


Amid the success of its inaugural class, Ignite Northwest continues to see enrollment interest for future classes. Applications are open for the next class during Spring 2016 from now until January 24.


The first full graduating class included: 
•    Dragon Jacket is an innovator of commercial insulation products, which provide unmatched durability and reusability along with ease of installation.


•    Electrijet Flight Systems mission is “energy anytime anywhere”, working to make sustainable energy available whenever it is needed – night or day, wherever it is required – at home, at work, on the road or in the air, designing and producing advanced energy storage systems for use in residential, transportation, and aerospace.


•    HarvestScape develops and implements innovative product-oriented solutions for the growing, processing and distribution of good sustainable foods.

 


•    Iasis Molecular Sciences is a life sciences company delivering innovative solutions that address microbial contamination of medical, industrial and consumer goods.


•    Bondgy, whose product ICLovedOnes is a device that provides two-way video chat with your loved ones and the delivery of medications from anywhere in the world using your smartphone, tablet or computer.


•    InstantMD provides quality medical care to workers via a telemedicine camera at the workplace.


•    intelliPaper’s intelligent paper solves the problem of connecting your physical world with your digital world, by embedding a computer in business cards that connect to your laptop, tablet and smart phone.


•    Obloco is a financial technology services company bringing innovative receipt capture solutions to credit unions and banks.


•    Reliant Lifeworks is a Spokane-based progressive specialty pharmacy and a health and wellness clinic providing preventative health care services and custom compound medications for the entire family. 


•    Rush-On is the ultimate adventure Internet marketplace and one stop shop for the thrill of a lifetime or the next everyday adventure. 

 

About Ignite Northwest
Ignite Northwest is a technology-focused business accelerator helping companies in the Pacific Northwest grow to create sustained economic impact for the region. The organization focuses on developing second-stage companies in bioscience, aerospace and technology with established marketplace viability. Ignite Northwest clients undergo a series of classes to help them generate strong business plans and prepare for the next level of growth. Ignite Northwest is located in Spokane, WA and reviews applicant companies from across the Pacific Northwest. If you have questions about the program please contact Jayson Cannon at jaysonc(at)ignitenorthwest.com. 
###

Ignite Northwest Spring 2016 is Open for Applications

The Ignite Northwest accelerator, the Inland Northwest’s business accelerator, is now accepting applications for its spring 2016 class.   The accelerator consists of a curriculum taught by subject matter experts, a built-in network of mentors, customized coaching, and a diverse collection of entrepreneurial tools.  The comprehensive, 12-week curriculum is based on lean startup principles using the business model canvas and equips companies with resources preparing them for the next stages of business growth in critical functional areas.

We are currently seeking tech companies that have, at a minimum, working prototypes, understanding of the market opportunity, a committed management team, and proven market validation for our next accelerator class. The next class starts on February 23rd and runs until May 17th.  If you have a company, or know of a company, in the Inland Northwest that is looking to take its business to the next level via scrutiny, reflection, and focus in a supportive environment, we welcome applications here.  The application period closes January 24th.

At Ignite Northwest, we have a vision for the Inland Northwest to expand as a hub for science, health and technology—we want to be a collaborative part of an ecosystem that cultivates and develops business.  This is our mission: Moving companies that move the market—to take the best and make them better.

Warm Regards,
The Ignite Northwest Team

InnovateHer 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge

Do you know someone who provides or plans to provide services that empower women and families?  If so, there’s a great opportunity for the Eastern Washington business community to compete for prize money and increase visibility by entering the 2016 InnovateHER Challenge.

 

The top 10 finalists from around the country will be eligible to give a live pitch at the 2016 InnovateHER Summit in Washington, D.C., on March 16 and 17 and compete for three cash prizes: 
1st place - $40,000
2nd place - $20,000
3rd place - $10,000
The Washington State Small Business Development Center is hosting the challenge, which is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Ignite Northwest is participating on the judging panel.


Business plans will be evaluated on three main criteria: whether the product or service has a measureable impact on women and families (30%); whether the service or product has potential for commercialization (40%); and whether the business fills a need in the marketplace (30%).


November 8th is the deadline for Eastern Washington entries, so get your submission going! To find out more about the competition and how to enter, go to http://wsbdc.org/innovateher/

 

CEO Bill Savitz Featured on Invest Northwest

We're excited to bring this news to anyone who may have missed Invest Northwest on September 6th.  Our CEO, Bill Savitz, talked with Sean Owsley from Invest Northwest about the Ignite Northwest Accelerator Program-- now in it's first class.  Bill discusses the criteria for the companies considered for admission and what we look for in participants -- we admit companies with working prototypes, understanding of the market opportunity, a committed management team, and proven market validation.  He also talks about the initiation of the accelerator program and the driving need for an accelerator in this region.  Ignite Northwest is the only accelerator program in this region and we strive to make an impact in both the quantity and quality of early-stage companies in order to drive economic prosperity here in our region.  Enjoy the video below.

 

10 Companies Selected for our Fall 2015 Accelerator

We're excited to announce the 10 companies that will be joining the Ignite Northwest Accelerator this fall.  These companies were selected out of a pool of 32 qualified applicants and we're happy to have them on-board:

 

•    Dragon Jacket is an innovator of commercial insulation products, which provide unmatched durability and reusability along with ease of installation.
•    Electrijet Flight Systems designs and manufactures innovative, long-range electric delivery drones and high-performance electric propulsion systems for use on passenger aircraft.
•    HarvestScape develops and implements innovative product-oriented solutions for the growing, processing and distribution of good sustainable foods.
•    Iasis Molecular Sciences is a life sciences company delivering innovative solutions that address microbial contamination of medical, industrial and consumer goods.
•    iCPooch is a device that provides two-way video chat with your best friend and the delivery of a treat from anywhere in the world using your smartphone, tablet or computer.
•    InstantMD provides quality medical care to workers via a telemedicine camera at the workplace.
•    intelliPaper produces novel custom paper printed business cards or mailers that also contain a silicon chip sandwiched between two pieces of paper so when folded they plug into standard USB computer drive ports.
•    Obloco is a financial technology services company bringing innovative receipt capture solutions to credit unions and banks.
•    ReliantRx is a unique independently owned Accredited Specialty Pharmacy servicing Long Term Care and the Community with custom delivery of Medications, Compounds, Medical Supplies, Immunizations and Clinical Services.
•    Rush-On is the ultimate adventure Internet marketplace and one stop shop for the thrill of a lifetime or the next everyday adventure.

 

You can also read more in our press release found here.  And we just got covered in the Journal of Business article found here.

 

Ignite Northwest Wins a SBA Accelerator Grant!

We're excited to announce that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has chosen Ignite Northwest's Accelerator as a winner for the second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.  A pool of over 400 applications were judged by more than 40 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector; and they liked what Ignite Northwest is offering.

The purpose of the competition was to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  This is further proof for us that we're on to something good for the inland Pacific Northwest and we're happy to be able to use this funding to improve the accelerator that benefits all of you!

Check out more information about the SBA and their Growth Accelerator Fund Competition here: www.sba.gov/accelerators

Last Call for Applications to Our New Accelerator!

We're excited as ever to have our first group of inspiring and aspiring companies in our accelerator program.  The July 26th 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 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 model for your product.  For more information about the program, please read more here.
  

We all have a vision for the Inland Northwest to expand as a hub for science, health and technology—we want to be a collaborative part of an ecosystem that cultivates and develops business. We look forward to working with you.

Bill Savitz Featured in WSU Health Sciences Interview

Our CEO, Bill Savitz, was recently interviewed on WSU's Health Sciences Update with Terren Roloff.   In the interview she's asks him many commonly asked questions about the Ignite Northwest accelerator.  Questions such as:

  1. What does it mean to be technology accelerator in Spokane? 
  2. What areas of technology are you looking for? 
  3. What is the WBBA WIN program and how is it beneficial to companies?
  4.   What type and stage of company are you focused on?
  5. How unique is the Ignite Northwest Accelerator?

Watch the interview and listen to Bill answer those questions below.


Ignite Northwest announces partnership with WBBA Washington Innovation Network (WIN)

Ignite Northwest is pleased to announce a new partnership to help life sciences companies in Washington grow and succeed. “Life sciences” involve the fields of biotech, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, biomedical devices, nutraceuticals, and more.

Ignite Northwest is collaborating with the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) Washington Innovation Network (WIN) for Life Sciences Entrepreneur Mentoring Program, made possible by the Life Sciences Discovery Fund. The WIN Program guides promising early-stage life science ventures in Washington through their most critical stages, matching entrepreneurs with an all-star team of seasoned volunteer advisors. WIN is modeled after two other successful programs: MIT Venture Mentoring Service and Chicago Innovation Mentors.

Ignite Northwest will be administering a WIN Satellite Program in eastern Washington to broaden the reach of WBBA’s efforts, bolster its mentor pool, and connect eastside ventures to mentor teams. The long-term goal of the WIN Program is build a more robust life science ecosystem in Washington, characterized by an increased number of successful companies, expanded employment opportunities, and a deeper and broader talent pool to lead and contribute to the ecosystem.

To learn more or become a WIN mentee or mentor, please contact Alexandra Brajcich at alexandrab@ignitenorthwest.com.

Image credit: Stuart Miles 

Hello from Ignite Northwest—the Inland Northwest’s new business accelerator.

Bill-headshot-large.jpg

The first question you might be asking yourself after reading that headline is, “What the heck is a business accelerator?” 

Well, chances are you’ve heard of a business incubator—an organization to help startup companies get on their feet, form a business plan, maybe even access capital. We’re blessed as a region to have several such organizations through our chambers of commerce, universities and more. 


But as our community continues to grow our biosciences, technology, aerospace and other industries that stand to transform our economy, we saw an opportunity to help companies at the next level. 

To finally answer your question, a business accelerator helps what we call “second stage” companies with strategic and technical resources that accelerate their progress and position them for future growth. We’re ready to help companies with working prototypes that have entered the marketplace and have defensible intellectual property.

What does our program look like? We’ll take on two classes of 10 businesses every year. For 12 weeks, those companies will hear from our Professional Services Network to help them develop in areas like revenue, marketing, legal, leadership and much more. We’re fortunate to have a team of advisors at the head of these classes who are experienced subject matter experts in a wide cross-section of business, health, investment and tech industries. 

We see ourselves as an integral part of our region’s already thriving community of support for business and economic development. We want to be a resource for peer organizations and to help businesses network with investors, customers, suppliers and each other. 

We all have a vision for the Inland Northwest to expand as a hub for science, health and technology—we want to be a collaborative part of an ecosystem that cultivates and develops business. 

We’ll be excited to share more about our process and results as our first classes get underway in the fall, but for now read a little bit more about the program here. If you’d like to get involved as an advisor, a donor or a sponsor, contact us. Finally, we’re accepting applications for our first class, which you can access here. 

Thanks for viewing the site, and expect to hear more soon.

-Bill