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Economic Development Office

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update

This monthly e-mailed update contains news, opportunities, upcoming events, and other information about Mid-Columbia tech businesses and the organizations that support them.

October 2014 Issue


Carbon Fiber Product Featured in Luxury Goods

A global, multibillion-dollar company has launched a new line of luxury accessories, and Carbitex, of Kennewick, WA, supplied the key material: flexible carbon fiber cloth. Tumi, which makes premium travel, business, and lifestyle products, launched its new line called CFX this past summer, featuring the Carbitex name on its hangtags on in-store products. The line, which includes billfolds, travel bags, tablet covers, and briefcases, is available online and in 130 high-end stores. For Tumi, Carbitex designed a carbon fiber material that is lightweight, flexible, and abrasive-resistant, with a sheen and texture that high-end customers expect. To fulfill its growing orders, Carbitex is expanding in the building formerly occupied by TiLite, giving Carbitex over 11,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The company, founded in 2011, received technology assistance from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to infuse fabric with carbon. Carbitex was mentioned twice in “Road & Track” magazine last year, leading to more than a dozen inquiries. Read more…

Co-Working Space to Open

Fuse, a new co-working space, is opening at 710 George Washington Way in downtown Richland, WA.  It’s between the Parkway and Howard Amon Park, overlooking the Columbia River. The 1,800-square-foot space has modern offices, Wi-Fi, meeting spaces, a kitchen/lounge, conference rooms, and basic office technology. Various membership levels are offered.  Read more …  or see on Facebook …

Tech Opportunities and Resources

New Angel Fund Launches

Seattle Angel, the group operating the Seattle Angel Conference, will launch a new angel fund in January 2015, focused on investments in Pacific Northwest startup companies. The fund plans to invest in five to seven launch-stage companies annually across all industry sectors. Read more  

MBA Students Will Help Your Business

An MBA student consulting group from the University of Washington is available to help businesses with recommendations on marketing, strategy, supply chains, and other functional areas. This is a fee-based program. Apply by November 3 for MBA Applied Strategy projects that start January 12.  MBA Field Study projects have flexible start dates beginning October 1. Read more …

Tech Dates and Deadlines

Minimum Fundable Companies

October 2. Do you have a Minimum Fundable Company™? Learn what investors are really looking for in startups. This event also includes a preview of the MFC Test™, an online tool launching this fall for evaluating the fundability of a startup. The free event is October 2, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, including lunch, in Seattle.  To reveal the location and RSVP for this event, you must join the “meetup group” using the link provided. Read more …

Certification for Women- or Minority-Owned Contractors

October 7. Women-owned and/or minority-owned contractors can attend a free workshop on October 7 to guide them through the process of becoming certified by OMWBE. OMWBE is the sole certifying agency for minority, women, and disadvantaged businesses in Washington state. The event is at the Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center in Kennewick. Register at More information: Ashley Coronado at






Tri-Cities Startup Weekend

October 10.  Tri-Cities Startup Weekend is a three-day activity where members of the community come together to brainstorm and build business plans around potential startup opportunities.  Teams that participate will receive coaching throughout the weekend and will present their finished plans to a panel of judges on Sunday evening to compete for prizes. The event, the third one in the Tri-Cities, is October 10-12 at Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA. It is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.  Read more and register …

Building a Fundable Company

October 14.  “Building a Fundable Company” meets in Seattle on four consecutive Tuesdays, beginning October 14, offering information to create a company that appeals to angel investors. The cost is $495 for four days, with additional options. It’s at the Keiretsu Forum Northwest offices in Seattle.  Read more  

Business Expo and Conference

October 22, RSVP by October 17. Want ideas to grow your business while networking with other business leaders and stakeholders? Plan to attend the conference, “A Day of Ideas for a Year of Solutions” (the Business Expo) on October 22 at the TRAC Center in Pasco, WA. The event includes seminars, Network Tri-Cities Luncheon, and exhibits. It’s presented by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Community First Bank. Read more … To RSVP for the conference by October 17, or to register for a booth, contact Anna Jansen.

Toward a More Sustainable Community

October 23. “Tri-Cities 20/20 – Becoming a Sustainable Community” is October 23 from 1 – 5:30 pm at the Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick, WA.  Attendees will learn how to make our Tri-Cities community more sustainable to attract and retain businesses. It’s sponsored by the Alliance for a Livable and Sustainable Community. Contact

All About Crowdfunding

November 18. Want to learn about the new crowdfunding for equity law and what it could mean for your business? Come hear Joseph Wallin, an attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle, who drafted the equity crowdfunding bill that is now law in Washington state. He will speak on November 18, 4 – 6 pm, at the Energy Northwest Auditorium in Richland, WA. The event includes a reception for further discussion and networking. Wallin is hosted by the Tri-Cities Research District Seminar Series, Young Professionals of the Tri-Cities, and Fuse. The talk is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. More information: Gary Spanner.

PNNL This Month

Make Your Own Cell Phone Microscope

If you have access to a 3D printer, you can turn your cell phone into a high-quality microscope that can magnify a sample by 1,000 times.  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is making the design specifications available for 3D printing of the microscope. Material cost, not including the printer, is under $1. More information …  









Got News?

We invite your contributions! We will consider items that fit the mission of this publication, including your tech-related news, awards, and notices of upcoming events. Please send text and photos to or call (509) 372-6013.

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update is published by the Economic Development Office at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Each month, we send you an e-mail message, giving you the link of news, tips, awards, upcoming events, and other information about local technology-based businesses and organizations that support them. With business and community partners, our goal is to build and diversify the Tri-Cities economy—adding skilled jobs in primary-sector industries that bring in outside dollars. Currently, more than 1,100 tech-related businesses, investors, and economic development stakeholders subscribe to the newsletter, mostly in the Mid-Columbia area and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. This newsletter (RL-P00-009) supports DOE-Richland's vision for the future of the Hanford Site and surrounding area through the creation of research opportunities, new industries, and new business clusters