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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.

April 2015 Issue


Student-Designed Software Helping Nonprofit Gain Efficiency

Software designed by students at Washington State University-Tri-Cities in Richland, WA, is helping a local nonprofit mediation service focus more on client education and less on administration.  The software, designed by one of the university’s computer science classes, is allowing Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) of Tri-Cities to automate daily workflow and track statistics about the various mediation and participants involved.  “The program saved us thousands of dollars and gave us custom designed software tailored to meet our needs. We are very grateful,” said DRC executive director Paul A. Shelp.  Learn more….

Richland, Port of Benton Receive Award for Recruitment

The City of Richland, WA, and the Port of Benton were presented with the Washington Economic Development Association’s 2015 Recruitment Project of the Year for the RAISE (Revitalization Area for Industry, Science and Education) project in north Richland. Project RAISE has been instrumental in projects such as development of the Washington State University-Tri-Cities Wine Sciences Center.   Read more about this honor….

Tech Opportunities and Resources

FledgeX Provides Training, Mentorship to Entrepreneurs

FledgeX is an online company accelerator that helps entrepreneurs take their ideas and prototype-stage companies into reality, via an intense 10-week program of guidance, education, mentorship, and a large network of support from hundreds of mentors.  FledgeX will be available to selected entrepreneurs in September 2015.  Apply to seek assistance……

Registration, Application to Present Now Open for 2015 CleanTech Showcase

CleanTech Alliance, the nation’s largest state-level clean technology industry association, opened the online application to present at the 2015 CleanTech Showcase scheduled for June 22 at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.  Companies can apply for 20 minutes at the podium to present to more than 300 potential customers, partners and investors.  Applications are due April 13, with presenters notified by May 4.  Cost to present is $500.  Registration to attend ranges from $190 to $220 for members, and $225 to $255 for non-members.  Apply to present or register to attend….  

Website to Apply for Tri-Cities Economic Gardening Program Now Available

The Tri-Cities Economic Gardening Program website is available for submittal of applications by businesses that would like to receive valuable strategic information.  The program is offered by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and funded by Battelle and Gesa.  Five businesses will be selected from these applications.  Businesses must be for-profit, privately held companies headquartered and operating in Benton or Franklin Counties; have between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants; and employ 10 to 99 full-time equivalent W-2 employees, including the owner.  There is no cost to apply or participate.  To view eligibility criteria and complete an application, see the website.

Tech Dates and Deadlines

National Science Foundation Day

April 1.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the University of Washington Bothell are partnering to present “NSF Day” from 7:30 am to 6 pm at the University of Washington Bothell campus.  This workshop will use lectures and interactive sessions to teach researchers how to better compete for research funds and submit fundable proposals that would benefit their projects.  For more information……

Meet the Angels

April 2.  The MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest is sponsoring “Meet the Angels,” which will take place 5:30 pm to 8 pm at One Union Square Boardroom in Seattle, WA.  Participants will have the opportunity to meet and learn about 10 angel organizations that connect entrepreneurs and investors.  The speakers from these organizations will discuss the services they provide and the investments they made last year, and explain how entrepreneurs can work with them to achieve mutual success.  Cost is $25.  To register and for more information….  

Launching the Tri-Cities Launch University

April 2 – 23.  Fuse Coworking introduces Tri-Cities Launch University, a four-week program designed to provide 20 individuals with a crash course in starting a service or product business—before the service or business is launched.  The curriculum is a combination of in-person workshops, electronic guidance, and a final “pitch night.”  Topics include:

  • April 2:  Customer Validation, Justin Kasparek, founder of JMK Technology Services
  • April 9: Legal, Brett Spooner, founder of Gravis Law
  • April 16: Business Model, Simon Mahler, founder of BizSprout.Net
  • April 23: Branding, Tyler Mulholland, founder of Wildland Labs.

After the workshops, each participant will pitch their idea at lightning speed to a panel of judges, who will provide a final opinion on their ideas.  Registration is $50 for the classes and pitch night, or $20 for attending pitch night as an audience member.  To register…..

Bridging Partnerships Small Business Symposium

April 15-16.  The Hanford Small Business Council is presenting the 12th annual “Bridging Partnerships Small Business Symposium” at TRAC in Pasco, WA.  Participants will attend breakout sessions with leading industry and government experts as well as a networking and business opportunity expo. Cost to attend is $50 before April 8, $75 after that date.  For more information about the symposium and to register….

Understanding Government Contracting Solicitations

April 28.  Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Understanding Government Contracting Solicitations,” from 9 am to 10:30 am at the Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center in Kennewick, WA. This workshop will help participants better understand complicated government solicitations, including types and elements of solicitations, responding to Sources Sought Notifications, and tips and tricks to respond to requests for proposals.  No cost to attend.  To register…..

Marketing to the Federal Government

June 9.  Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Marketing to the Federal Government,” from 9 am to 10:30 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA.  This workshop will help participants learn how to identify government customers, analyze current and future needs, select and develop the right tools to assist with marketing efforts, and connect with customers and best practices to achieve marketing  success.  No cost to attend.  To register….

PNNL This Month

Dr. Steve Ashby Named PNNL Director

Dr. Steve Ashby has been named Laboratory Director for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), effective April 1.  He succeeds Mike Kluse, who is retiring after eight years as PNNL Director.  Dr. Ashby, who has served as PNNL’s Deputy Director for Science and Technology since 2008, has been instrumental in integrating PNNL’s science and technology capabilities to address critical challenges in science, energy, the environment, and national security.  Learn more about the new PNNL Director….

Putting Batteries on Stage Spotlights Performance at the Nanoscale

The lithium battery—which powers everything from electric vehicles to laptop computers—is ubiquitous, but not well understood at the atomic scale.  To see what happens on the nanoscale, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research designed and implemented a small device, known as an operando electrochemical stage, supported by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Using this stage and electron microscopy, researchers can take nanoscale-resolution pictures of lithium ions as they are deposited on or dissolve off of an electrode while the battery runs.   Read more about this development….

PNNL Team Wins American Chemical Society Award

A team of scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has received the first-ever team win for the American Chemical Society’s Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science.  The award recognizes “groundbreaking research that enables better understanding of the links among various subdisciplines of catalysis…and also advances the field of catalysis as a whole.”  To learn more about this prestigious honor…

PNNL to Build New Chemistry Facility

A contract has been awarded to DGR*Grant Construction of Richland, WA, to build a new chemistry laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  Construction will begin this spring on the approximately 16,000-square-foot, $7.5 million facility, which will be located on the north end of PNNL’s core campus near the corner of Stevens Drive and Horn Rapids Road.  Read more about this new facility…..

Currents Flows from PNNL

Currents is a new e-newsletter that discusses the latest research from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); describes how PNNL is working with other labs and universities; and highlights opportunities for colleagues, postdocs, and students to partner with PNNL research teams.  The e-letter is free and delivered every six to eight weeks.  To read the latest issue and subscribe to Currents…..

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) 371-6017.

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