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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.

June 2015 Issue

Tech Opportunities and Resources

Apply for Tri-Cities Economic Gardening Program

Would your company like to receive free, customized, valuable strategic information aimed at growing your business? Apply for the Economic Gardening program, which is offered by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and funded by Battelle and Gesa. Five businesses will be selected; they 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. To view eligibility criteria and complete an application, see the website.

Crowd-Sourced Business Loans

Washington State businesses now can borrow up to $50,000 to expand and grow with a loan raised through their communities. The Washington State Department of Commerce and Community Sourced Capital launched the program, called Fund Local, in May to bring zero-interest crowd-sourced loans to small businesses throughout Washington. Members of the community who want to support their local businesses lend money in $50 increments. The participating businesses pitch their campaigns to their communities over a 30-day period and once funded, pay the loan back within three years. More information ...

Energy Companies: Apply to Present

Energy-related businesses are invited to apply for the opportunity to present at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Industry Growth Forum, which is November 3-4 in Denver, CO. The forum will feature 30 innovative, emerging startup companies in renewable energy and energy efficiency worldwide. Attendees will include 100+ investors and strategic partners. Presenters will receive feedback on their business strategies. The application deadline is July 17.  For more information and to apply …

New Business Accelerator Offers Expertise

Northwest businesses now have a new way to find resources and prepare for the next stage of growth. Ignite Northwest is a new technology-focused business accelerator that helps second-stage companies in the Pacific Northwest grow to create sustained economic impact.  The business accelerator, based in Spokane, takes two classes of 10 businesses annually, for 12 weeks each time.  Businesses will learn how to refine their business models, products, and investor pitches with the expertise of a professional services network. Cost: $1,000. The first class session is August 25.  More information…  Apply…

Building the Life Sciences Community

The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research is hosting a number of events to grow and sustain a vibrant biomedical research community, including community conversations, conferences, summer camps, and a student expo.  See events ...

Tech Dates and Deadlines

State of Technology Luncheon

June 5. The 2015 State of Technology Luncheon, hosted by the Technology Alliance, is June 5 at the Westin Seattle. It features Steve Singh, CEO of Concur and Tom Alberg, Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group, speaking on “Virtuous Cycles.”  More information and to register …

Marketing to the Federal Government

June 9.  “Marketing to the Federal Government” is June 9 from 9 - 10:30 am at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center 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, connect with customers, and discover best practices to achieve marketing  success.  No cost to attend.  To register….

New Website Features Benton/Franklin County Stats


June 9.   A new website featuring facts about the Benton and Franklin County areas is being unveiled, and the public is invited to the launch.  The Benton Franklin Trends website contains statistics and trends about people, agriculture, culture and tourism, economic vitality, education, sustainability, health, housing, safety, and transportation. The launch is June 9 from 4-6 pm at the Gjerde Center on the campus of Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA. Mike Schwenk, Board Chair of the Association of Washington Business, will provide the keynote talk.  RSVP to Visit Tri-Cities by noon on June 8 by calling (509) 735-8486.














Register for 2015 CleanTech Showcase

June 22. CleanTech Alliance, the nation’s largest state-level clean technology industry association, will hold its CleanTech Showcase on June 22 at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.  Registration fees range from $190 to $220 for members, and $225 to $255 for non-members. Register to attend….  

Doing Business with the Cities

June 30. Businesses are invited to attend “Meet the Buyer: Doing Business with the Cities” on June 30, from 2-3:30 pm, at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center, Kennewick, WA. Purchasing representatives from the cities of Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and Yakima will be there. Register to attend …

Revenue-Based Financing

July 13. Save the date of July 13 for a seminar entitled “Rethinking Startup Capital: Flexible Models for Success.” The presenter is Michael “Luni” Libes, Founder and Managing Director of Fledge, a company accelerator. He will share his insights on revenue-based financing, an alternative to the traditional forms of equity and debt. Libes is a 20+ year serial entrepreneur who has co-founded six companies. The seminar, part of the Tri-Cities Research District Speaker Series, will be at 4 pm, with a reception following from 5 – 6 pm, at a Richland location to be announced.  More information about Fledge …

Succession Planning

July 16. “The Secrets to Generational Transitions” is July 16 from 9-11 am at the Port of Benton, Richland, WA. The featured speaker is Dave Specht, a noted family business consultant and author.  He will present strategies for ownership and management continuity. There is no charge, but attendees must pre-register by July 10 by contacting Veronica Montez at  

PNNL This Month

Lightweight Aluminum for Vehicles

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory demonstrated how to improve a process, called friction stir welding, that makes lightweight aluminum components for vehicles at the speed, scale, quality, and consistency required by the auto industry. The process can deliver a car door that is 62% lighter and 25% less costly than that produced with today’s manufacturing methods.  PNNL worked with General Motors, Alcoa, and TWB Company LLC, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.  Video …  More …

New Chemistry Building Coming

Construction has begun on a new 16,000-square-foot chemistry building at PNNL in Richland, which will feature 10 chemistry labs and workstations.  Research in the new building will focus on energy storage, which includes development of batteries for electric vehicles and very large stationary batteries to support the electric power grid. The new building will open in spring 2016.  More …

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