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Tri-Cities Tech Business Update

March 2007


Biodiesel plant gearing up in Burbank ~ ~

Graphic: Biodesel Truck

Kennewick-based Gen-X Energy Group, Inc. will begin operating a new biodiesel plant in Burbank, Wash. in March. The company signed a 10-year lease with the Port of Walla Walla in December and has been retrofitting an 18,000-sq-ft building in the Burbank Industrial Park since then. The company plans to begin producing 5 million gallons of biodiesel annually, eventually expanding to 40 million gallons. The plant will use various byproduct oils from U.S. producers. Gen-X Energy Group will sell the biodiesel wholesale to a distributor, which will begin selling it in the Mid-Columbia area and Portland, eventually expanding to other U.S. markets. Washington State legislation mandates that fuel sold contain 2% biodiesel by 2008. Contact Brian Moreno at (509) 947-7281.

Enhanced web-based training system launches ~ ~

Graphic: Fusion Solutions Logo

Company Jones, LLC, Richland, has launched an enhanced version of its web-based training system for small and medium-sized businesses. The Fusion Learning Management System™ is a private-label learning portal for organizations that support small business development. The System is pre-loaded with online courses that cover a variety of topics such as marketing, sales, team leadership, business communications, safety, human resources, and more. The enhanced version enables customers to add courseware using common desktop software. Fusion now is accessible to 170,000 businesses and 700,000 employees nationwide, with customers including chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and commercial companies. The new product reflects a strategic alliance with Pentad Systems, LLC and McHaney & Associates, Inc. for technology and regulatory compliance expertise. Contact LeRoy Enger at (509) 942-0175.

New software for retailers ~ ~

Graphic: POsitive Logo

POSitive Software Company of Richland has developed a new software product for small- to medium-size retail operations. POSitive Retail Manager, released in January, features additional, powerful capabilities that will allow merchants to operate their businesses more efficiently and cost-effectively. The product features a fully customizable touch- screen interface, a "register-only" module, complete invoice activity logging, full accounting, and improved reports and queries. The software also has fully integrated e-commerce and credit card processing capabilities. POSitive Software Company is a worldwide supplier of point-of-sale and retail management software that serves customers in North America, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. Contact Dean Martin at (509) 371-0600, Ext. 204.

Plastics manufacturer expands ~ ~

Graphic: Seattle Golf Logo

A golf practice unit and a knee brace are two of the new manufactured products that Richland-based Plastic Injection Molding is making, thanks to recently acquired machine shop equipment. The new equipment is enabling the company to make more complex parts and to make a greater variety of molds for casting parts. A new electrical discharge machine is being used to make cores and cavities in steel molds. A computer-controlled machining center was added to make three-dimensional surfaces for making molds and doing drilling and other operations on manufactured plastic parts. A new pad printing capability lets workers print ink on plastic parts for things like logos, numbers, and user instructions. Plastic Injection Molding is adding a 2,000-sq-ft second story to its building at 2695 Battelle Blvd. in the Horn Rapids area. The additional space, expected to be completed in April, will be used for parts assembly, quality assurance, and new conference and office space. The company's golf practice unit, for a company called SwingString, will be featured on the 50-yard line at Quest Field at the Seattle Golf Show on March 16, where 300,000 attendees are expected. Contact Ken Williams at (509) 375-4260.

Entrepreneurial awards given ~ ~

Photo: George Garlick, Sammy award winner George Garlick, Sammy award winner

Two tech businesses were among the six honored at the Richland Rotary/TRIDEC 2007 Entrepreneurial Awards on February 20. Company Jones, LLC, Richland, and, Kennewick, were honored for their entrepreneurial contributions to the Tri-Cities. Company Jones provides Web-based tools and resources for small businesses and economic development. provides computer backups via the Internet onto a remote server with all data encrypted. Other companies honored included Artmil, C.J. Plastics, Three Rivers Décor Furniture, and Yellow Rose Nursery. George Garlick, a local entrepreneur, real estate developer, and advocate for Tri-Cities higher education, received the Sam Volpentest Entrepreneurial Leadership Award. Contact Jan Jackson at (509) 375-3060.

Lura Powell named to Tech Alliance board ~ ~

Photo: Lura Powell
Lura Powell

The Technology Alliance, a statewide organization of leaders from high-tech businesses, research institutions, and the community dedicated to Washington's economic success, has named Lura Powell to its board. Powell is President and Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Imaging Technologies, a Richland medical imaging device firm, and chair of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund Authority board of trustees. University of Washington President Mark Emmert was also named to the Tech Alliance board. Contact Kristin Osborne at (206) 389-7320.

Zirkle receives national humanitarian award ~ ~

Photo: Zirkle with Patient Dr. Lew Zirkle and patient

Lewis Zirkle, founder and president of Richland-based Surgical Implant Generation Network and an orthopedic surgeon, has been named the eighth recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. For more than three decades, Zirkle has volunteered in more than 40 developing countries to provide expertise, training, and equipment for surgical implant repairs of broken arms and legs. Since 1999, more than 3,000 SIGN-trained surgeons worldwide have treated more than 26,000 patients, most of whom could not afford modern health care. Contact Jeanne Dillner at (509) 371-1107.

Opportunities and Tools

Nominate a Mid-Columbia small business ~ ~

Nominations are being taken for the annual Mid-Columbia Small Business of the Year Awards presented by the Three Rivers Alliance of Chambers. Businesses that complete and return the Notice of Intent to Nominate form by March 30 will receive an extra five points toward their nomination score. The awards are presented to small businesses in Benton and Franklin Counties (fewer than 60 full-time employees, locally owned and operated, and for-profit) that demonstrate honesty, fairness, ethical business practices, and concern for employees and customers. A new "Micro-business of the Year" award may be presented to a small business with fewer than 10 full-time employees. Nominations can be submitted by employees, customers, suppliers, or regulators of the nominated business, or by the business itself. Apply by Friday, April 13, at 5 pm. Get nomination forms from any local Chamber of Commerce or by contacting Tracy Hill at (509) 967-1063.

Washington Technology Center research grants available ~ ~

WTC Logo

Washington Technology Center is accepting applications for its next round of Research and Technology Development Awards grants. WTC awards more than $1.2 million annually to projects that partner Washington companies with an eligible Washington state university or nonprofit research partner. Grant applicants can receive $100,000 per phase for single- and multi-phase projects. See their website for the application criteria also find proposal materials online. The Notice of Intent is due March 22 and proposals are due April 26. Contact Russell Paez at (206) 616-3102.

Life sciences RFP ~ ~

Graphic: Life Sciences Discovery Fund logo

[Please note: The Life Sciences Discovery Fund website is undergoing changes and cannot be accessed until late in the day on February 28.] The Life Sciences Discovery Fund, $350 million over the next decade, released its first Request for Proposal on February 28, 2007. An informational presentation about that and the second RFP is online. For the first RFP, letters of intent are due March 28, 2007, and proposals are due May 23. In their proposals, applicants will need to show how their project has the potential to improve the quality or cost effectiveness of healthcare and contribute to economic gains within Washington State. The second RFP comes out in July 2007 with proposals due in October. Contact a Fund representative. [website not accessible until late in the day on February 28]

Job opening: senior program officer ~ ~

The Life Sciences Discovery Fund is seeking a senior program officer to manage its grantmaking portfolios. Candidates should have a master's degree in a life science or related area and experience developing and managing performance-based contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements. The position is open until filled. How to apply. [Note: The website is undergoing changes and will not be accessible until late in the day on February 28.]

EMSL user proposals invited ~ ~

Could your research benefit from unique or state-of-the-art equipment and collaboration with world-class scientists? The Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a national Department of Energy user facility, is inviting proposals in four research areas: 1) biological interactions and dynamics, 2) geochemistry/biogeochemistry and subsurface science, 3) atmospheric aerosol chemistry, and 4) science of interfacial phenomena. EMSL use is free for open research. Those conducting proprietary research must reimburse the Department of Energy for equipment use and other costs. Proposals must be received by 5 pm on March 15 (PST). Contact Andrew Felmy at (509) 376-4079. More Information . . .

Coming Up

Finding angel money ~ ~

Graphic: Angel Wings

MARCH 1; REGISTER BY FEBRUARY 28. Angel financing is the most common equity financing route for entrepreneurs seeking to fund their early-stage ventures. The Essentials of Angel Financing for Early-Stage Companies Workshop addresses what makes an attractive angel opportunity, steps in the angel funding process, and financial terms. Instructors include Ben Straughan and Kha Deng of Perkins Coie; Janis Machala of Paladin Partners; Doug Bevis, an active angel investor; and experienced entrepreneurs and angels. The workshop will be held March 1 from 7:30 am to noon at the Seattle offices of Perkins Coie. The cost is $65 for Northwest Entrepreneur Network members and $115 for nonmembers. Register online or contact Misty Burrows at (425) 564-5701. More information . . .

Public meeting on Global Nuclear Energy Partnership ~ ~

MARCH 13. The U.S. Department of Energy is inviting the public to comment on the proposed scope of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Study for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Initiative. A consortium led by the Tri-City Development Council recently received $1.02 million to study the feasibility of siting the project at Hanford. A public meeting is scheduled for March 13 from 6 to 9:30 pm at the Red Lion Hotel, Gold Room, at 2525 N. 20th Avenue in Pasco. Contact Timothy A. Frazier at (866) 645-7803. More information . . .

TRIDEC annual meeting ~ ~


MARCH 16; RSVP BY MARCH 7. The Tri-City Development Council's annual meeting will be held on March 16 at the Kennewick Red Lion from 7:30 to 9:30 am. The agenda includes a year-in-review presentation, recognition of outgoing board members, introduction of new members and the 2007 board of directors, and a presentation on Tri-Cities opportunities under the Glocal Nuclear Energy Partnership. The cost for the breakfast and presentation is $20 if reserved by March 7 and $25 thereafter. To reserve your space by March 7, or for more information, contact Suanne Burton at (509) 735-1000.

Communication for business growth ~ ~

Photo: Michael Hartwig, Advanced Imaging Technologies
Michael Hartwig, Advanced Imaging Technologies

MARCH 20, REGISTER BY MARCH 16. Michael Hartwig, Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Imaging Technologies, Inc., will speak on "Communicating Your Company's Message for Growth and Success" at a Three Rivers Entrepreneur Network meeting in March. He'll discuss how to convey a company's key messages to grow the business, acquire customers and partners, and raise capital. Hartwig has extensive executive experience in the financial services, telecommunications, information technology, medical imaging, and gaming industries. The meeting, which includes a continental breakfast, is March 20 from 7:15 to 8:30 am at the Richland Community Center. It's free and open to the public, but you must register by March 16 by contacting Janet Budzeck at (509) 375-3060.
More information . . .

Invest Northwest ~ ~

MARCH 20-21, REGISTER BY MARCH 16. Invest Northwest, the Pacific Northwest's premier life science investor and executive forum, will be held March 20 and 21, 2007, at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. This Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association-sponsored conference provides companies the opportunity to present business plans to an international audience of investors ranging from certified angels, venture capitalists, mezzanine-level fund managers, pension fund managers, analysts, and institutional investors. Full admission for the two-day conference is $500 for investors of biomedical/biotechnology companies, $400 for academic/nonprofit, and $1500 for non-sponsoring service providers. Reception/keynote only admission is $125 for investors of biomedical/biotechnology companies, $50 for academic/nonprofit, and $250 for non-sponsoring service providers. Register online through March 16 or contact Pam Love at (206) 732-6705.

2007 industry achievement awards ~ ~

MARCH 21, REGISTER BY MARCH 2. The WSA's Industry Achievement Awards ceremony, celebrating companies and agencies that best demonstrate innovation and excellence in technology, is March 21 at the Seattle Westin Hotel from 5 to 9 pm. Early registration is $185 for individuals and $1,850 for a table of 10. Register online. Contact the WSA at (206) 488-3033, ext. 107.

Seminars for small businesses ~ ~

The Columbia Basin College Small Business Development Center offers the following workshops in March, from 6 to 9 pm. Fees range from $25 to $40, with a $10 late fee if you pay fewer than 48 hours before the scheduled course date. Classes are held at CBC in Pasco. To register, or to learn about these and other courses in the series, contact Daphne Larios at (509) 547-0511, ext. 3138. More information . . .

March 1 - IRS#III: Employment & Sales Taxes; Federal & State (CBC, B-104A)
March 5 - Payroll Using Quickbooks, Part I (CBC, W-165)
March 7 - Who's the Boss? (CBC, B-101)
March 12 - Payroll Using Quickbooks, Part II (CBC, W-165)
March 13 - Starting Your Business: Questions You Were Afraid to Ask (1600 North 20th Ave, Suite A)
March 15 - Employee Performance Maximized (CBC, B-104A)
March 19 - Keys to Effective Supervising, Part I (CBC, B-102)
March 19 - Quickbooks Intro (CBC, W-165)
March 21 - Keys to Effective Supervising, Part II (CBC, B-102)
March 26 - Quickbooks Pro I (CBC, W-165)
March 29 - Calculating and Reducing the Costs of Conflict in the Workplace (CBC, B-101)
April 2 - Quickbooks Pro II (CBC, W-165)

Business incubation conference ~ ~

APRIL 1-4. The National Business Incubation Association presents the 21st International Conference on Business Incubation April 1 through 4 at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel. More Information . . .

Early Stage Investment Forum ~ ~

APRIL 19; APPLY BY MARCH 6. Apply now to present at the Northwest Entrepreneur Network's eighth annual Early Stage Investment Forum to be held April 19 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. Selected early-stage companies will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas in front of qualified investors. Successful companies that got their start at previous ESIF events have included and Sunstream Corp. The application fee for entrepreneurs is $150. How to apply. or contact Misty Burrows at (425) 564-5701.

Resources Online

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 to Andrea McMakin at 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


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