StARTUP253

Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

TACOMA BIOTECH INCUBATOR RECEIVES RUSSELL FAMILY FOUNDATION GRANT

Credit: South Sound Business

This morning, the Gig Harbor-based Russell Family Foundation announced a list of grants and impact investments totaling $6.38 million, running the gamut of supporting environmental sustainability, education, and homelessness.

The grants, which total $380,000 were donated to South Sound organizations: Readiness Acceleration and Innovation Network, a nonprofit biotech innovation hub; Salish Sea Collective, which is organized around the conservation and stewardship of the Salish Sea; Clean and Just Puget Sound, educational programing for communities of color and low-income areas; Sierra House, a youth shelter; Port Townsend Marine Science Center; and the Pierce Conservation District, which will use funds for activities and outreach for Orca Recovery Day.

The foundation’s $6 million in impact investing includes efforts to identify zip codes where populations live below the poverty line, a Tacoma redevelopment project, and a loan that guarantees the purchase of land for environmental conservation along the Hood Canal.

“Collaboration is a critical element of effective, place-based change,” said Richard Woo, Chief Executive Officer at the Russell Family Foundation. “As these community organizations continue to work together, connecting individuals and sharing resources and knowledge with each other, they are able to develop more impactful and creative solutions for the entire region. We are proud to support these groups and the power ideas that will effect social and environmental change on both large and small scales.”For more information about the foundation and its investments, visit this website.

About Startup253: Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business in Tacoma? Contact: Lee Reeves, Startup253 Executive Director & Fund Manager, info@startup253.com.

TRILOGY INVESTS $100K IN TACOMA STARTUP, GIVE INKIND

Credit: Geekwire

When Laura Malcolm and her husband James Kocsis received the heartbreaking news that they lost their first child just before birth, friends and family wanted to provide help. But it wasn’t the easiest process, both for the couple and their supporters. Platforms such as GoFundMe or Meal Train weren’t working well for sending anything other than money or flowers. That inspired Malcolm to launch Give InKind, which aims to change the way people give and receive support. The company has more than 14,000 registered users and landed a $100,000 investment from Trilogy that was announced on stage Thursday.

About Startup253: Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business in Tacoma? Contact: Lee Reeves, Startup253 Executive Director & Fund Manager, info@startup253.com.

TACOMA'S NAMATAD HONORED AT TECHCONNECT DEFENSE INNOVATION AWARDS

Namatad’s Firefly platform received a 2019 TechConnect Defense Innovation Award at the Defense TechConnect Innovation Summit & Expo in National Harbor, Maryland, October 8th-10th. The awards recognize the top 15 percent of technologies submitted to the conference based on their potential for positive impact for warfighters and national security.

The Firefly platform is an intelligent situational awareness system that delivers unprecedented visibility to first responders though wearable hardware, drones and real time analytics. Through deployable sensors that self-create a mesh network, Firefly gathers and synthesizes information to provide
actionable decision guidance to incident and operations commanders. Vital information such as personnel locations, environmental conditions and escape routes feed to an iPad or tablet. The information can be life-saving in crisis situations such as fires, active shooter incidents, military attacks
and natural disasters and can provide post-event analytics for training and risk management.

Matt Tolentino, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at University of Washington, Tacoma’s School of Engineering & Technology, is founder of the company. The project has been a collaboration between UWT, the Tacoma Fire Department, City of Tacoma Community and Economic Development and received support from CoMotion Incubator at the University of Washington as well as the Port of Tacoma.

About Startup253: Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business in Tacoma? Contact: Lee Reeves, Startup253 Executive Director & Fund Manager, info@startup253.com.

TACOMA STARTUP, NAMATAD, DEMOS FIREFLY PLATFORM TO CIVIC LEADERS AND CUSTOMERS

By: Nathan Tolbert, Strategic Advisor, Startup253 

A house is on fire and you hear the brave men and women of theTacoma Fire Department racing to the scene.  These heroes run into the flames to save you, your loved ones, or your neighbors in the community - but who protects them?  If the worst was to happen, how do we find one of these firefighters who willingly went into danger on our behalf?  How do we keep them as safe as they keep us? 

That's the question at the heart of Namatad's new Firefly platform, a dynamically deployed location and environmental sensing platform that captures and records data during fire/police incident response and enables real-time& post-incident analytics.  Firefly sensors record light, CO levels, heat levels, and a variety of other information and then uses that data to provide actionable information to an incident commander on the scene at an emergency.  Some sensors may be thrown around the area, some may be dropped as breadcrumbs upon egress, and some are attached to the gear of each firefighter.  These sensors work together, as a mesh network, to transmit back to an incident commander's iPad exactly where his/her entire team is in real time and the environment surrounding them.  Imagine that now when one of our local heroes is trapped or unconscious – his/her colleagues can get turn by turn directions to their exact location, within less than a meter. 

This ability to coordinate was the genius behind the Firefly live demo that occurred Wednesday, October 3rd in Tacoma.  The demo brought together leaders from local police departments who envisioned coordinating active shooter situations where officers on the scene could be tracked.  It brought city administrators who envisioned this technology going into schools so that students can be kept safe and found in the case of earthquake, fire, or a shooting. 

While all in attendance watched the software track a member of the Namatad team as they walked through the Fabulich Building in Tacoma, ideas started to fly.  "What if we put this into smoke detectors?"asked a member of the Tacoma Fire Department.  Nods around the room followed as imagination took hold.  "What if we put the sensors into baseball shaped casings so we could throw them onto the roof of a burning building to get readings?" asked another. 

This is the dream for any startup - your idea taking hold in the imaginations of those you seek to help.  There were similar questions from other civic leaders, including multiple police departments who had creative ideas for applying it to their efforts to protect the South Sound community. 

It is still early in the life of Namatad and the Firefly technology, but it is my opinion that this company is one to watch.   I can only imagine that new departments will want to get in on the ground floor of this opportunity to utilize the Firefly technology to protect and serve.

About Startup253: Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business in Tacoma? Contact: Lee Reeves, Startup253 Executive Director & Fund Manager, info@startup253.com.

WHY TACOMA'S BIOTECH SECTOR IS PRIMED FOR EXPLOSIVE GROWTH

It shouldn't come as a surprise, but Tacoma's biotech sector is primed for explosive growth. Just ask Rep. Derek Kilmer. On Monday. Rep. Kilmer and RAIN Incubator Founder, David Hirschberg, convened a round table with local biotech entrepreneurs, scientists, and community leaders, about how the community can support Tacoma's growing biotech sector.

For Dr. Robert Tinder, Lead Scientist and Chief Executive of Intense Process Technologies, Tacoma was a natural fit for his company due to the collaborative network at RAIN Incubator. "We looked very closely at Boston and Seattle, and then we decided on Tacoma", said Tinder. Orneon Health operates in Health and Allied Services, and according to Dr. Stan Langevin, their partnership with RAIN and the Tacoma biotech community, as well as access to local electrical engineering, computer engineering, and technical talent, has been a major asset as the company continues to develop its genomics database. David Hazel, Co-Founder of KenSci, and now HealthFlow, returned to Tacoma for utilization of the regions skilled workers and networking.David Hazel, cofounder of KenSci and now HealthFlow, opted to start another company in Tacoma to access the skilled workers and networking opportunities.

Tacoma is home to three co-working spaces: RAIN Incubator, Jolt Biotech, and Revalesio Headquarters. At 9400 square feet, RAIN Incubator is the largest space and offers shared equipment and hood space. Jolt Biotech recently opened in Tacoma and offers nearly 6000 square feet of biotech and laboratory space. Jolt Biotech amenities also include a kitchen, lounge, bio-safety cabinets, fume hoods, as well as all the tools and technology that a growing life science or chemistry company needs to develop and scale. Revalesio Headquarters offers 1200 square feet of repurposed, certified lab space.

The average biotech salary is $75,000 per year and can surpass $150,000 per year depending on education and experience. "Tacoma would benefit from developing existing biotech companies, as well as recruiting new ones", said Kilmer. "Technological innovation in Tacoma's biotech industry will drive growth in other industries".

About Startup253: Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business in Tacoma? Contact: Lee Reeves, Startup253 Executive Director & Fund Manager, info@startup253.com.

About RAIN Incubator: RAIN Incubator is a non-profit, life science hub where scientists, entrepreneurs and students collaborate. The six biotech companies that currently lease space range from protein synthesis to continuous process chemistry and DNA sequencing. The space thrives in education and events in STEM. Contact: Kristine Grace, 253-732-2255.

About Jolt Biotech: Jolt Biotech is led by a team of biotech and co-working insiders that wants to help scientific entrepreneurs and focus on their product. Jolt Biotech provides scientists and engineers with great equipment , comfortable spaces, and easy access to things their company needs to grow. Contact: Kristine Grace, 253-732-2255.

PIONEER SQUARE LABS, STARTUP253 AND THE CITY OF TACOMA MEET TO DISCUSS STARTUP ECOSYSTEM IN TACOMA

Startup253, the City of Tacoma, and Seattle based Pioneer Square Labs convened a startup ecosystem roundtable at the University of Washington Tacoma on August 7th. Founders from Accumula, HealthFlow, Give InKind, Humming, and Namatad were on hand, along with representatives from UW Tacoma and University of Puget Sound, to discuss the startup ecosystem and the increase in tech startups headquartered in Tacoma.  

The roundtable followed an earlier 2019 trip to Tacoma by Flying Fish Ventures, also convened by Startup253. Rob Meyerson, former President of Blue Origin, led the meeting, citing regional traffic congestion, a high quality of life and a robust talent pipeline as reasons tech startups are expanding to the South Sound. Tacoma is a great place to start a company. Our founders all enjoy the great value in Tacoma, the deep pool of talent, and the walkable neighborhoods and waterfront. We are sharing our story with the investment community in Seattle, letting them know that Tacoma is a vibrant part of the Pacific Northwest tech community,” said Meyerson.

Pioneer Square Labs was formed in 2015 to create, launch, and fund technology companies headquartered in the Pacific Northwest. Operating under the startup studio model, PSL’s team of former founders and venture capitalists collaborate to test and build startup ideas, then recruit a founding team from their network of entrepreneurs to launch the business. The team uses an innovative “validation engine” – a method of rapidly ideating, testing and, and often, “killing” ideas. PSL launched their venture capital arm, PSL Ventures, alongside the studio in2018 to invest in early-stage companies all over the Pacific Northwest. “It was great to spend time in the Tacoma ecosystem,” Gilbert said. “The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the world’s most successful technology companies, and it’s clear that Tacoma has some great technology talent.”

“Tacoma tech startups are broad-ranging from cybersecurity to gaming, health services, business to business services and public sector management platforms,” said PatBeard of the City’s Community and Economic Development Department.  “There have been some impressive results, such as acquisition of IID by Infoblox, eVestment’s acquisition of RedQuarry and Accela’s recently announced partnership with CloudPWR.  All of the companies chose to remain in Tacoma.  Now we’re also seeing Tacoma founders who set up shop in Seattle returning their companies to Tacoma.”

About Startup253: Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business in Tacoma? Contact: Lee Reeves, Startup253 Executive Director & Fund Manager, info@startup253.com.

FEMALE FOUNDERS ALLIANCE SELECTS TACOMA BASED GIVE INKIND FOR READY SET RAISE PROGRAM


Credit: Geekwire

Female Founders Alliance is back with its second accelerator cohort as the Seattle-based organization looks to help another round of female-led startups grow their businesses and land funding. Eight companies from across the country working in various industries made the cut this year, beating out nearly 400 other applicants for the “Ready Set Raise” program. To participate in the program, each company needs a female or non-binary CEO. The early-stage startups will spend four weeks remote, and two weeks in Seattle, where they will pitch at an Investor Showcase and Demo Night Oct. 16-17. FFA provides childcare — one child per company — for the two weeks in Seattle.The early-stage startups will spend four weeks remote, and two weeks in Seattle, where they will pitch at an Investor Showcase and Demo Night Oct. 16-17. FFA provides childcare — one child per company — for the two weeks in Seattle.

Tacoma based startup, Give InKind, was just one of eight startups selected from over 400 applications. Give InKind changes the way people give, receive and coordinate support through major life events. From the birth of a new baby to the loss of a loved one, and everything in between, friends, families and communities are looking for easy ways to come together to support one another - in ways that go beyond sending money or flowers. Give InKind makes it possible to give that support quickly, easily and from anywhere.

About Startup253: Startup253 is Tacoma’s home for the startup community.  We bring together entrepreneurial leaders, venture capital, corporate, and local government to advance our goal of helping the South Sound region become the best home for innovation and creative new companies.

Interested in learning more about growing your tech business in Tacoma? Contact: Lee Reeves, Startup253 Executive Director & Fund Manager, info@startup253.com.