Thursday, December 17, 2009

WTC Exec Goes South by West

Washington Technology Center's Executive Director Lee Cheatham has announced that he has accepted the position of operations director at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and will be leaving WTC at the end of this month. He will also serve as general manager of the Biodesign Institute's Impact Accelerator program.

We wish Lee well in his new position and thank him for his service to WTC.

Under Lee's direction, Washington Technology Center has continued as a champion for innovative, growing companies in Washington. In his 11 years with WTC, the center has helped position companies and researchers to generate an astounding $500 million in external support for product development, manufacturing and jobs in this state.

That is a truly remarkable accomplishment made possible by a state investment of less than $3 million annually. Lee leaves WTC in a strong position for further growing its services and the value it provides.

The Executive Committee of the WTC Board of Directors has selected Chris Coleman, WTC's current CFO and director of business operations, to serve as Interim Executive Director for the organization. A search for WTC's next executive director will begin in early 2010.

Friday, November 20, 2009

SST Excels for 10th Time

The 10th annual South Sound Technology (SST) 2009, ramrodded by Andrew Fry, Institute of Technology, University of Washington Tacoma, produced a resounding success. Beginning with the video presentation by Cong. Adam Smith (staying in D.C. to vote), the program produced an all-round view of the technology field.

Of particular interest was the panel: Entrepreneurship in the South Sound, Creating Connections. This featured, as pictured above: Derek Young/Seasonal View, John Dimmer/TacomaAngel Network, Brian Forth/SiteCrafting, Mark Briggs/Serra Media and (not pictured) Graham Evans, Washington Technology Center.

Other highlights included a breakout session on Sustainability and Energy with John Martin/Clean Tech Open (far left) and Joanne Buselmeier (left) and Arabie-Jaloway Hill (right) from TacomaACTS.
Arabie-Jaloway Hill discussed the potential of innovation and entrepreneurship in regards to building the green economy. Along with Joanne Buselmeier, they highlighted the pivotal role that local business plays in sustainability. Joanne stressed that there is a significant presence of "green" businesses who already provide a local example, meshing sustainability with Tacoma's unique economic environment. TacomaACTS is committed to supporting and advocating for entrepreneurs building upon this foundation."

At the end of the day, a breakout session on Supporting Infrastructure of the South Sound was emceed by (on right) Gary Penley, Alliance Enterprises, Dr. Orlando Baiocchi, IT/UWT, Darin Cyr, Grey Hat Group, Lincoln Ferris, Nuco Consulting and Gary Brackett, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber who staffs their Tacoma Technology Consortium and administers the TacomaAngel Network.

Brackett offered to begin a new series on this blog spotlighting the South Sound technology companies. To participate, companies may send a short, blog length article and links to him.

During the conference, there was often a call for greater networking opportunities, greater visibility of local tech firms and chances for young professionals to enjoy the community.

Of special note, Andrew Fry talked briefly of a new directory of tech companies in the South Sound his interns have recently completed - counting 88 firms from the largest and most obvious to the small start-ups of beginning entrepreneurs. We hope to hear more from him about this resource soon.

Our thanks and congratulations to the event sponsors which included the Chamber in the presentation of SST 2009: Institute of Technology UWT, City of Tacoma and Gridwork.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Small Businesses on the Web - Or Should Be?

Small businesses can thank Tacoman Scott Loughran for a better understanding of small businesses and their use of the web for marketing.

Loughran is in the Masters in Communications and Digital Media program at the University of Washington. His project, only available for a few days, is open to you.

Loughran is studying digital media and communications. You can learn more about the program here. The Flip the Media blog (work of the faculty and students here) is also a great resource for the Chamber and those businesses we serve.

Loughran's research is specifically investigating if micro (0-4 employees) & small businesses (5-25 employees) have websites, and if so, how they are using them to communicate and market their goods and services. His theory is that these businesses strongly rely on hiring out the construction of websites, and may not understand how popular tools like social media, blogging and pod casting could help customer retention and word-of-mouth advertising (the two most trustworthy forms of business growth to this sector.)

He hopes his research will accomplish two things:

First, consumers who want to shop local, some reports say 90% of them have started by searching for local businesses online. Other reports are saying that as little as 44% of micro/small businesses even have a website. With the health of our local economy largely being supported by the success of local business, we need to find a way to close this statistical gap.

Second, there are people in the community wanting to help local businesses. If we find there is enough of a need in the community, we can educate local businesses how this technology is beneficial to business. This could be through the Chamber for example, as a workshop, in service or part of a regular meeting.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

SST 2009: Entrepreneur in the South Sound

South Sound Technology Conference 2009:
Entrepreneurship and the South Sound Technology Cluster

You're invited to the 10th annual South Sound Technology Conference, the technology showcase for the Tacoma and the South Puget Sound region.

On Friday November 20th in William W. Phillip Hall on the University of Washington Tacoma campus civic and industry leaders, government representatives, university faculty and students will come together at a free conference to hear panels speak on building technology companies in the South Sound and leveraging the commonalities of the companies that are here.

A lunch keynote from the CEO of Corporate Privacy Group, Richard Purcell, former Chief Privacy Officer of Microsoft and chairman of the board of TRUSTe will highlight the middle of the day. Breakout sessions that include discussions on sustainability and poster presentations from Institute of Technology students will occur once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

The South Sound Technology Conference, provides a forum that increases the awareness of technology as it impacts our daily personal and professional lives, and even more importantly, the role it can play in the development of our regional economy. The conference charter is to further the continuous growth of technology in the South Sound region and provide information about global technology issues.

Bruce Kendall, CEO of the Economic Development Board of Pierce County will kick things off with a discussion of entrepreneurship and the economic development of the South Sound Region. The morning panel that follows will pick up the topic with Tacoma entrepreneurs such as Derek Young, Mark Briggs and Brian Forth. Graham Evans of the Washington Technology Center and John Dimmer of the TacomaAngel Network will talk about funding and innovation.

The afternoon panel will feature companies from the area that represent the data integrity, information assurance and Cybersecurity cluster that is growing in Pierce County. Breakouts will include discussion of how to support that infrastructure and will also give attendees the opportunity to view student research projects at the Institute of Technology.

The yearly event is made possible by the hard work of many volunteers, the generosity of corporate and community sponsorship such as the City of Tacoma, the Institute of Technology, University of Washington Tacoma and GRIDWORK as well as the support of honorary co-chairs Congressman Norm Dicks and Congressman Adam Smith.

For more information, contact conference chair
Andrew Fry - - 253-692-4583
To register, go to and sign up under the “attending” menu.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tech Demo Show Call for Exhibitors


The MIT Enterprise Forum NW is pleased to announce it is partnering with all six of the area’s angel organizations to host the Northwest Startup DEMO – Fall 2009. This partnership is the first of its kind in our area, and represents a truly unique and valuable opportunity for all. Partner organizations are the Alliance of Angels, Keiretsu Forum, Puget Sound Venture Club, Seraph, TacomaAngel Network and Zino Society.

The companies selected to present will be able to DEMO their product or service to all these organizations and more at one time – for FREE!

Judges for the event will include representatives from the angel organizations, as well as VCs and the media.

Northwest Startup DEMO – Fall 2009 provides you with an unprecedented opportunity for exposure that can be leveraged to take your company to the next level.

How to apply
Email a one-page summary describing your company and product or service to Edward Hansen by November 13th. Please note that this is a DEMO event, not a financing pitch. Therefore we ask that you adjust your one-page summary accordingly by telling us why it will be a great DEMO.
Based on your submissions, 10 to 12 companies will be selected to present to our screening committee on November 19th. From there, the committee will select the companies that will demo their product or service at the Northwest Startup DEMO - Fall 2009 event to be held on December 10th.

Click here for more entry details. They look forward to receiving your applications!

Questions? Contact JaRon Snow or (425) 771-4790

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kudos for Tech-Based Economic Development

Washington Technology Center was named one of six recipients of The State Science and Technology Institute's 2009 Excellence in TBED awards for initiating successful programs to sustain the nation's position as a global leader for innovation and competitiveness.

WTC's Research and Technology Development (RTD) Program was honored as a best-practice model for demonstrating leadership and meaningful impact to state and regional economies.

The WTC has assisted state companies over 17 years. Impressively, the RTD Program's more than 330 funded projects have resulted in almost a half-billion dollars in follow-on support from private and federal sources.

WTC awards $1 million in applied research funding each year to teams comprised of companies and researchers in the state of Washington.

About SSTI: The State Science and Technology Institute is a national nonprofit organization that leads, supports and strengthens efforts to improve state and regional economies through science, technology and innovation.

About WTC: Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, call 206-685-1920.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SST 2009 Conference First Panel Confirmed

Andrew Fry, in a catch-up meeting this afternoon, announced the first panel is complete for the upcoming SST 2009 Conference.

Panel One: Entrepreneurship in the South Sound - Creating Connections

Brian Forth, SiteCrafting
Graham Evans, Washington Technology Center
John Dimmer - TacomaAngel Network representative
Derek Young, Seasonal View LLC
Mark Briggs, Serra Media

As an addition to keynote speaker, Richard Purcell, and an anticipated second panel and/or additional conference features, Andrew is pulling together another gem.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Not Going Without Wireless at SST

The SST 2009 conference has a commitment from the University of Washington Tacoma to provide 50 free guest wireless access during the conference. Probably will be a first come..., so get your registration at the front of the line ASAP.

Friday, October 9, 2009

BioTech Gaining Coordination for Advocacy

Early Days, but look for an upcoming event focused on the biotech industry in the Puget Sound region.

But, mark your calendars for a half-day event with two expert panel sessions addressing how government and business can work together to create a positive climate that will maximize the contributions of the bioscience industries on a state and federal level. The experts will also address the importance of innovation, the regulatory landscape and other issues that can impact the industry.

December 2, 2009, 1 – 5 pm
Seattle, venue to be set
no cost to attendees

This program is being developed by a unified voice of leaders representing the biotechnology, life sciences, and biomedical research industries —collectively known as the bioscience community.

Their mission is to promote public policies that on a local, state, and federal level safeguard and sustain America’s place as the world leader in bioscience. Their three tenets are to promote access, prevention and encourage innovation by building bridges of understanding between government leaders, the business community and academia on key issues facing Washington’s and the United States' dynamic bioscience community.

Sponsoring this program in coordination with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) are:
  • the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)
  • the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

and local organizations like:

  • the Association of Washington Business (AWB)
  • the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA)
  • the University of Washington (UW)
  • US Chamber of Commerce
  • Pacific Technology Alliance
  • Puget Sound Regional Council
  • East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition
  • NW Association of Biomedical Research
  • Technology Alliance
  • Cancer Society
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Broadband Focus of Commerce Meeting in Tacoma

The Washington State Economic Development Commission (WEDC) meeting in Tacoma will focus on the State's Broadband policy.

DATE: October 20
TIME: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
VENUE: See venue change below:

Angela Wu, WA DIS Broadband manager will provide a briefing to the WEDC Infrastructure Working Group of the current state of broadband in the state. The expected discussion will cover mapping of broadband adoption, broadband ARRA applications and current legislation and funding.

This meeting is open to all interested parties. Please RSVP if you will attend.

More info on broadband is available on the Department of Information Services (DIS) website. All the latest and greatest is posted there in a timely manner.

Our apologies for the last minute change, but the venue for tomorrow’s broadband briefing has been changed. New meeting information is as follows:

Date: October 20, 2009
Time: 10-11AM
Venue: The new location is Phil Lelli Conference Room
Port Admin Bldg.
One Sitcum Way
Tacoma, WA 98421.

This particular building will require badges as you enter the location. If you RSVP, we will notify the Port of Tacoma that you will be attending. Thank you.


· Take the Portland Ave Exit (Exit #134)
· Turn LEFT onto Portland Ave
· At 3rd stoplight, turn RIGHT onto 11TH ST and go over bridge
· At the bottom of the bridge, make an immediate, sharp RIGHT turn before the railroad tracks
· At stop sign, turn RIGHT onto Milwaukee and go underneath bridge
· At next stop sign, turn RIGHT onto Sitcum Way
· Take immediate LEFT into parking lot


· Take Exit #135 toward PORTLAND AVE
· Ramp becomes EAST 27TH ST
· At stop light, turn RIGHT onto PORTLAND AVE
· At 3rd stoplight, turn RIGHT onto 11TH ST and go over bridge
· At the bottom of the bridge, make an immediate, sharp RIGHT turn before the railroad tracks
· At stop sign, turn RIGHT onto MILWAUKEE and go underneath bridge
· At next stop sign, turn RIGHT onto SITCUM WAY
· Take immediate LEFT into parking lot

If you have questions, please contact Egils Milbergs or Noreen Hoban or call 360.586.5662.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How Small Business Can Commercialize Technology

Washington Small Business Development Centers and Washington Technology Center present this seminar, based on Foresight Science & Technology's instruction to SBIR awardees of the agencies Foresight supports as an SBIR Commercialization Support Contractor.

Register online -- Space limited to 35 registrants.

Date/Time Wednesday
October 14, 2009
8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
WSU West
Pike Tower Building
520 Pike Street, Suite 1101Seattle, WA
Parking available: Pike Tower Bldg., Convention Center; Washington Athletic Club.
Space limited to 35 registrants.
Deadline Oct. 9, 2009.

Phyl Speser, J.D., Ph.D., author of the best selling text book, "The Art & Science of Technology Transfer"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mandate or a Market

The CQ Today Midday Update reports that the Senate has joined the House in action to bolster Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is a policy of preventing broadband service providers from blocking certain traffic or establishing a tiered pathway for Internet content. The FCC's proposed mandates prohibit selectively blocking or slowing content and applications. For the first time, these provisions would also apply to wireless providers.

Supporters contend it would level the playing field for content providers. Opponents say it would hamper online innovation. Wireless providers are concerned they could not block voice calling services.

The Senate proposal is from Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-So. Dakota) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) is expected to cosponsor. The House effort is lead by Cong. Edward Markey (D-Mass.).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tacoma is the WTC's Summit

Washington Technology Center has announced the first ever placement of their annual Technology Summit in Tacoma!

Scheduled for April 9, 2010, the Innovation Summit will take place in the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Already, Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, Pres./CEO of the Museum of Flight and astronaut, is one of several keynote speakers.

The Summit 2010 will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about and interact over new trends, current applications and case studies. Breakout tracks will include Renewable Energy and Aerospace.

Friday, September 11, 2009

SST Announces Keynoter

The annual South Sound Technology Conference is the technology showcase for Tacoma and the South Puget Sound region.

For years it has brought together leaders from industry, education, and government, both locally and from around the state, to discuss and demonstrate innovations and ongoing applications which utilize technology. Panel and keynote presentations, including networking opportunities, provide a venue to discuss, explore, understand and deploy technology as a solution, an opportunity and an advantage. SST is perhaps this region's best annual event to learn how technology is transforming our business and community life."

Keynoting at the event will be Richard Purcell, CEO of the Corporate Privacy Group. Purcell ranks among the original Chief Privacy Officers in the United States. He created the position at Microsoft in the late ‘90’s, becoming a leading voice in addressing consumer privacy and data protection, domestically and internationally.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Smith's Tech Town Hall

Cong. Adam Smith today faced a baker's dozen of tech industry entrepreneurs and advocates for one of his back-home town hall meetings sited at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber offices.

Smith, always and continuing as both a knowledgeable tech supporter and a consistent tech supporter, was able to speak directly to tech issues both in his initial remarks and in response to the queries from attendees.

Here, as seemingly everywhere, health care reform entered the conversation. But, tech issues predominated the discussion. When asked about his insights from serving in the House intelligence oversight and forthcoming opportunities, Smith replied that both "yes" there are opportunities and "no" he couldn't tell us what they are. But, he did give a serious response in that he identified two areas of special opportunity and funding availability: energy and medical. Attendees were referred to DARPA and Battelle/Pacific NW National Lab for research that is available for commercialization.

Another topic of special interest was the question of funding availability in the tech industry. Others noted that Washington does well in attracting VC, but there is a growing area of concern about angel investing. With the wealth reduction that has occurred with the Great Recession, where many individuals have also seen their portfolio value decline dramatically, the willingness of angel investors to invest - and the ability of ventures to attract angel funds has suffered.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fastest in the County

Today, Speed Matters released its third annual report on Internet speeds around the U.S.

So, what's fastest in Pierce County:
  • Gig Harbor (98332): upload- 2,837 kbps; download-11,598 kbps
  • Fort Lewis (98433): upload- 3,502 kbps; download-10,971 kbps

Want to see more, like your business or home speeds as measured by tests (number of tests varies), go to Speed Matters 2009 Report. Overall, 413,000 individuals chose to take Speed Matters speed test. You can on their website, an option on their reporting webpages.

So where does Washington stand? Answer: Above the U.S. average.

And where does the U.S. stand? Answer at 5.1 mbps download speed, good enough for 28th among industrialized nations.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cyber-Security Begins It All

The Technology Alliance announces a new season of the Science & Technology Discovery Series beginning September 11th with a presentation by Dr. Yoshi Kohno, Assistant Professor in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.

Dr. Kohno's research focuses on security and privacy of technologies such as wireless medical devices, electronic voting machines and RFID systems. He was named one of the world's top innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review in 2007, and is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Dr. Kohno also has earned national recognition for his teachings on "the security mindset."

The Discovery Series meets on the second Friday of the month September through May at the Rainier Club in downtown Seattle. Visit them online to learn more, or contact Amy Bell Rousso at 206.389.7261 with questions about membership.
These other leading researchers as part of the 2009-2010 Discovery Series:
  • Alan Aderem, co-founder and director of Institute for Systems Biology, specializing in how our body's immune system responds to infectious disease, particularly global threats such as AIDS and swine flu;
  • Bruce Montgomery, senior vice president at Gilead Sciences, specializing in the treatment of potentially fatal respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis;
  • Sam Wasser, director of University of Washington's Center for Conservation Biology, a world-renowned pioneer of non-invasive wildlife forensics and monitoring methods; and more.

The Tacoma Tech Consortium is an associate member of the Technology Alliance.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100 Pixels Right Between the Eyes

MorphoTrak's facial recognition imagery was the focus for businesses at the Chamber's monthly Good Morning Tacoma.

Sheriff Paul Pastor talks with attendee about security.

The business group was most interested in what businesses could do to assist law enforcement in the identification and apprehension of criminals. In reviewing the progress and future of law enforcement, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said the future of law enforcement is in information: information mining, database management, etc. He said Pierce County, the first to adopt the facial recognition system of MorphoTrak, is on the cutting edge and has solved 50 cases using this technology.

Presenter Robert Taylor, Senior Manager, Tacoma Business Group, MorphoTrak, Inc. said the facial recognition program is an investigative tool, not a positive identification. And, he provided courtesy of his company, a list of recommendations for capturing good quality face images for assisting criminal investigations:
  • Place a security camera where the subject is most likely to be looking. In many instances, the best placement may be at the entrance facing into the building as most robbers look directly at the exit when they are leaving the scene.
  • Place a camera at "head height," or slightly lower, about 5 feet from the floor.
  • Check to see if the resolution of the video will capture enough resolution. 70-100 pixels of data between the eyes is optimal.
  • Use "attention traps" to get subjects to look in the direction of a video surveillance camera.
  • If the business uses looping VHS tapes to record, replace the tapes frequently (every two weeks if possible, every month at minimum). (Think about the grainy images we've all seen on TV!)
  • If the business routinely asks for ID during a business transaction, consider taking a photocopy (at 200% zoom) or using a digital "card scanner" to capture a digital version of the ID.
Today's program was sponsored by Sonitrol, which is also sponsoring a brochure now in development by the Chamber to guide businesses for the most effective placement of surveillance and security cameras. When it's available, this blog will post the information.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fighting Crime with MFI

Tacoma's own Sagem Morpho, an industry leader with its multiple biometric technologies, will present at tomorrow's Good Morning Tacoma.

Sagem's specialized facial recognition application, called the Morpho Investigate (MFI), made national news coverage when the Pierce County Sheriff's department identified and apprehended a criminal from a photo taken at an automatic teller (ATM) machine. The MFI was also used to break up a local identity theft ring that had been stealing AMT cards and using them to withdraw money from the victims' bank accounts.

The breakfast will be held at La Quinta Inn & Suites, 1425 East 27th Street, Tacoma 98421. Cost is $20 prepaid today, but $25 for Chamber members who just walk in. Non members of the Chamber pay $35. Register online or with Janice Hutchins or at 253-627-2175.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tech Deck 2009

How do you know what you haven’t measured? No, this is not a lament about Robert McNamara.

Rather, it's that traditional challenge for Tacoma-Pierce County. How do you measure our local tech industry? Many years ago, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber developed a tech directory of local firms. It’s pre-bust; now's post-boom and it's too dated. And, the Chamber's blog here, had a blog author publish in 2008 her local tech directory . It’s still one of the most currently visited articles on the blog’s history.

The bestest current local tech directory is considered to be on the webpage for Thrice All American under "tech company listings".

Other communities (Wenatchee and Bellingham) have published tech directories, linked via the Technology Alliance webpage (and their own), although other communities have given up because of the administrative workload to keep a directory current.

Now, great news from Andrew Fry, Institute of Technology, UWT. He will be having a student catalog and describe the technology companies in the South Sound for the upcoming SST 2009.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

WTC Awards Over $360K

The Washington Technology Center awarded $376,454 to spur innovation and jobs. Five company-researcher projects have been awarded state funding for the development of innovative commercial technologies.

The $376,454 in state funding went to five researchers working with companies to develop commercially promising technologies. The company defines the research challenge and provides access to the commercial market. The university or nonprofit researcher executes the research with funding from both Washington Technology Center and the company partner. The companies expect commercial adoption of their technologies to create 175 new jobs in Washington during the next five years.

The company partners are: Data Data, of Vancouver; Healionics, of Redmond; Modumetal, of Seattle; Paine Electronics, of East Wenatchee; and Simulab, of Seattle. Winning proposals from the University of Washington and Washington State University Vancouver described innovation in computer systems and microelectronics, advanced materials and manufacturing, and biotechnology and biomedical devices.
Washington Technology Center competitively awards around $1 million in state funding annually. Applications for the next funding round are due to the Washington Technology Center October 22, 2009.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Extreme Networking

Come to a complementary Extreme Networking event at Cheney Stadium, hosted by Rainier Connect. You have two opportunities to join in.

June 25, 6:00 p.m.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Las Vegas 51s

July 23, 5:00 p.m.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Sacramento River Cats

The night will begin with a presentation on social networking by Brad Stutz, AMS Technology. He'll give tips and suggestions for implementing a social networking program in your business.

And, you get to stay for the game!

Register today by visiting Rainier Connect or by contacting your local Rainier Connect sales representative.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

SST 2009 Early Days

Community planning has begun for the 2009 South Sound Technology conference. Initial thoughts are for a full day structure with a lunch keynote and possibly a morning keynote as well.

The first half of the day it has been suggested we discuss energy and technology and the second half of the day a discussion of whether there are clusters in the South Sound. Given we have a finite number of tech companies in the area and many of them work in data integrity, information assurance and security it could be a type of Summit for them.
A re-established website is up to begin the collection of potential attendees. Visit for inclusion.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Payback for Angel Investing

At the Members meeting of the TacomaAngel Network on Wednesday June 10, guest speaker, Professor Rob Wiltbank, revealed his landmark study of Angel Investor Investment Returns in the US and Britain and how they compare to those of Venture Capitalists.

Angel Investors are private individuals who give of their time and money to help new growth companies in ways similar to VC’s, but generally do so at an earlier stage, and for smaller amount than do Venture Capitalists.

Some of his findings:
  • Poor returns come back quickly, while big returns can take longer—about 56% of investments returned under 1 times the investment in less than 1 year, about 34% returned from 1 to 5 times the initial investment in about 3 years, 7% returned 5 to 30 times in just under 5 years, and an additional 3% returned over 30 times in about 6 years.

  • This produced an average a portfolio weighted return of about 27% which compared favorably to the British 22% and the VC returns of 17% and 15% respectively, before and after fees respectively. The presentation also included a series of returns improving guidelines derived from the study.
Rob also shared key principles from his new and highly praised book on Catalytic Leadership. He was also available to talk one on one with guests and for book signings after the session.

Rob Wiltbank (right) receiving a TacomaAngel Network Pad-folio from Founding Co-chair Larry Kopp (left) in remembrance of his talk.
Rob Wiltbank is Professor of Strategic Management at Willamette University—at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, a Batten Fellow, and partner of Buerk Dale Victor, a growth stage venture capital fund based in Seattle, Washington. His ground- breaking research includes the first empirical examination of the outcomes achieved by angel investors, and the role of entrepreneurial expertise in decision making

Hansen Passes the Torch

Bjorne Hansen, the TacomaAngel Network Screening Committee Chair was honored before the group of 50 including TAN members, UWT Institute of Technology faculty and Tacoma & Pierce County economic development dignitaries with a commemorative plaque in honor of his exemplary service from 2008 to 2009.
TAN Co-founder Larry Kopp (l) honors Bjorne Hansen as incoming Screening Committee Chair Diane Dolstad presents his plaque. TAN Co-founder John Dimmer (r) looks on during TAN's June meeting.

During the past year, Hansen’s Screening Committee reviewed hundreds of new NW companies, individually scored almost 100 from among those applying for funding to select the almost 50 which were interviewed and coached in person by the full Committee.

Of these, 23 were selected by the Committee to present to the full TacomaAngel Network membership at the monthly meetings such as the one this Wednesday. Since its inception in 2006, members of the non-profit TacomaAngel Network have invested over $3 million in new companies as a result of these presentation forums, and the selection and coaching provided by the TAN Screening Committee.

Hansen will remain on the Screening Committee as an active member. Applications to TAN are only accepted on its website. Its next meeting is scheduled for September 9, 2009.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cyber Threats Hare Raising

With the assessment by the GAO (glad someone's accountable) that the nation's information security is "at risk" from cyber threats, also comes an assessment on how difficult it is to do non-kinetic cyber activity, like shooting behind the rabbits.

Maj. Gen. William Lord, commander of the USAF Cyber Command (Provisional), statement that: it is easier to get approval to do a kinetic (read "bomb") strike with a 2,000 lb. bomb than it is for us to do a non-kinetic (no "boom!") cyber activity. Lord, who has been nominated to become the AF Chief of Warfighting Integration was speaking to an industry association recently.

The Cyberspace Policy Review is a 76-page report released with a White House announcement that the president will be creating a new cybersecurity office and czar, as well as a privacy and civil liberties official to oversee the government’s cybersecurity plans. The cybersecurity report provides a list of wide-ranging guidelines advising President Barack Obama on how the government should proceed in its national plan to secure cyberspace.

It touches on everything from establishing communication networks for emergency response teams to the role government should play in the protection of critical infrastructure networks and whether or not entities that experience a breach should have to notify governments and law enforcement agencies. Privacy and civil liberties concerns receive a repeated nod, with privacy being mentioned in the report more than five dozen times.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

When You Turn 50, Good to be No. 1

For celebrants for Alaska's 50th anniversary of statehood, today's release by the U.S. Census that it is actually #1 - in an unexpected category, deserves attention.

While Alaska ranks second among states for rate (78%) of home Internet access, Alaska led the nation in people who actually access the Internet from any location (home, work, public access), at 76.1%. By comparison, Washington state was fourth (75.7%) in the first category and third (73.4%) in the second category. The national average was 67% for home Internet access.

These figures come from the 2007 Internet and Computer Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. Look there for a much more extensive database on computer and Internet usage.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Think About IP

Today, you have the opportunity to attend a free - CLE credit available conference on intellectual property crimes and state and federal enforcement actions.

Space is limited! Register Today!

Washington State Intellectual Property Rights Conference:
IP Crimes, Victims & Cases

Wednesday, June 24, 8:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
U.S. Courthouse
700 Steward Street, 19th flr., Seattle 98101

This training conference will include tips on how to develop and refer cases to law enforcement, best practices, and case studies on recent IP criminal prosecutions.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Broadband, But...

The Washington State legislature has taken a tentative step to extend broadband access with its passage of HB 1701.

HB 1701 was written so that the state could capitalize on about $7.2 billion in the Stimulus Bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – ARRA) that is earmarked for broadband initiatives. The legislation says that if specific funding for the purposes of the act is not provided by June 30, 2009, in the omnibus appropriations act, the act is null and void.

Joining in the leadership effort was Sen. Jim Kastama, a recognized advocate in the state Senate for technology issues and technology-led economic development.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Intel Comments on EU Ruling

Paul Otellini, president and CEO, Intel Corporation (the world leader in silicon innovation) today issued the following statement regarding the European Commission decision on Intel’s business practices:

Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace – characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal.

We do not believe our practices violated European law. The natural result of a competitive market with only two major suppliers is that when one company wins sales, the other does not. The Directorate General for Competition of the Commission ignored or refused to obtain significant evidence that contradicts the assertions in this decision. We believe this evidence shows that when companies perform well the market rewards them, when they don’t perform the market acts accordingly.

Intel never sells products below cost. We have however, consistently invested in innovation, in manufacturing and in developing leadership technology. The result is that we can discount our products to compete in a highly competitive marketplace, passing along to consumers everywhere the efficiencies of being the world’s leading volume manufacturer of microprocessors.

Despite our strongly held views, as we go through the appeals process we plan to work with the Commission to ensure we’re in compliance with their decision. Finally, there should be no doubt whatsoever that Intel will continue to invest in the products and technologies that provide Europe and the rest of the world the industry’s best performing processors at lower prices.

More information about Intel and Competition in the Innovation Economy is available at here.

Additional information about Intel is available at their online pressroom and blog.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Technology Environmental Winner's Tool

Technology is the tool today's winner of the Chamber's Tahoma Business Environmental Award utilizes in its environmental stewardship.

Carlile Transportation System (Carlile), a full-service transportation company that provides service in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, makes company-wide updates to their fleet continually.

Their freight operations in Tacoma got an environmental performance boost with the purchase of a hybrid diesel-electric truck, the first of its kind to operate on the West Coast, in December 2008. Quieter than standard trucks, the medium-duty Kenworth T370 is expected to cut fuel consumption by up to 30 percent. Advanced controls monitor driving conditions and automatically select the ideal power mode, switching between electric only, combined diesel and electric and diesel only. 2008 also saw the addition of two new Beall aluminum ULSD Fuel Tankers to their fleet.

Carlile’s entire Washington State fleet includes engines newer than model year 2000, (most are 2007 or newer), making them certainly more fuel efficient in addition to burning cleaner than the 1994 average model year for truck engines in Washington State. These environmental initiatives have helped Carlile meet the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy’s 2010 standard for trucks ahead of schedule.

Carlile has and continues to demonstrate its commitment to environmental enterprises in myriad ways. Other Carlile environmental initiatives include:

  • The installation of alternative power units (APUs) to power truck cab’s heating, air conditioning and other amenities without requiring the diesel engine to idle—lowering emissions and saving money by reducing parts wear and fuel consumption.

  • Receiving SmartWay certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program for demonstrating tangible results in reducing diesel and greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2003, the Chamber has annually recognized entrepreneurial efforts that meet a high standard of excellence for environmental, preservation and protection accomplishments through its Tahoma Business Environmental Award.

Come join in the congratulations for Carlile Transportation Systems as the 7th recipient of the Tahoma Business Environmental Award.

Tuesday, April 28
7:30 a.m.
Landmark Conference Center
47 St. Helens Ave. Tacoma 98402
Price: $12 Ambassadors
$15 Chamber Members pre-paid by April 27
$22 Chamber Members at the door
$25 Non-members pre-paid
$30 Non-members/Walk-ins
Register: Janice Hutchins, 253.627.2175 or online here

This year, Carlile has deservedly been acknowledged with the Tahoma Business Environmental Award by having invested money and thought into ways that would improve the environmental performance of their overall operations and thus, impacting our community’s quality of life.

Congratulations to Carlile Transportation Systems, who joins an elite list of local businesses that have displayed exemplary environmental stewardship and are recognized for their notable efforts by the Chamber’s Tahoma Business Environmental Award. Past worthy recipients of the award:

  • 2003 Kay Parks/Dan Meyer Auto Rebuild

  • 2004 Simpson

  • 2005 McFarland Cascade

  • 2006 Port of Tacoma

  • 2007 Totem Ocean Trailer Express

  • 2008 PLU

  • 2009 Carlile Transportation Systems

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The "S" in STEM Comes to the Foss

Today marked "ground- breaking" for the Urban Waters project facility on the eastern shore of Foss Waterway.

A dazzling little display of science - with dignitaries pouring flasks of liquid into a bigger container of blue fluid, turning the solution within clear - utilized the miracles possible with science as a demonstration of promises with a new facility dedicated to the science of the environment commenced.

This positive development in our community is a dividend with the University of Washington Tacoma. The cooperative effort among the City of Tacoma, UWT, Port of Tacoma and Puget Sound Partnership, is a seminal event for our community.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Best for Crafting Sites

Today, The News Tribune announced the recipients for the University of Washington Tacoma Milgard School of Business Business Leadership Awards.

The first feature story was for the website development company, Sitecrafting , Inc. well known in the tech scene for its professional commercial and community websites. Listed among those commercial endeavors are websites for MultiCare Health Systems, AirStream, and Tacoma Public Utilities. And Sitecrafting's community websites include TacomaAngel Network (TAN), whose leadership continuously hear envious accolades from other angel groups.

Larry Kopp, TAN Co-Chair has said: "That SiteCrafting is a quality company is testified to by our outstanding TAN website, which is probably the most advanced Angel and/or VC site in the US in terms of its look and even more importantly its functionality. And, almost all the work-sessions laying out and reviewing the actual work was done by word of mouth over the phone without even a piece of paper—what a refreshing way to operate with a website firm."

Our kudos to Brian Forth and all the great group at Sitecrafting. And our thanks, for being an integral part of the tech community in Tacoma metro.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Does Broadband Boost ED?

A new study released by IEDC (International Economic Development Council) seeks to answer the question if broadband boosts economic development.

The study, "The Economic Development Impact of Municipal Broadband," by Craig Settles of, is not a study of the economic impact of municipal broadband systems, but rather a survey of economic development (e.d.) professionals' opinions of the contribution of broadband to effective economic development.

The survey begins with the observation that "elected officials have abandoned their free-muni-WiFi (broad)bandwagons, weaker but wiser." Nevertheless, Settles says this survey supports his 2005 survey of e.d. professionals that broadband investments improve economic development. The targeted population came from the IEDC (International Economic Development Council) membership.

Here are some highpoints from the 22% of respondents that report having muni broadband systems businesses can access. Most often respondents said, to the question of broadband's impact:
  • new businesses moved to the area: too difficult to measure
  • existing businesses stayed: too difficult to measure
  • local companies bettered: too difficult to measure
  • more tourists visiting: too difficult to measure
  • increase in large events: no impact
  • revitalized business areas: too soon to tell

Overall, the majority of e.d. professionals believe broadband is a major tool, especially if targeted, that should lead to significant economic benefits. Wireless networks are cast in a negative light (he cites the WiFi network failures in 2007). And, Settles asks the obvious question: if the existence of broadband is not an economic development catalyst, how do e.d. professionals use this tool boost e.d.?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Students Participating in Cyber Defense Event

This weekend, students from the Institute of Technology will be participating in the 2nd Annual Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition on the Microsoft campus. Members of the student organization, the Grey Hat Group, will be presented with a pre-configured systems of a fictitious company that they are tasked to operate.

Then, as described by the competitions web site..

The evil red team, which sits next door, however, will attempt to vandalize and break into this network. The student teams need to defend against the attacks of this red team. In particular, the goals for each team are to:

• fulfill assigned business tasks (so-called injects)
• keep services operational
• prevent break-ins by the red team

Students are scored based on the goals above. The team with the most points of the two day event will be the winner of the Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and will proceed to the National competition.

Justin Carton, the Grey Hat Group president, has been working the group through practice sessions to get them all prepared.

However, a former founder of the GHG and alumni to the program here at the Institute, Mary Jane Kelly, will be part of the "evil red team". She and another alumni John Hernandez, both from Casaba Security, will be tough to handle.

The Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, the University of Washington and Microsoft are helping to put on the event.

You have undoubtedly heard of the last two but perhaps not the first.

The CIAC is...

a Pacific Northwest research, education, industry and government community that provides innovation and leadership in the protection of critical public and private information infrastructure, and provides well educated information assurance and cybersecurity at all professional levels.

Good luck to all. (cross posted at

What’s Online for Broadband Stimulus

The feds recently posted on the Federal Register information about the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service plans for their allocation from the Stimulus Bill.

The NTIA was allocated $4.7 billion and the USDA $2.5 billion. The funds were expressly approved for “unserved” and “underserved” locations, but those terms remain undefined. Both agencies are looking for input to these definitions and other aspects NLT April 13.

Six public meetings were held, the last yesterday in D.C. Public comments still accepted.

A recent meeting of these agencies and the Federal Communications Commission produced these five goals:

1. Close the broadband gap in unserved and underserved areas
2. Leverage private investment
3. Create jobs
4. Upgrade connectivity to schools, libraries and other community anchor institutions
5. Stimulate broadband demand

The NTIA is instructed to allocate $250 million towards the Broadband Data Improvement Act for mapping and community initiatives, at least $200 million to expand public computer center capacity in libraries and community colleges and at least $250 million for programs encouraging broadband adoption.

An unusual feature of the allocation is $10 million for audits and oversight of all programs.

There will be at least one grant per state, made in three rounds. All allocations must be made by September 30, 2010.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Forbes: America's Most Wired Cities

Earlier this year, published one of its rankings again, repeated since 2007. This one: The Top 30 Most-Wired Cities.

In this one, Seattle vaulted to the top spot, helped out by a new criterion: wi-fi spots. While it is never certain what geographical area "Seattle" represents, this is good news, but with some challenging aspects. For instance, the most recent comment to the article scolds the writer for lacking in her research and citing Tacoma as "America's Most Wired City," a long-standing claim.

From a research perspective, we need to examine what these rankings are about. cites as its criteria:
  • % of Internet users with high-speed connections
  • number of companies providing high-speed Internet
  • number of public wireless Internet hot spots

The last criterion is a new wrinkle in the rating mix. And, does give us their resources, even if they aren't publicly available, being proprietary.

Of note is the acknowledgement that Portland and Baltimore may deserve higher rankings due to Clearwire's super-fast wireless Broadband; but data lags (always). That's promising for Tacoma's ranking as Clearwire is busy here too. So we'll see what next year brings, especially with the FCC promise of "considerably more detailed" information on broadband access in coming months.

The comparison must be made with Tacoma's long-standing claim as "America's No. 1 Wired City." That claim is based on number of miles of broadband, stemming from the Click!Network municipal broadband development. That claim was bolstered by the competitive responses of Comcast and Qwest.

So, is Tacoma "America's Most Wired City"? Or do we need to heed the changing metrics of an evolving tech world?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cheeky Tongue in Particle Accelerator

Although a forwarded email purported to credit the Lawrence Livermore Lab with the creation of a new heavy material, it's suspected that this is just an amusing spoof of the real accomplishment. Being partial to spoofs and prejudiced for puns, couldn't resist posting it for all:

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 - 6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

eCrime Researchers Coming to Tacoma

I had lunch with Chris Richardson, Director of External Affairs for Internet Identity, and Foy Shiver, Deputy Secretary-General of the Anti Phishing Working Group, on Thursday to talk about an upcoming conference in Tacoma.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is a well connected, industry sponsored association which focuses on eliminating identity theft and fraud which results from phishing and email spoofing. Their full charter expands to combating other forms of eCrime.

In conjunction with this effort and the 2009 General Meeting, they have plans to hold the third APWG eCrime Researchers Summit here in October of this year. It looks to be sometime in later October, around the third week, with dates to be confirmed soon. They had originally hoped to hold it earlier in October but there were not enough hotel rooms available to accommodate the conference. With tourism in Tacoma picking up and the growing success of the convention center, that will not be the last time we hear of that problem.

The conference itself is described by the organization as such:

eCrime '09 will bring together academic researchers, security practitioners, and law enforcement to discuss all aspects of electronic crime and ways to combat it, including:

* Phishing, pharming, click-fraud, crimeware, extortion and emerging attacks.

* Technical, legal, political, social and psychological aspects of fraud and fraud prevention.

* Techniques to assess the risks and yields of attacks and the success rates of countermeasures.

* Best practices related to digital forensics tools and techniques, investigative procedures, and evidence acquisition, handling and preservation.

... and more.

They will be issuing a call for papers soon, and hope to get folks like the "grey hat" student organization and faculty involved as well.

Events like this happen here because of efforts and encouragement from folks like Chris at Internet Identity. Given that Internet Identity, is a growing company with roots in Tacoma, it is more evidence of the strength we have in an information assurance and data integrity cluster here. "Internet Identity is focused on helping financial services, e-commerce and internet services companies protect their users against phishing and other forms of online fraud."

It was great meeting Foy and am looking forward to an international conference being held here later in the year.


PS: Here is scholarship information in regards to the conference.

APWG eCrime-Fighter Scholarship Program

The APWG eCrime-Fighter Scholarship program will promote counter-ecrime research by encouraging participation in the APWG eCrime Researcher Summit. Participants submitting papers and posters to the 2009 Summit are automatically entered into the program. This program will consist of both cash and travel awards based on the results of the blind paper and poster review process.

* One cash award of $1000 for the overall best paper
* A limited number of cash travel awards for student authors of papers and posters

Cash Awards will be announced during the October 2009 Event. Travel Awards will be announced at the end of the submission review process.

cross posted at

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Weed Selected for New Dept. of Commerce

Gov. Chris Gregoire introduced her new head for a redesigned state Department of Commerce (formerly Dept. of Community, Trade and Economic Development). The announcement was made at a luncheon presented by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Prosperity Partnership, and the Washington Roundtable.

He is Rogers Weed, formerly a corporate vice president at Microsoft where he spent 15 years. The Governor said: "Innovation has been at the center of Rogers’ entire working life. Rogers earned an undergraduate degree in computer science from Duke University and an MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reorganizing CTED for Tech

The Technology Alliance, composed of tech associations in Washington State, is proactive in the new reorganization of the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. Their submitted comments, along with the supportive tech associates, is presented below.

In the Company of Bloggers (Again)

This weekend, I'm travelling north to Chicago for the 2009 National Main Street Conference, where I'll be part of a group presentation entitled: "Blogging, Multi-media & Bunnies: Three Things You Need Not Fear" (by the way, I didn't choose that title).

My co-presenters are Rob Voigt, author of Civic Blogger, and Cac Kamak, a planner with the City of Oak Harbor--as you can see, we all have roots in Western Washington even though Rob now lives in Ontario and I'm here in Illinois. The National Main Street Center is making a big push this year to demonstrate the value of social media as marketing and communications venues for revitalization efforts in smaller communities. As the practitioner in the group (although our Main Street program is only Introductory as yet), I'll relate my experience with blogging in Tacoma (a relatively large urban community) and, subsequently, deploying three blogs here in Columbia.

This is not my first experience covering this ground at a national conference. In 2007, Tacoma blogger Derek Young and I presented at the annual conference for the International Downtown Association (IDA). That group is where the larger metropolitan districts get together to compare notes, while the current conference is the national gathering for smaller cities, towns and villages.

One very cool element of this conference is the live conference blog that Rob and Cac have set up. Look for me there next week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TA dah! It's all about Education

Metro East Hopes to Add Cyber Command to Scott Portfolio

Since my move to St. Louis' Metro East area, I've been involved with the Leadership Council Southwest Illinois, the economic development organization for Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties. Its mission is to attract and retain jobs, stimulate capital investment, and promote the economic development of Southwestern Illinois by building effective partnerships with leaders in business, industry, government, education and labor.

The Leadership Council was instrumental during the last round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to efforts to retain Scott Air Force Base. Today, the Leadership Council is hoping to add a new eagle to Scott's aerie: the Cyber Command. Cyber Command would be responsible for all service cyberspace operations; its main mission would be to prevent the breakdown of systems used to make military and combat decisions. The 24th Air Force Cyber Command falls under the Air Force's Space Command and is expected to have a $1 billion budget with a payroll of up to $45 million.

Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello from Belleville joined U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin from Springfield in urging Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley to put Scott at the top of his list of potential sites. That list currently also includes: Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado; Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana; Lackland Air Force Base in Texas; Langley Air Force Base in Virginia; and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

In a letter to Secretary Donley, Rep. Costello emphasized several reasons why Scott AFB should be the premier location under consideration:
  • Scott's commitment to the "Future Total Force" concept, pulling together all the various services on the base;
  • The base's central location in the country;
  • The presence of a technologically savvy workforce in the local area;
  • Great community support from groups like the Leadership Council Southwest Illinois; and
  • The high quality of school districts in the area.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Greetings from Metro East!

The editors of Tacoma Tech Connect have graciously allowed me continued access to this blog, which I helped start a couple years ago when I was in Tacoma. When we moved here last year, I told most people that we were moving to St. Louis, and I quickly learned that the Missouri city's metro area spreads across two states.

The Illinois part of the area is known locally as the Metro East, and it has some distinct characteristics beyond being under the legal jurisdiction of the State of Illinois. Metro East encompasses five Illinois counties in the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2000, there were 599,845 people living in this designated area, scattered across a variety of cities and small towns, typically called "villages" here. The area's largest city is Belleville, but other large population centers include Edwardsville, Collinsville, Alton and Columbia.

A fast-growing urban/suburban area with a population under 1 million in a separate jurisdiction from the area's largest population center but still under that area's shadow. Sound familiar? The parallel to Tacoma continues...

The area's largest employer is military: Scott Air Force Base. Nearly 6,500 military and 3,500 civilian employees work at this complex, which occupies almost 4,000 acres with 900 buildings just north and east of Belleville. Scott is home to the U.S. Transportation Command, as well as the Air Force Command, Control, Communications and Computer Agency and the Air Weather Service. Long-time Tacomans may be interested to learn that the current Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command is Gen. Duncan McNabb, who led the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord AFB in 1996-97.

What's all this got to do with technology? You'll find out in my next post.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TAN Presents Another Winner

The TacomaAngel Network produced another winner with its follow on course for Due Diligence* after last November's Deal Making seminar. Again with the assistance of the Kauffman Foundation and serial entrepreneur Bill Payne, a full house at the UWT's William Philip Hall worked at making themselves better angel investors.

The all-day seminar sandwiched TAN's regular general membership forum where two companies were featured to the qualified investors. Seminar participants had the immediate opportunities to practice the classroom coursework. After hearing the 15-minute tall-building elevator speeches of each company's spokesperson, 5-minute Q&A sessions delved into the heart of investment opportunities.
Then, the entrepreneurs retreated to display areas where the potential investors could follow up with earlier unasked questions, and finger the merchandise on display.
Angel groups in the western Washington area are beginning to do more things in collaboration. Larry Kopp, Co-Chair of TAN welcomed all registered attendees, and noted that half the seminar enrollees were from other angel organizations.
This example of a sharing of entrepreneurial training on a regional basis matches the database sharing among these same angel groups via their websites but as they also assist one another by opening sharing protocols.
* The Power of Angel Investing is a program of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and is presented by the Angel Capital Education Foundation

Friday, February 6, 2009

Congressman Redistributes Staff Duties

Roel van der Lugt, Senior Field Representative, has taken over outreach responsibilities to the technology sector here in Washington State for Congressman Adam Smith. Roel may be reached by e-mail or by telephone at (253) 896-3783.

It has been our pleasure working with Linda Danforth, District Representative for Cong. Smith who had handled this issue area over the months and years. Linda will remain on Congressman Smith’s district office staff, and taking on new responsibilities.

Having worked with Roel on many issues, I encourage you to contact him whenever you have suggestions, questions or feedback for the Congressman.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Research Funding Available from Washington Technology Center

Are you working on innovative technology applications with near-term commercial potential? Consider applying for a Washington Technology Center grant to offset the costs of your R&D.

Washington Technology Center awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to Washington-based research teams in an effort to help transition great ideas out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.

If you are a Washington technology business looking to partner with an academic or non-profit researcher on a collaborative research endeavor, you may be eligible for a funding award through Washington Technology Center's Research & Technology Development (RTD) grants program. These awards help Washington companies grow faster, create jobs and attract investors by providing the critical funding needed to advance scientific research and product development.

RTD awards pay up to 80% of the cost of research projects -- allowing you to channel your capital to other business growth needs or continue working on breakthrough scientific discoveries. Project teams are eligible to receive up to $100,000 for initial proof-of-concept projects and up to $300,000 total for multi-phase projects.

Washington Technology Center allocates $1 million annually for these grants, which are awarded on a competitive basis to collaborative research teams working on innovative technology projects with strong commercial potential. Washington Technology Center is now accepting proposals for its next round of grants which will be awarded in June. Projects begin July 1. But hurry, application deadlines are drawing near.

Notice of Intent deadline is

March 19 and

applications are due April 23.

Free informational meetings are held throughout Washington state each year.

For more information about the RTD Grants Program, visit here. Here you will find everything from Eligibility Criteria to Downloadable Proposal Materials. Or, for additional information, please contact Russell Paez, 206.616.3102.

More than 300 companies have benefited from the RTD grant program. You could be next.