Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IT Salary Survey

For the fourteenth consecutive year, InformationWeek Analytics (IW) is conducting its U.S. IT Salary Survey. To date, over 180,000 IT professionals have participated in this survey.

Upon completion of the survey, you will be eligible to enter a contest for prizes including a chance to win a first prize of a Sony BRAVIA 60" HDTV valued at $2,700, second prize of a 64GB Apple iPad with WiFi and 3G valued at $829, or third prize of a Sony home theater system valued at $600.

In addition to having a chance to win these prizes, you will also be sent a link to download the 2011 U.S. IT Salary Report once it has been published. This report will provide you insight into how your salary compares with your peers, as well as information on IT skills, training and culture. Download requires completion of a brief registration form.

IW is only collecting compensation information from IT professionals working in the United States.

To take this year's survey, please go here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SST 2010 Reschedules

The South Sound Technology Conference has been rescheduled for March 2011. Details will be posted on their website soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011
William W. Philip Hall
University of Washington Tacoma campus
1918 Pacific Ave., Tacoma 98402

Friday, October 22, 2010

SST Webpage Up

SST 2010 webpage up and running.

South Sound Technology Conference
Friday, November 19, 2010
William W. Philip Hall
University of Washington Tacoma
1918 Pacific Ave., Tacoma 98402

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Angels and Small Business Tax Benefits

Last week, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which includes several benefits for small businesses and also a benefit for angel investors. The Angel Capital Association wants to get this information out to you, as this benefit relates to investments made between September 27 and December 31, 2010 and may be of interest to many of you.

The new law includes a 100 percent exemption for gains made in Qualified Small Business Stock, and this new bill effectively means that you pay no taxes on gains from your investments that meet several criteria below and Alternative Minimum Tax does not apply. If you are interested in this program, PLEASE TALK TO YOUR ACCOUNTANT to ensure you have all the information you need to structure your investments to meet all requirements.

Criteria and Limitations:
• Investments must be made by a non-corporate investor (for example, individuals or funds structured as LLCs).
• Investments must be made between September 27 and December 31, 2010 to qualify for no taxes on the gains.
• The company in which you invest must be a C corporation and must be a qualifying type of business (many businesses except financial institutions, farms, professional service firms, hotels, and restaurants)
• The company in which you invest must not exceed $50 million in aggregate gross assets at any time before the investment or immediately afterward. An important issue in this size is that 80% of the assets must be used in the "active conduct" of the business at all times.
• The stock must be purchased by the investor as an original issuance from the corporation, directly or through an underwriter. So, notes and warrants do not count. We're hearing that if you have an outstanding note that converts to stock before December 31st, then the stock would count for this program. (BUT TALK TO YOUR ACCOUNTANT.)
• The stock must be held for more than five years (subject to exemptions for qualifying tax-free rollovers)
• There are limitations on redeeming shares of the company's stock before and after the qualified stock is issued.
• The gains eligible for the zero taxes by any single taxpayer max out at $10 million or ten times the adjusted tax basis of stock issued by the stock
• For just investments made between September 27 and December 31, 2010, the gains are also not subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Other Important Things to Know:
It's confusing, but Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) taxes are actually based on ordinary income rather than what we normally think of as capital gains taxes. So, when you see that QSBS provides a 100% exemption of taxes on gains, the comparison is to the current 75% exemption on gains - which works out to 7% rate on ordinary income.

For any of you or your accountants looking for the actual language to the bill, we link you to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 here. The relevant sections are 2011-2013 (pages 51-53).

Here are a few of the articles and backgrounders we liked on the subject:
Wall Street Journal - For New Tax Breaks, Act Fast , September 30, 2010
Calling All Angels - Donald Jay Korn, Financial Planning Magazine, September, 2009 (This was written when the exemptions for QSBS were only 50 to 75%, but has helpful information, and includes one of the last media quotes from Luis Villalobos.)
Favorable Legislation Relating to Qualified Small Business Stock, Latham & Watkins, September 27, 2010
• Overall summary of other items in the Small Business Jobs Acts

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mobile App Links Retailers & Consumers

The Tacoma Metro marketplace is the first market in the country to get access to an exciting new technology being introduced by WhereURnow LLC. The company has developed a robust mobile application platform that will allow businesses of all sizes and scope to link up with consumers, who are interested in their services.

Additionally, the application utilizes the location information for both the consumer and the businesses to deliver information to consumers from businesses, based on what is closest to them. This allows business owners to target consumers who are interested in their services and are in their neighborhood.

The consumer gets relevant information both by proximity and their interests and provides mapping and directions to those businesses. As a consumer, you can also easily change the location of your search from your current location to another location with just a few clicks inside the application. You can select a different zip code, a different neighborhood, city or state.

The WhereURnow platform is a web based application, so it also allows consumers to look for information about businesses from their home or work and then easily save that info to their phone for future use.

The business owner also uses the web platform to manage their content on the WhereURnow platform. This allows the business owner 24/7 access to their content and allows them to change that content instantaneously. A business owner has the ability to have multiple offers in the system. The management system provided in the platform also gives the owner access to a complete redemption tracking system for any offers they put into the system and provides access to a loyalty program managed entirely through the WhereURnow interface.

The company launched the service on September 15th and is currently signing up businesses in advance of the public launch of the application in mid-October, which will be accompanied by a significant media campaign on local TV and internet sites.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tacoma Has New Science Cafe

Pacific Science Center has announced a third Science Café, which will be located in Tacoma, Washington.

Science Cafés bring scientists face-to-face with the general public in the comfortable, lively atmosphere of a neighborhood cafe or pub All Science Cafés are free to the public, open to all ages and no science background is required!.

The evening begins with a brief presentation by a scientist, which kicks off an extended discussion session between the scientist and audience. Previous cafés have covered climate science, evolution and religion, robotics, and health care, just to name a few.

A partnership with KCTS-9 Public Television, the Tacoma Science Café will take place the first Thursday of each month at the famous Harmon Brewery in downtown Tacoma. The pub, known as "Tacoma's Downtown Gathering Place" will welcome local scientists and community to discuss current science topics from climate impacts in the Northwest to the science of chocolate.

"We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for their generous grant that allows us to expand our Science Café program to the South Sound," says Meena Selvakumar, Acting Vice President for Strategic Programs at Pacific Science Center.

Science Cafés bring scientists face-to-face with the general public in the comfortable, lively atmosphere of a neighborhood café or pub. All Science Cafés are free to the public, open to all ages and no science background is required!

"People attend our science cafés for a variety of reasons," said Wendy Hansen, Ph.D., SCOPE Project Manager for Pacific Science Center. "But most are there to learn something new about current research and to ask questions of the speaker. The appeal of the cafés is that people get to learn about cutting edge research in a fun environment."

The new café will launch Thursday, November 4, at 7 p.m. at the Harmon Brewery in downtown Tacoma. Each Science Café begins with a local scientist presenting a backbone of science related to the night's topic, followed by a short break for table discussion and beverage refills. The highlight of the night is an extended question and answer session with the scientist.

The Harmon Brewery is located at 1938 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402

Want more science cafes? Click here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

South Sound Technology Conference 2010: Save the Date

Save the date of Friday November 19th to come and attend the 11th annual South Sound Technology Conference on the University of Washington, Tacoma campus. Last year’s event was a great success with over 165 registrations and over 200 attendees filling the William W. Philip Hall during the course of the all day event.

Like the 2009 event, there will be keynote speakers in the morning and during lunch, technology panels and exhibits in the Kopp gallery. Also, once again there will be dual track breakout sessions, though this year we have reserved larger rooms to accommodate the sessions.

One of the tracks has been identified as Energy, Sustainability and Technology which is a very timely topic. Other parts of the program will be developed as we get closer and will be posted on the South Sound Technology Conference website at www.sstconference.org. Thanks go out to Seamus Holman and Gridworks Design for once again sponsoring the site: http://www.sstconference.org/

The annual South Sound Technology Conference is the technology showcase for Tacoma and the South Puget Sound. For years it has brought together leaders from industry, education, and government from around the state to discuss and demonstrate technological innovations and their ongoing applications.

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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tacoma Leaders Close When Cloture Fails

Earlier, we’ve blogged about the Finance Reform bill and its comparatively minor provisions that relate to angel investors. I say comparatively minor as the Finance Reform bill does many earth-shaking changes in the nation’s/world’s financial market. Those many earth-shaking changes are where the news action is.

However, a new local link is emerging.

CQ News reports today that final action on the comprehensive financial service overhaul remains uncertain. With both the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), sixty Democratic senatorial votes are no longer assured. With only four Republican senators voting “yea” for the Finance Reform bill, the question arises which Democrats are voting “no.”

Chamber delegation visiting with Sen. Cantwell immediately following Senate failure to
vote on her amendment.
Those two Democratic senators voting “no” are said to be Sen. Charles Grassley (D-IA) and our own Sen. Maria Cantwell.

When the Chamber’s delegation visited Washington, D.C. last month, Sen. Cantwell had just had defeated (by Sen. Harry Reid, (D-NV) Majority Leader, pursuing a cloture vote) on the Senate floor her proposed amendment. She was quoted at the time by Jordan Fabian, thehill.com/blogs, that a vote on her amendment was continguent on her voting “yea” for the Finance Reform bill.

Sen. Cantwell’s amendment, co-sponsored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), aims to toughen enforcement of complex financial derivatives.                                

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

VOB Use Tech in Business Models

Two firms, honored by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber as Veteran-Owned Businesses at the annual Spotlight! On Business Awards could just as easily have been so honored for their application of technology in their business models.

Selected to receive the Chamber’s first VOB Spotlight! Award, with a tagline of “Applying Technology and Doing IT Right Since 1988,” is mynetworkcompany.com. Owner and CEO Darrel Bowman, a disabled Veteran, makes hiring Veterans and current active duty IT personnel a priority. He also continues to be involved in the community and serves on Congressman Adam Smith’s Technology Advisory Council Committee; and is current Chairman of the South Puget Sound IT and Emerging Technology Skills Panel, among others. Mynetworkingcompany.com was a major sponsor for technology in the 2008 Tall Ships Festival – supplying computers, printers, phones and a variety of technical expertise.

Also receiving recognition at the Spotlight! On Business Awards was Jordan and Donna Haines, both Vets as retired Air Force, and owners of Coinforce.com Their company is an internet-based promotional product company, focusing on military challenge coins, lapel pins and belt buckles to the military, businesses, schools, government agencies and non-proft organizations worldwide. They support the local community in many ways: annually towards numerous military morale, welfare and recreation opportunities and other family military programs; and last year, helped raise money for the fallen Lakewood Police officers’ families.

James Donaldson, keynoter at the Spotlight! On Business Awards (known to many as “the big man on small business”), is a small business entrepreneur, former NBA player, motivational speaker, and author of a newly published book “Standing Above the Crowd.” (Executing Your Game Plan to Become The Best You Can Be in Sports, Life & Business). Donaldson inspired us with his real life experiences of his years playing professional sports and his work in motivating youth and encouraging business people to achieve their goals and realize success.

Friday, May 28, 2010

WA Leader in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Washington’s commitment to investing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs has placed it among the top states in the country when it comes to entrepreneurship and innovation.

                   According to a new study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation (NCF), the Enterprising States study highlights how state and local policies—including those in Washington—play a vital role in spurring job creation and economic development.

By embracing many of the strategies at the core of our free enterprise system—competitive tax rates, open trade, and commonsense regulation—states are helping to jumpstart our economic recovery and create more jobs,” wrote Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, in a letter to Governor Chris Gregoire. “Many of the new ideas, new companies, and new jobs will come from local initiatives that allow the free market to do what it does best.”

The Enterprising States study was released as part of a U.S. Chamber event where a group of bipartisan governors from around the country discussed the role of the free enterprise system in job creation. Through this study, the Chamber is highlighting bipartisan state and local policies—including those in Washington—that have proven to help create jobs and that will be key to our economic recovery. The study is part of the U.S. Chamber’s American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. campaign, a comprehensive nationwide effort to create 20 million jobs in the next 10 years.

Specifically, the study highlights how Washington is playing a pivotal role in fostering the conditions for job growth through the Education Legacy Trust Fund program, being a global leader in aerospace research and development, and a strong focus on rail and container port initiatives to drive exports.

This study provides an in-depth look at the vast and complex network of economies we call the 50 states and territories,” said Margaret Spellings, executive vice president of NCF and former secretary of the Department of Education. “By highlighting lessons learned we hope to create a roadmap to economic resilience and an ongoing dialogue that makes every state’s jobs picture stronger.”

The Enterprising States study highlights six factors that drive job creation: Innovation, productivity through investments in workforce development and training, science and technology, infrastructure, exporting, and competitive tax rates. The study found that states are much more active than the federal government on the job creation and economic development front. For example, the study found that high tax rates do not lead to either healthy economies or budgets.

Similarly, the study looks at how states have implemented initiatives for streamlining red tape to help businesses sort through the many layers of government regulation and have incentivized private-sector investors primarily with tax credits. It also highlights that targeted investments in infrastructure projects at the state-level can create growth‐friendly environments in communities. Science- and technology-based economic development and clean tech initiatives are proliferating amongst virtually all of the states. There is widespread support for doubling exports and there are also states that have made significant headway using strategies for foreign direct investment (FDI). Finally, cultivating people through workforce development will drive economic growth at the state-level, the study shows.

Winners! BPC 2010

                It’s been a terrific Business Plan Competition this year. 

There were a record 92 student teams from 15 universities apply to participate in the competition. Over 120 judges devoted a full week-end the beginning of April to screen that group down to 36 teams—and provide feedback. At the Investment Round in late April, those 36 teams pitched their hearts out to 205 judges in the HUB Ballroom—and 16 advanced to the next round. Yesterday the Sweet 16 teams made their full presentations to another set of judges. Six highly credible teams made it to the Final Round, where they presented to seven entrepreneur judges.

The next generation of start-ups are focused on recycled glass for building materials, windows that turn sunlight into energy, helping Korean students learn English, mobile payments, camera systems at mountain resorts to capture and share the activities of enthusiasts, devices for rapid quantitative immunoassays, measuring fat loss, and enhancing the wheelchair-bound person’s ability to walk, and a revolutionary enzyme that can mix with clay to build roads.

Thank to the judges, sponsors, volunteers, faculty, and our colleagues at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Central Washington, Edmonds CC, Embry-Riddle, Gonzaga, North Seattle CC, Seattle Central CC, Seattle Pacific, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, University of Washington, UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, Western Washington, and Washington State University. 

It takes a community (and a region) to raise an entrepreneur!

$25,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Grand Prize:  YongoPal, UW
A service for South Korean university students that allows them to practice conversational English with their American peers via webcam, and that also allows university students in America to profit from those interactions.  Kyung Hee Yun, BA in Political Science; Jon Hickey, Master of Communication in Digital Media; Darien Brown and Daron Hall

$10,000 Bristlecone-Selamat Challenge Second Prize: Empowering Engineering Technologies, UW
EETech is developing a medical device called ExoWalk that utilizes patented ExoTendon technology to dramatically reduce the muscular force required to walk, enabling people with wheelchairs to stand up and walk their way to better qualities of life. Brian Glaister, PhD in Mechanical Engineering; Katie Mulholland, MS in Mechanical Engineering; Chie Kawahara; and Jason Schoen

$5,000 Fenwick & West Finalist Prize:  Febris, WSU
Produces a point of care viral diagnostic, based on patented processes, that can detect a viral infection days before the subject manifests physical symptoms and becomes contagious. Jason Burt, MBA; Alice Lombard, DVM-Doctor of Veterinary Medicine; Andrew Lombard, MBA; and Michael Whittaker, MBA

$5,000 WRF Capital Finalist Prize:  Emergent Detection, UW and UWT
Working to solve the worldwide obesity epidemic with its handheld device that immediately and directly measures personal fat loss in the home user.  Eric Fogel, Eve MBA; Joel Gjuka, MBA -UWT; Keegan Hall, MBA -UWT; Amanda Mathes, Eve MBA


The BEST IDEA prizes were created to reward teams in the Business Plan Competition for their exceptional work in several different categories. The teams receiving these prizes were selected by a special group of judges during the Investment Round. This year we gave away SIX $2,500 Best Idea Prizes.

OVP Venture Partners Best Technology Idea: Empowering Engineering Technologies, UW
EETech is developing a medical device called ExoWalk that utilizes patented ExoTendon technology to dramatically reduce the muscular force required to walk, enabling people with wheelchairs to stand up and walk their way to better qualities of life. Brian Glaister, PhD in Mechanical Engineering; Katie Mulholland, MS in Mechanical Engineering; Chie Kawahara; and Jason Schoen

Synapse Product Development Best Consumer Product Idea: Native Roots, WSU and U of Idaho
Positioned to become a major supplier of native plants, the breeding program currently has 40 native plant varieties in position to be patented with plant variety patents (PVPs). Kathryn Leonard, MBA - WSU; Casey Neumeyer, BS Agribusiness - U of Idaho; and Mac Reynolds

Perkins Coie Best Innovation Idea: GreenStone International, Seattle U
Has developed a revolutionary enzyme that when mixed and compacted with clay creates a durable, low cost, waterproof and environmentally friendly road with a lifespan of more than 15 years. James Spaulding, MBA; Heidi Han Yu, MBA; Emily Marshall, MBA; Ping Chee; John Craig; and Dick Polley

DLA Piper Best Service/Retail Idea: Snovision, UW and Seattle Central Community College
Automated camera systems for mountain resorts that allow their terrain park participants to capture, share and further enjoy their mountain experience at home through our online community. Rob Hammond, MBA; Jonas Harris, BA International Business; Josh Scotland, Undergrad Computer Science and Business; Scott Stucker, Associate of Applied Sciences in Graphic Design; Sterling Swigart, Undergrad Computer Science; Eli Rosenberg, MBA; and Robert Capogna

Sensors in Motion Best Sustainable Advantage Idea: WISErg, WSU
Will provide earth-friendly solutions to the growing problems of food waste disposal and energy consumption by offering a unique food-to-fuel solution to the nation's largest consumers, starting with Fortune 500 corporate campuses. Brandon Baker, Undergrad Business; Jaimee Jewell, Undergrad Business; Larry LeSueur; and Jose Lugo

Keeler Investments Best Clean-Tech Idea: EnVitrum, UW
Using the consumer glass waste stream to produce 100% recycled building materials and agricultural products. Serena Batten, TMMBA; Scott Coil, Eve MBA; Grant Marchelli, MS Mechanical Engineering; and Renuka Prabhakar, BS Mechanical Engineering

A special thanks to the sponsors of the 2010 Business Plan Competition!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WA Broadband Summit

Industry, community and government leaders will meet for an informative and interactive one-day event to explore broadband access and adoption in Washington State.
Interactive afternoon sessions will allow broadband stakeholders to discuss important issues, and vote on the preferred strategy and policy directions that Washington State should take on critical broadband-related initiatives. Make sure your voice is heard in the broadband arena!

Just announced! Featured speakers and panelists confirmed to date include:

~ Mr. Marc Berejka, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce
~ Mr. Erik Garr, General Manager, National Broadband Plan, Federal Communications Commission
~ Mr. Mario Villanueva, State Director, Rural Development, US Dept. of Agriculture
~ Mr. Dan Reed, Corporate Vice President, Technology Policy and Strategy, head of eXtreme Computing Group (ECG), Microsoft
~ Mr. Ari Steinberg, Engineering Manager, Facebook
~ Mr. Jeff Goltz, Chair, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
~ Mr. Edward Wright, Wireless Data Solutions Engineer, Verizon Wireless
~ Mr. Mark Anderson, CEO, Strategic News Service

View the complete event agenda online!  Register soon, as seating is limited!

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, June 15 - 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
PLACE:  Microsoft Conference Center, Redmond
REGISTRATION: 7:30 – 8:00 a.m. (continental breakfast provided)
RECEPTION: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
COST: Only $40, which includes lunch
Register Now! 

New! Follow Washington Broadband (WABroadband) on Twitter for the latest updates!

Questions? Email Alisha Reitan.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Angels Fight! II

The Puget Sound region played a leadership role in the passage of the Financial Reform Bill, as it was amended.

Our Sen. Cantwell, as an identified principal co-sponsor, joined by others (including Sen. Murray and Sen. Begich-AK) in sponsoring what became an adopted amendment addressing critical changes to the bill much to the delight of the Angel Capital Association.

Sen. Cantwell was on the Senate floor speaking to the subsequent Dodd Bill when visited by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber's delegation on its 25th Washington-to-Washington, D.C. visit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bring New Ideas to Market

The i6 Challenge is a new $12 million innovation competition administered by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF).

EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six winning teams with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in their regions. NIH and NSF will award a total of up to $6 million in supplemental funding to their SBIR grantees that are associated or partnered with the winning teams.

We encourage entrepreneurs, investors, universities, foundations, and non-profits to participate in the i6 Challenge. The deadline for applications is July 15, 2010. For more information, email or join the i6 Challenge conference call at 2pm EDT on May 17, 2010.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Regional Innovation & Jobs Summit

The Washington Economic Development Commission (WEDC) is partnering with Department of Commerce, Office of the Governor, House and Senate Committees on Economic Development and the Washington Economic Development Association for a “Regional Innovation and Jobs Summit” in Tacoma on May 26th.

The event is designed for the state’s top economic development leadership and focused on answering a critical question, “How do we accelerate growth in the state’s innovation clusters and bolster job creation?”

We cordially invite you to participate in this one-day event with regional leaders from business, government, non-profit, research and education. The program will be jam-packed with practical presentations of job creation strategies and break-out sessions designed to foster productive relationships in the state’s “Innovation Ecosystem.”

These summit discussions will be integrated into a proceedings report which will include acknowledgement of your participation. Most importantly the results will be a foundation for the next update of the State's long term economic development strategy and action recommendations to be presented to the Governor, legislature, congressional delegation and public later this fall.

Featured Speakers:
Governor Christine Gregoire, Invited
Bruce Kendall, WEDC Chair
Rogers Weed, Director, Department of Commerce

Keynote Presentation:
Rob Atkinson, President and founder of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation addressing restoring US Innovation leadership in our country and the world;

Legislator's Panel - On the impact of the fiscal crisis on development of economic policies and programs;

Panelists on Talent & Workforce, Infrastructure and Investment & Entrepreneurship—highlighting the latest and greatest innovative projects and strategies across Washington State.

An interactive workshop on leveraging the state’s intangible capital and overcoming barriers for collaborative innovation.

Event Details:
Wednesday, May 26th
Venice Ballroom, Hotel Murano
1320 Broadway
Tacoma, WA

Hotel Accommodations:
Hotel Murano, Tacoma has reserved rooms for the Regional Innovation & Jobs Summit at a reduced rate. Please call: 866.986.8083

More information, see website here or call 360-586-5662

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

You can now find video and presentations from the Summit online at:

Photos and articles summarizing the Summit are here:

And, as mentioned at the Summit, the Washington Economic Development Commission will convene the Regional Innovation and Jobs Summit in Tacoma on May 26, 2010. More information is available at http://www.wedc.wa.gov/Regional%20Innovation%20&%20Jobs%20Summit.htm

Friday, April 23, 2010

Angels Fight!

As blogged yesterday, the Angel Capital Association has been working hard to address the issues in the Senate financial reform bill that affect angel investors and entrepreneurs. You can keep track of the issues, overall activity and our progress on ACA's Web site, ACA has posted a WSJ editorial that certainly caught many people's attention.

ACA's Executive Director Marianne Hudson said, I want to let you know that we have made some good progress in Washington, DC including working with the bill's author, Sen. Christopher Dodd - who plans to promote two amendments on the Senate floor to greatly improve the bill. ACA has published its statement of support for these amendments on their Web site for more information.

We greatly appreciate the work many of you have done to contact your Senators and policy makers about these issues. You have made a huge difference!

It is important, though, that angels continue the fight! You can link to our Senators here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dodd Needs an Angel

Lost in the national press’s attention to the Dodd financial reform bill has been any attention to what it does to angel investing. Angels are building the kinds of companies that represent the majority of net new jobs in the United States and this is exactly the wrong time to hinder that in any way.

For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to review the related materials, look to the ACA Web site. Essentially the bill's current language recommends significantly increasing the thresholds for accredited investors.

Two issues would affect angels and entrepreneurs seeking angel financing:
1. A 120-day waiting rule before money can be put into a small business—good luck surviving,
2. Doubling of the investor requirements to $449,000 income and $2,250,000 net worth, increased for inflation every 5 years.

ACA has been the lead advocate for angels and the entrepreneurs who are REALLY the audience that would be affected and have been very involved in negotiations to improve the provisions of the bill with the Senate Banking Committee.

ACA is cautiously optimistic that the bill will include much improved provisions. Democrats plan to call for a vote to try to block a Republican filibuster that could prevent formal debate from starting on the bill, under development for months now. Sixty votes are needed to invoke "cloture," blocking a filibuster.

Democrats control 59 Senate votes and would need at least one Republican vote for cloture to proceed. It does not currently appear they have the 60 votes for cloture to avoid a Republican filibuster.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

Hope you enjoyed the first time in Tacoma Washington Innovation Summit last Friday.

Here's a link to numerous photos of speakers, panelists, exhibitors - and only one crowd shot for the luncheon address.

Our thanks to the Washington Technology Center and the many hosts and sponsors that brought this special event to our community.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

There are 272 pre-registered attendees.

Please note the following speaker changes made after our program book went to press:

  • Added to the morning Welcome: Congressman Jay Inslee, U.S. House of Representatives, State of Washington, First District
  • New moderator for the morning Aerospace session: Bill McSherry, Director of Economic Development, Puget Sound Regional Council; Special Advisor to Governor Gregoire
  • Additional speaker added to the morning Defense session: Jayne Shelton, President, Isotron
  • Speaker replacement in the morning Defense session: Irvine Alpert replaced by Tina Gonsalves, Sr. Director Creative and Brand Strategy, Onvia
An updated agenda and speaker biographies can be found here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010 is Friday! Online registration ends Wednesday April 7.

Register now to avoid the lines for on-site registration April 9th at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Plus, register online and you'll receive the event attendee list* to help you make connections at the Summit.

*The attendee list will be distributed Thursday April 8th to registered attendees; list includes only those attendees who opt in to sharing their contact information.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Comments Open on 2nd WAve of Broadband Applications

Washington’s Department of Information Services informs us the state’s 2nd wave broadband stimulus review process begins today.

You have an opportunity to submit written comments about an application submitted by a Washington company or organization for federal funding under the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology and Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Here is the link to NTIA’s Database of BTOP Applications:

The Deadline is 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 8, 2010.


Comments are limited to the scope of the questions below. Any comments that exceed the scope of the questions will be redacted and disregarded.  The questions are:
  1. If overbuild is an issue, then the commenting party should provide information on the adequacy of service to that area. Please describe in detail the services provided today, or any future plans to provide service, including but not limited to the location, speed, and price of such service and the community anchor institutions currently served or not served.
  2. With respect to the adequacy of the application, please provide a detailed explanation about how the application meets or does not meet the requirements of the 2nd wave broadband stimulus NOFA.
You are limited to 5 pages, on 8x11 paper, double-spaced; not including the cover page. Any additional pages will be removed from the review process.

The cover page should provide the following information:
  • Name of Commenter
  • Name of application you are commenting upon
  • Date of your submission
  • Contact person, email and phone number for any questions
Group Filings

Parties that decide to file as a group may file comments up to 10 pages, on 8x11 paper, double-spaced; not including the cover page. Please note that an individual commenting party may not also participate in a group filing. In that eventuality, the individual commenting party’s filing will be disregarded.

When comments are accepted, written responses must be either mailed with return/receipt or submitted by hand delivery to the attention of Angela Wu, Broadband Policy and Programs Manager at Department of Information Services, 1110 Jefferson St., SE, PO Box 42445, Olympia, Washington, 98504-2445. The office is closed by 5:00 p.m.

If you have questions about this Notice, please contact Angela Wu or 360-902-2983.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010 Clean Tech Open

Richard Gustafson emails to highlight the opportunity at the WA Innovation Summit on April 9 for emerging Cleantech Companies to learn more about the Northwest Clean Tech Open (CTO). CTO will be making a presentation at next Week’s Innovation Summit on what the CTO is about and how to submit promising new clean tech companies into this business competition.

Attached is an overview of the Clean Tech Open and in summary:

• The mission of the Cleantech Open is to Find, Fund and Foster the big ideas that address our most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges,
• Clean Tech Open is a growing national program holding regional competitions, and
• Participants in this competition receive a unique blend of Mentoring, MBA level workshops, Opportunities to win a “Start-up in a box” professional services and cash prizes for regional and national winners.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

National TeleHealth & Tech Center Est. at JBLM

The Department of the Army announced today the planned activation of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

This stationing action represents an increase of eight military and 67 civilian authorizations and is expected to be completed in April 2010.

The mission of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology is to foster, develop, research, and deploy technology solutions for psychological health and traumatic brain injury and deliver relevant, evidence-based applications for our warriors, veterans and their families.

This force structure action complies with the recommendations of the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors (Dole/Shalala Report) and the assistant secretary of defense (health affairs) memorandum, Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Point of contact for this notification is Lt. Col. Lee M. Packnett, 703-614-2487, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Army.

Pierce County Gets One of 13

Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Department of Commerce announced the recipients of more than $16.5 million in grants and loans from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for energy efficiency, clean technology, transportation and bioenergy programs throughout the state.

The 13 private and public projects were selected based on their energy savings, jobs created or retained and matching funds – and support projects across the state, including:

LeMay Enterprises
Applicant: Dan Schooler – 253-537-8687
Category: Transportation
Project: Natural gas refuse truck deployment
Award: $931,422 ($700,000 loan / $231,422 grant)
(Pierce County) LeMay will purchase new diesel waste collection trucks and convert them to compressed natural gas, and install a compressed natural gas refueling station for their fleet. Funding will help cover the incremental cost of truck conversions and help with part of the refueling station cost. Project will enable LeMay to take first step in their strategy of converting most of their 100-truck fleet to compressed natural gas. Project could save about 1 million gallons of petroleum diesel over the lifetime of 10 trucks, while achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Supports 35 jobs during the conversion phase and retain 18 permanent jobs.

To see a full list of Washington projects receiving funding visit here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

Full Agenda Now Available for first Washington Summit in Tacoma - AND a brace of discount options for Tacoma registrants:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

And A Wonderful Time Was Had By All

Kudos to Sitecrafting for the first annual SHIFT awards.  Sitecrafting invented this recognition for South Sound businesses that demonstrate successful, creative approaches to utilizing or developing technology for the purposes of company sustainability.

If you wish to see the visual presentations for each winning company, go here.

Earlier blogs on the winners are available here.

My kudos also to the sponsors that stepped up for this celebratory event:  City of Tacoma, Optic Fusion, Business Examiner, Jonz Catering and AA Party Rentals.  All the ~100 attendees last night had a wonderful time!

Friday, February 26, 2010

SHIFT Awards Honorees Announced

Sitecrafting has announced the 2010 SHIFT Awards honorees:

BCRA (Tacoma, WA) - Conservation Technology
Learn how BCRA’s Building Science division uses the latest equipment to evaluate structures during the building process, improving energy efficiency and preventing costly repairs.

Hotel Murano (Tacoma, WA) - Social Media
Rated number 6 by Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards, Hotel Murano has become a hub of Tacoma-centric information through their utilization of social networking (blogging, Twitter, Facebook).

Internet Identity (Tacoma, WA) - Online Security
Actively involved in the anti-phishing community, Tacoma-based Internet Identity offers several tools to protect your networks and your brand.

MorphoTrak (Tacoma, WA) - Biometric and ID Technology
Hear the story of a Tacoma company that is a world leader in fingerprint and biometric identification technology, with products serving corporate, criminal justice and forensic markets.

For more information about the SHIFT Awards or to reserve your seat please visit here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

Register now and take advantage of early-bird, hotel and travel discounts for the Washington Innovation Summit 2010 in Tacoma.  

Through March 5, take advantage of the early-bird registration rate of $190, a savings of $40. And don't forget to take advantage of Tacoma hotel, travel and merchant special offers (page 5).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

Washington's Technology Center announced today that Washington Governor Chris Gregoire will deliver the opening speech at Washington's Innovation Summit 2010.  The annual Innovation Summit  will be held in Tacoma for the first time ever.

The Governor's address sets the stage for a full day of examples from aerospace, defense and energy that are helping companies of every size innovate across a range of sectors.  Following her, in the morning is a keynote from former astronaut Dr. Bonnie Dunbar of the Museum of Flight, and a morning panel discussion featuring aerospace, defense and energy leaders, Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co., Congressman Adam Smith and Mike Davis of PNNL.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SHIFT Awards Nominees Announced

The SHIFT Awards premiere Wednesday, March 10th, 2010, celebrating technology focused stories from innovators spanning the South Sound. Businesses from around the region will share their approach to technology application that opened up new possibilities for service and success.

This event springs from the refrain that was often heard at the South Sound Technology Conference about how we in the South Sound need to get together and create events around technology and collaboration. The reality is that there is a ton of great stuff going on in the South Sound relating to technology, and it's about time we look around and say, 'Hey this is a pretty great place to live, work, and innovate,' said SiteCrafting President, Brian Forth.

The 2010 nominees are:

Avue Technologies (Tacoma, WA)
BCRA (Tacoma, WA)
Department of Transportation (Olympia, WA)
Dillanos (Sumner, WA)
Hotel Murano (Tacoma, WA)
Intel (Dupont, WA)
Internet Identity (Tacoma, WA)
MorphoTrak (Tacoma, WA)
Seasonal View (Tacoma, WA)
Serra Media (Tacoma, WA)
Topia Technology (Tacoma, WA)

The SHIFT advisory board will select four companies to share their stories at the March 10th event.

Each honoree will prepare a brief presentation about their company and/or the technology related innovation to share with the audience. They will have 10 minutes and 10 slides to tell their story. Opportunities to share innovations prior to, during and after the awards will allow local innovators to start discussions to inspire each other to incorporate technology in new ways to propel business goals.

Held at the Theater on the Square in downtown Tacoma, the event will include a cocktail hour prior to the recognition ceremony and light appetizers and desserts following the event. Attendees will have the opportunity to congratulate honorees, share stories and network.

The SHIFT Awards are open to the public, although attendees must pre-register. Ticket prices are $30 per attendee.  For more information about the SHIFT Awards or to reserve your seat please visit here.

Grading Small Business Success

Not surprisingly in the digital age, the importance of technology emerges as the primary difference between small businesses struggling or failing and those that are succeeding, as well as capital access, marketing and innovation, workforce, customer service and compliance.

Small businesses using more technology tools get higher success scores than those who use less – among them online marketing (goods and services offered, ability to order), email capability (and quick response to queries), use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

How well are small businesses performing? We know that small business owners face challenges to create and operate their businesses successfully. Big companies have numbers of employees to manage the functions that the small business owner does alone or with a very few others.

So what are the biggest challenges to small business owners, and how do small businesses across America stack up? The Small Business Success Index (SCSI) has been created to measure performance on six dimensions found most challenging to small businesses and is intended to track small business performance over time.

The 28 question national survey is conducted twice a year and provides individual success scores for six dimensions, as well as an overall performance score. The most recent overall score is 75% -- a “C” grade. Although small businesses got better individual grades for workforce (78), customer service, (91) and compliance (law, city and county regulation) (89), they do less well in marketing and innovation (70), capital access (69), and computer technology (75).

The Chamber of Commerce is in preliminary discussions about surveying small businesses within Pierce County – to enable us to identify where small business owners “here” need to focus to become more successful, and to engage in programs to help in the process. Stay tuned.

Guest Blogger: Merl Simpson
Associate Professor, School of Business
Pacific Lutheran University

Friday, January 29, 2010

Startup Weekend Tacoma Starts Tonight

This is a reposting of blog entry I made on my own blog this week, but thought it would be good to include here as well.

Want to join a group of diversely talented individuals in order to suggest, plan and launch a potential business in a 54 hour period?

Here are the logistics to this weekend's get together.

Place: Suite 133 on Pacific Avenue

Derek Young and company are graciously hosting this weekend at their location. There sponsorship for these kinds of grassroots development and business efforts should be fully appreciated. They loaned out their digs for the first barcampTacoma and it worked quite well. Given the loose structure of the upcoming weekend, it is good to have had that experience under out belts.


Friday at 6:00pm. Arriving to the suite at 5:15pm or so I will have made my way down from my office at the Institute of Technology to the premises. We will hopefully have a critical mass of interested folks by 6:00pm, which is the official start time.

Saturday: We will start at 9:00am, but you are free to come and go as you please.

At 10:00am I will be going over a business plan template. I have started, ran or advised on boards for tech companies in the double digits, so hopefully I can impart some modicum of wisdom on the topic. Other speakers, a la barcampTacoma will be scheduled during the day.

Sunday: We will play it by ear, but at 11:00am, John Dimmer of the Tacoma Angel Network will be giving a talk on financing.

I anticipate Clint Nelson of startupweekend.org one of the organizers of Startup Weekends will be there Saturday or Sunday, if they are back from New York from a similar event.

And that, my friends is about it.

Hopefully, we will launch a company or product at the end of that time.

How many folks will be there, I don't know. I have gotten email responses from at least one dozen folks so far, so that should make for at least two to three teams.

They first year that the 72 Film Festival ran, I remember hoping for at least three teams and even organized one myself. Twelve teams participated with eleven of them submitting films at the end of the weekend. If we managed half that it would be very cool.

What to bring:

Your enthusiasm. Your ideas. Your strengths and your weaknesses.

A laptop if you have one. Paper and pencils if you don't.

I will bring some water and soft drink from Costco for the offset, but we will be going out for meals and drinks on our own dimes. The official events that we will be exploring for late Summer or Fall have entry costs that cover meals and T-Shirts. I am all over the t-shirt idea but they will need to be an individual or group effort on its own as well.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Tech Support Infrastructure Grows

The William M. Factory Small Business Incubator is about to open their new wing serving applied sciences and information technology entrepreneurs.

The Factory Incubator, located at 1423 E. 29th Street (just off the Portland Ave. exit of I-5), is an incubator with a record of graduating over 200 successful companies.  Their current 30 tenants generate over $30 million in annual revenues.

The new wing is targeted at tech entrepreneurs.  The building has its own data and VoIP infrastructure, an internal fiber optic loop and is directly connected to T-3 backbone.  Technical support from incubator staff includes an IT engineer.

Additionally, there is free use of conference room, video teleconference capacity and low cost access to cooperating lab facilities. 

For more info, contact Tim Strege or 253-722-5800.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sitecrafting Creates Award

Today SiteCrafting announced the creation of the SHIFT Awards, an event which will recognize and honor technology application and innovation in the South Sound.
The event will take place Wednesday, March 10th at Theater on the Square in Tacoma. A cocktail hour will precede the award ceremony, followed by light appetizers and desserts. The event will be open to the public, although attendees must pre-register.

Award winners may be nominated by the public and will be chosen by an advisory panel of South Sound professionals. Winners will create and share a brief presentation about their company and/or technology related innovation.

For event updates, please visit here. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

SiteCrafting is an award-winning website design and web application development company headquartered in Tacoma, WA since 1998. With offices in Tacoma and Spokane, WA, the company serves clients ranging from small non-profits to some of the largest, most recognizable brands.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where You Stand

For the thirteenth consecutive year, InformationWeek Analytics is conducting its U.S. IT Salary Survey. To date, over 160,000 IT professionals have participated in this survey.

If you complete the survey by this Friday, January 15th, you will also be sent a link to download the 2010 U.S. IT Salary Report once it has been published. This report will provide you insight into how your salary compares with your peers, as well as information on IT skills, training and culture.

You also will be eligible to enter a contest for prizes including a chance to win a grand prize of a Panasonic 65" plasma HDTV valued at $2,703, first prize of a Garmin nüvi® 850 GPS navigator valued at $727, second prize of a Sony home theater system valued at $484, or third prize of a 32GB Apple iPod touch valued at $298.

Information Week is only collecting compensation information from IT professionals working in the United States.

To take this year's survey, please go here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spotlight on Local Tech Companies

Andrew Fry, UWT Institute of Technology has made real one more idea that came from the SST 2009 held late last year at his university.

During afternoon panels, it was suggested that one tool for the local entrepreneurial community of individuals to network and to know what industry is here, is to build a knowledge base of those companies.  Andrew, who had announced earlier that day, suggested a regular blog spotlight on the Tacoma metro companies, would build that base.

Well!  Andrew has published his first company spotlight, and he is promising to post a spotlight weekly on his blog, Living and Working in a Virtual World.  In just a short year, by the next SST in 2010, the local entrepreneurial and technology sector, should have a substantial knowledge base. 

That knowledge base should help our local entrepreneurs, our local tech-savvy personnel and our tech industry.  Way to go Andrew!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Puget Sound Small Businesses Are Wired

Local small businesses are utilizing company websites and other online tools more than the national average.

Puget Sound, good job. You have done something that the majority of businesses across the nation aren’t – marketing their business online. A recent survey conducted by a graduate student at the University of Washington’s Masters in Communications and Digital Media (MCDM) program shows that nearly 82% of small businesses in the Puget Sound have a website. Other surveys conducted nationally show that only 44% of businesses are online(1).

The difference between the sites is not only the industries their businesses represent, but also how they are created. Practically 46% of small business owners hired out the creation of their site, while the other 54% employed various methods. The most popular choice was the help of a website, followed by the help of software, templates, raw programming and help from a friend with experience.

So, what does this mean for you?  As a marketing and branding professional, I see two main takeaways from this survey for small business.

First, your website alone is no longer enough. The online listings for businesses through searches on sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo are becoming saturated and making it harder for patrons to find you. Optimize your sites potential by utilizing other online tools like blogs, social networks and micro-blogging. Content on both Facebook and Twitter is now appearing on search results in Google and can no longer be considered a fad or simply a trend. By engaging with consumers through these channels and others will show them you’re authentic and willing to work for their business. The types of conversation to promote through online technologies need to be original and beneficial but do not need to be of expert quality.

Second is that with such a heavy saturation in the Puget Sound of businesses having an online presence, something about your site has to be better then the next guy. How you get there can be done through various strategies. Maybe you need to not only present your companies contact data on your site, but start to contribute informational articles for your customers about new products or “how-to” techniques. Integrate a more solid brand presence by doing a simple redesign with uniform layout, colors and text styles. It could also boil down to being honest with yourself about not having the knowledge base or time to build a presentable website and your ready to hire a professional. Where ever your sites at, don’t neglect it. By not strategizing and brainstorming ways to build your web presence, you are literally turning away customers. You wouldn’tlock your door during business hours would you?

The Puget Sound is unique in a lot of ways, and the way your are doing business is no different. With almost 82% of businesses having a website, business owners cannot afford to think they’re online therefore, they’re covered. Almost half of these sites are being professionally developed, so the need to present your business in a unique and trustworthy manner is more important here then if you were doing business in another part of the country. Don’t let your website or any other online tool sit idle. Employ them daily. By simply setting aside 10 minutes of each day to converse through your chosen channels, a business can increase authenticity, increase their ROI for their web strategy and grow their customer base.

Guest Blogger:  Scott Loughran is a Marketing Strategist and local entrepreneur, currently working on a dot com. Having worked with Fortune 500 and small businesses alike, Scott brings a diversified perspective that is based on applied common sense. Dedicated to the success of local businesses, Scott consults companies with various needs and is well networked for those situations outside his expertise. The survey mentioned above was managed by Scott for his graduate work at UW MCDM and can be contacted through his site.

(1) Are you really connecting? (2009, March 23). Furniture/Today, 33, 2-2. Retrieved November 4, 2009, from Business Source Complete.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010

Washington Technology Center is pleased to present Washington's Innovation Summit 2010 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center on April 9, 2010 from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  The Summit will bring together the region's leading companies and thought leaders -- such as CEO, scientist and astronaut Dr. Bonnie Dunbar -- for a full day devoted to accelerating creativity and innovation.  Breakout tracks for 2010 are aerospace, defense and energy.

In recognition of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber's assistance, the WTC extends to individuals of the member firms of the Chamber a 5% registration discount.  Use the discount code: "TacomaPartner10" to apply the 5% savings during registration.  Please click on this link to learn more about the Summit and to register. 

The Summit's flyer and agenda are also posted immediately below this blog entry for your easiest access.

Washington's Innovation Summit 2010