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