Monday, November 2, 2015

Local entrepreneur launches SURGE Accelerator

The Puget Sound is getting a new accelerator and the City of Tacoma is getting a new tenant.

SURGE Launch, a new startup accelerator founded by Eli Moreno, will launch its first cohort in January 2016.

The SURGE Launch program is unique and will be the first of its kind in the Puget Sound; each company that is accepted into the program will receive between $20k to $80k in seed capital and over $100k in perks, in exchange for up to 9% equity stake.

What separates SURGE Launch from other accelerators is the mentor program and the network of resources available to program companies. “The SURGE mentor pool is a mix of seasoned entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists that will have a direct equity stake on each company that they mentor,” said Lee Reeves, Executive Director of SURGE. “Our mentors have built companies, sold companies and invested capital into companies; we have a very diverse mentor program.”

"The City of Tacoma applauds the efforts of Eli Moreno to start this Accelerator." shared
Ricardo Noguera, Community & Economic Development Director with the City of Tacoma
"Through the collaborative efforts of the Accelerator, local tech firms, real estate professionals, the University of Washington, and the Tacoma’s Institute of Technology, expect to see the launch of many new start-up tech firms" added Noguera.

SURGE Launch will help facilitate connections and maximize resources for startup entrepreneurs. “We’re all in this together,” says Eli Moreno. “We are in discussions with multiple stakeholders, across multiple disciplines, about the opportunity we have in front of us.

Having strong, working relationships with community partners is in the best interest of entrepreneurism and the greater community.” Moreno has had a successful career as a startup
CEO and early angel investor in numerous ventures. Moreno is currently the CEO of Premier
Residential, a Tacoma-based company that focuses on property investments, acquisitions and management. He also works closely with companies seeking to raise capital.

“This kind of hub of innovation and collaboration is vital to the growth of the startup and entrepreneurial growth of the Puget Sound. The time is right for Tacoma to participate and see a thriving Start up Ecosystem developed that will sustain the area into the future,” said Gary Rubens, Mentor and Strategic Advisor.

Gary Rubens is a private investor and entrepreneur. Rubens has more than 25 years of experience in launching startups, business acquisitions, commercial real estate investing and running large scale businesses. Rubens sold ATG Stores to Lowe’s in 2012; he is also the founder of the Rubens Family Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to underprivileged youth. More recently, Rubens launched the 1plus1 Initiative with the mission to give back to the educational and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Mentors are important; community partnerships are equally important. "With a talented workforce and readily available pool of new engineers graduating from UWTacoma and area colleges, startups as well as expanding tech firms from the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle-King County, find this a great place to launch and expand their businesses and The City of Tacoma stands willing and ready to help" said Noguera.

SURGE has developed a series of sequenced elements that need to be in place before companies are accepted into the interview round. If all elements are met, the company will move onto the interview phase. Companies that are interested in applying to SURGE should apply at HERE. The deadline for companies interested in participating in the first cohort is December 31st. Every application will be reviewed upon submission and a response will be provided to each team within two weeks.