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Tri-Cities Tech Business Update

This monthly e-mailed update contains news, opportunities, upcoming events, and other information about Mid-Columbia tech businesses and the organizations that support them.

July 2016 Issue


Kennewick Company Looks to Create New Source of Green Energy

Kennewick, WA-based Percheron Power began seeking ways to harness hydroelectric power from smaller elevation drops of water—such as irrigation canals where engineered drops of 30 feet accommodate changes in terrain.  To improve on existing technology—specifically the Archimedes Hydrodynamic Screw Turbine used in Europe—Percheron developed a solution to construct turbines out of composite material versus metal.  Percheron was one of 400 companies that applied to the first round of the Department of Energy’s Small Business Vouchers Pilot, where Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was awarded $200,000 to support turbine development. With the help of PNNL, Percheron has created a mini-model turbine ready for laboratory testing.  When full development is complete, Percheron believes their product will be 40 percent lighter and more efficient than the European version and will produce clean, renewable energy with much lower impact than traditional hydroelectric dams.  Learn more about the Small Business Vouchers Pilot.  Information courtesy of the Tri-Cities Journal of Business.

IsoRay Named One of Washington State’s Fastest-Growing Public Companies

IsoRay, a Richland, WA-based company that provides innovative solutions for treating and diagnosing disease using medical isotopes, was named the 41st fastest growing public company in Washington State by the Puget Sound Journal of Business.  According to the Journal, IsoRay experienced a 1.81 percent growth in revenue from 2013 ($4.53 million) to 2015 ($4.61 million).  The company was founded in 1998.  Learn more about IsoRay.

P. Simon Mahler Named Best SCORE Mentor for 2015

PriceWaterhouseCoopers has named P. Simon Mahler, leader of the Mid-Columbia SCORE, the nation’s best mentor for 2015.  Mahler, who has been with SCORE for three years, mentored 91 small businesses that were started in 2015.  “What the statistics won’t tell you is that it took over 2,000 hours, 110,000 miles driven, and mentoring to over 4,000 people last year that made 91 small businesses successfully launch,” said Mahler. SCORE is a non-profit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow and succeed nationwide. Learn more about this accomplishment.

Washington Life Science History Poster Released

A poster that tells the story of companies, institutions, scientists and significant events that have shaped the life science industry in Washington State is now available, thanks to Info.Resource, Inc., publisher of  The poster provides a timeline of the founding of such entities as the University of Washington, Washington State University, SpaceLabs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Advanced Technology Laboratory, and many others. See the poster.

Tech Opportunities and Resources

Statewide Economic Gardening Program Applications Available

The Washington State Economic Gardening Program is designed to help second-stage growth companies take their businesses to the next level while enhancing connections to the community.  In this program, participating companies will learn to identify market trends, potential competitors, and unknown resources; map geographic areas for targeted marketing; and raise visibility in search engine results and increase web traffic.  To be eligible, companies must be for-profit, privately held businesses headquartered and operating in Washington state; have between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue; employ 6 – 99 full-time equivalent employees, including the owner; and have demonstrated growth in revenue or employees in two of the last five years. Cost for businesses to participate is $750.  Learn more about the Economic Gardening program.  Apply.

Cascadia CleanTech: Pitch Your Innovation

CleanTech Alliance and Oregon BEST are seeking launch-stage and growth-stage startups from across the Pacific Northwest to apply for the Cascadia CleanTech Prize.  The top-three launch-stage and top-three growth-stage applicants will be selected to pitch their innovations, with the top choice in each category receiving $10,000 in funding, in-kind services, and exposure to top industry leaders and investors at Oregon BEST FEST in Portland, OR on September 8 and 9.  Companies with compelling clean technologies and viable business strategies are invited to apply by July 15.  Learn more and apply.

"Startup Wisdom" Provides Strategies for Raising Capital

A new free online resource is available to startup companies to learn strategies for raising capital.  “Startup Wisdom” provides 27 strategies that cover traditional funding to creative sources of new capital.  This new book was written by experts from the Washington State Commerce Department’s Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness and Washington State University.  Download “Startup Wisdom.”

DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office Issues Technology-to-Market Call for Proposals

The Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has issued a Laboratory Call for Proposals for projects to increase engagement between bioenergy small businesses with high growth potential and the DOE national laboratories by providing access to laboratory assets.  Each project can receive up to $40,000 to support BETO’s goals, including production of biofuels compatible with today’s transportation infrastructure as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum-derived fuels.  The national labs must submit the proposals, but small businesses may volunteer to be the business partner. Proposals are due July 31, 2016, with expected date of notification of selection by August 31.  For more information or to express interest in partnership with PNNL or other national laboratories, contact Corinne Drennan (509-372-6330).

Tri-City Regional Chamber Seeks Economic Affairs Director

The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking an Economic Affairs Director to lead and coordinate emerging programs to support regional businesses, create jobs, and improve the economy of the Tri-Cities’ region through innovative entrepreneurial and community development initiatives.  This new position will develop and manage programs to assist in growth and retention of diverse businesses as well as partner with like organizations to grow and promote existing businesses.  The Tri-City Chamber of Commerce is the fifth largest Chamber in Washington State and provides services to 1,200 regional businesses.  To request the full job description or submit a resume, contact Lori Mattson.

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center Offers On-Demand Webinars

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is providing free, on-demand contracting webinars.  These webinars include:

  • Understanding the Solicitation and Proposal Development.  This training covers the review process, the bid-no bid decision, tools for preparing a bid response, proposal errors to avoid, and the final review process
  • Change Orders.   This training is designed to help small businesses prepare for the unexpected.
  • Estimating and Bidding: Creating a System for Profitability, Parts One and Two.    Part One provides the fundamentals needed to begin the estimating process, while Part Two continues to lay the groundwork, including building the estimate and common errors to avoid.
  • Negotiation Principals:  Getting to Win/Win.  This training provides the basics of negotiation, how the manage the process without "losing your cool," and what to know before the conversation starts.
  • Working with Prime Contractors.  This training provides best practices and issues to avoid when working with the prime contractor.

For more information, the full list of webinars, and to register.

Confluent Offering Variety of Classes

Confluent, a makerspace targeted to the arts and tech communities in Tri-Cities, WA, offers a variety of classes for members and non-members.  Confluent, located in Richland, offers memberships starting at $25 per month.  Classes include:

  • July 2.  Building a Dancing Robot, 1 – 5 pm.

  • July 16.  3D Printing: Enabling the Future, 1 - 3 pm. 

See the full variety of classes offered through September.  Learn more about Confluent.

Tech Dates and Deadlines

Intensive SBIR/STTR Workshop

July 12.   Life Science Washington presents “Intensive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Workshop: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Focus” on July 12 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at the Agora Conference Center in Seattle, WA.  Participants will learn about SBIR/STTR funding focused on the NIH, including strategies for targeting proposals to address the mission/requirements, how to approach each section of the proposal, and planning the commercialization strategy.  Cost to attend is $100 for Life Science Washington members, $125 for non-members. Online registration is open through the day of event.   Learn more and register.

Understanding Government Contracting Solicitations

July 20.   Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Understanding Government Contracting Solicitations” on July 20 from 9 – 10:30 am at the Tri-Cities Business and Convention Center in Kennewick, WA.  Participants will learn the elements of a solicitation, types of solicitations, government purchasing thresholds, and how to respond to a request for proposal.  No cost to attend.  Learn more and register.

Webinar: Government Contracting Weekly: State and Federal Certifications

July 27.   U.S. Small Business Administration and Washington Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise join forces to present the “Government Contracting Weekly: State and Federal Certifications” webinar on July 27 from 9 – 10 am.  This webinar is one of a weekly series that will help the small business owner more easily navigate the local, state, or federal government marketplace.  Register for the July 27 webinar.  See the series.

Market Research for Government Contracting

August 9.   Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Market Research for Government Contracting on August 9 from 9 – 10:30 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA.  Participants will learn about market research—how it can help them decide whether state and federal government contracting is right for their business as well as identifying potential customers and how to uncover data that might be helpful in marketing efforts and proposal preparation.  No cost to attend.  Learn more and register.

Government Contracting Essentials

September 21.   Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Government Contracting Essentials” on September 21 from 9 – 11 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA. Participants will learn the basics of marketing and selling products and services to federal, state, and local government agencies; how to classify products and services; how to register in the correct databases; and the various types of solicitations. No cost to attend.  Learn more and register.

PNNL This Month

PNNL to Lead Regional Smart Manufacturing Center

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead the Northwest Regional Manufacturing Center—a public/private partnership that is part of the national Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute announced by President Obama on June 20.  The regional center will advance and implement smart manufacturing technologies in the Northwest over the next five years and beyond.  “The idea is to fast track development and adoption of smart sensors and other technologies, providing manufacturers the information and tools that will allow better energy management,” said Mike Rinker, PNNL’s manager of energy efficiency and renewable energy.  Learn more.

The Clean Dozen: 12 Techs Near Commercial Use

One dozen clean energy technologies that enable everything from lightweight, fuel-sipping cars to the expansion of renewable energy and cleaner fossil fuel use are getting a boost at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  The Department of Energy is awarding PNNL about $4.4 million to bring these technologies closer to commercial use. Companies partnering with PNNL will provide matching support, while PNNL will provide funding from its technology licensing income to support projects not involving industrial partners.  Learn more.

Got News?

We invite your contributions! We will consider items that fit the mission of this publication, including your tech-related news, awards, and notices of upcoming events. Please send text and photos to or call (509) 371-6017.

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update is published by the Economic Development Office at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Each month, we send you an e-mail message, giving you the link of news, tips, awards, upcoming events, and other information about local technology-based businesses and organizations that support them. With business and community partners, our goal is to build and diversify the Tri-Cities economy—adding skilled jobs in primary-sector industries that bring in outside dollars. Currently, more than 1,100 tech-related businesses, investors, and economic development stakeholders subscribe to the newsletter, mostly in the Mid-Columbia area and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. This newsletter (RL-P00-009) supports DOE-Richland's vision for the future of the Hanford Site and surrounding area through the creation of research opportunities, new industries, and new business clusters