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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.

April 2017 Issue


Reeploeg Named TRIDEC Vice President of Federal Programs

David Reeploeg, a staffer for Senator Maria Cantwell, has been named vice president of federal programs for TRIDEC.  Reeploeg becomes the third vice president since TRIDEC’s formation, replacing Gary Petersen, who retired March 3.  He will be responsible for advocating for programs at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Hanford cleanup.  Read more.

CBC Designated as Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

Tri-Cities, WA-based Columbia Basin College has joined about 200 other schools nationwide—including four other colleges in Washington State—as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.  With this designation, students are eligible to apply for up to $14,000 in undergraduate tuition through the Department of Defense’s Information Assurance Scholarship Program.  Read more.

Winter 2017 Edition of Benton-Franklin Trends Newsletter Now Available

The newest issue of Benton-Franklin Trends Newsletter is now available.  This issue provides information on the best stats visualization you’ve ever seen, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, the “500 Cities Project,” and indicators for income distribution and the uninsured population by age.  In addition, columns feature Kris Watkins and Kim Shugart of Visit Tr!-Cities.  See the newsletter.

Tech Opportunities and Resources

Applications Now Open for Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator

Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator has opened its application process for clean technology entrepreneurs and early-stage startups who want to speed their path to market with curriculum, mentorship, and business connections.  The accelerator program focuses on business modeling, customer discovery, product development, marketing strategy, financial planning, funding pathways, and industry connections.  Participants receive one-on-one mentorship, expert advice, investor and business connections, and hands-on workshops.  Cost to participate is $775 per team.  Applications close May 1.  Learn more and apply. 

Apply for the 2017 CleanTech Open Accelerator

Applications are being accepted for the 2017 CleanTech Open Accelerator, which provides selected companies with access to intensive and specialized mentoring from business experts, a national network of entrepreneurs, visibility to investors and customers, and a 12-week series of intensive workshops and boot camps.  Participants will have the chance to win regional and national prizes in cash and in-kind services. Applications are due May 1.  Cost to participate is $1200 per company and $950 for student-led teams.  Learn more and apply.

Fuse Offers Variety of Events

Fuse SPC is the Tri-Cities’ first social purpose corporation that provides a shared work environment, community, and resources for the entrepreneurial, startup, artistic, and tech communities.  Fuse is offering the following upcoming events in April at the Fuse facility in Richland, WA:

  • April 4. How to Podcast: Distribute and Market, 6:30 - 7:30 pm.
  • April 8.  Courageous Mindset, 10 am - noon ($20 donation appreciated).
  • April 10.  Conversational Spanish Practice, 6 - 7 pm.
  • April 11. Opening the Vault: How to Obtain and Utilize Business Loans, 5:30 - 6:30 pm.
  • April 12.  Fireside Chat with Dara Quinn, 6 - 8 pm.
  • April 15. Courageous Conversations, 10 am - noon ($20 donation appreciated).

These events are at no cost unless otherwise indicated.  Learn more about each event and register.  Learn more about Fuse SPC.

Classes Offered at Confluent

Confluent, a makerspace targeted to the arts and tech communities in Tri-Cities, WA, offers a variety of classes for members and non-members.  Located in Richland, Confluent offers memberships starting at $35 per month.  Classes include:

  • April 9 and 23.  3D Printer Tool Training, 1 - 3 pm.
  • April 22.  Ladies Only Wood Working Tool Training, 10 am - 1 pm.

Classes are at the Confluent facility. See the full variety of classes offered.    Learn more about Confluent.

Upcoming Government Contracting Workshops

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is a statewide organization dedicated to guiding companies through the entire process of applying for and fulfilling government contracts.  Washington PTAC offers no-cost workshops that help inform small business owners and others about aspects of contracting, including:

  • April 6.  Meet the Buyer: Doing Business with Local Transit Systems, 10:30 am - noon, Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center, Kennewick, WA.
  • June 7.  Yakima Government Contracting Essentials Workshop, 10 am - noon, Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce. 
  • June 13.  Government Contracting Essentials, 9 - 11 am, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Kennewick, WA.

See the PTAC workshop calendar.

PTAC Webinars and On-Demand Training

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center offers no-cost resources for new and established businesses to prepare for interacting with the growing government procurement market.  PTAC provides access to previously recorded webinars addressing topics such as government contracting essentials and federal contracting questions.  The on-demand training covers subjects such as understanding solicitation and proposal development as well as estimating and bidding.  Access the webinars and on-demand training.

Tech Dates and Deadlines

Launch Weekend Demo Dinner

April 2.  Fuse Coworking has tickets available for the Launch Weekend Demo Dinner, held April 2, 5 pm at the Washington State University-Tri-Cities’ Consolidated Information Center in Richland, WA.  The Demo Dinner is the final event of Launch Weekend, an opportunity for teams of entrepreneurs to explore their ideas for businesses, non-profits, or startups and pitch the ideas in front of a judging panel. Community members who attend the Demo Dinner have the opportunity to watch the teams pitch their ideas. Cost to attend the dinner is $19. Register.

Ask Richland Business

April 12.  The City of Richland, WA is hosting a monthly series, “Ask Richland Business,” where entrepreneurs and others in need of business support can receive assistance, such as resources for business counseling; loan, financing, grant, and gap-funding resources; and information on city-funded grants and the application process.  The next Ask Richland Business event is being held April 12, 2 – 5 pm at the Richland branch of Numerica Credit Union.  Learn more.

Save the Date: Governor's Summit on Career Connected Learning

May 31.  The Governor’s Summit on Career Connected Learning will be held May 31 in Redmond, WA.  In addition, three-hour sessions are being planned across the state, including at Washington State University-Tri-Cities in Richland.  This summit is intended to inspire business, industry, labor and education stakeholders with actionable steps to take to support high-quality career-connected learning and pathways to great jobs in their communities.  Registration will be available beginning in April.  Learn more.

Call for Chemistry-Related Entrepreneurs

June 25 – 28.  Chemistry-related startups and researchers who want marketplace insights are invited to participate at the American Chemical Society’s 2017 Regional Meeting, June 25 through 28, at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. The Lens of the Market Innovation workshop is a half-day training event for researchers who want to better understand the markets for their ideas and technologies. A separate Innovation Fair offers 16 vetted spots for early-stage ventures to display their chemistry-related products and services for the business and tech communities. Other sessions for participants feature technology commercialization and venture funding. Discounts are available for early registration, graduate students, and post-docs. Learn more. 

PNNL This Month

Tweaking Electrolyte Makes Better Lithium-Metal Batteries

New, early-stage research by scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows that adding a small amount of the chemical lithium hexafluorophosphate to a dual-salt, carbonate solvent-based electrolyte can make rechargeable lithium-metal batteries stable, charge quickly, and have a high voltage.  “A good lithium-metal battery will have the same lifespan as the lithium-ion batteries that power today’s electric cars and consumer devices, but also store more energy so we can drive longer in between charges,” said PNNL researcher Wu Yu.  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