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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.

May 2015 Issue


Environmental Services Firm Acquired

Environmental Assessment Services, LLC, Richland, was acquired by KOMAN Holdings, LLC, as a wholly owned subsidiary in February. KOMAN Holdings is owned by natives of Kodiak, Inc., an Alaska Native Corporation. Environmental Assessment Services now qualifies as a small disadvantaged business. This change in status is expected to further expand the company’s reach, in addition enlarging and streamlining federal contracting opportunities. Brett Tiller will continue as CEO and Principal Scientist of Environmental Assessment Services and all employees and facilities will remain in Richland. Learn more about Environmental Assessment Services.

Port of Kennewick Celebrates Century Mark

The Port of Kennewick celebrated its 100th birthday on April 14, in a special event at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Convention Center. Gov. Jay Inslee spoke at the celebration, which was attended by 200 Tri-Citians. The port’s economic development mission has included providing incubator space for businesses in the Oak Street Industrial Park, several of which are technology collaborators with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The Port of Kennewick’s boundaries cover 485 square miles in eastern Benton Country including Kennewick, Finley, West Richland, south Richland, and Benton City. More information on the port’s successes…

Manufacturers Touted

The Tri-City Herald is doing a series on local manufacturers.  Those featured have included IsoRay Medical, which makes a cancer treatment, Western Sintering, a powder metal manufacturer (both companies had their roots at PNNL),  and Lampson International, which makes cranes. The series began April 11 with an overview of manufacturing in the Tri-Cities.

Tech Opportunities and Resources

FledgeX Provides Training, Mentorship to Entrepreneurs

FledgeX is an online company accelerator that helps entrepreneurs take their ideas and prototype-stage companies into reality, via an intense 10-week program of guidance, education, mentorship, and a large network of support from hundreds of mentors.  FledgeX will be available to selected entrepreneurs in September 2015.  The full calendar of events and final details will be provided online by summer 2015.  (The founder of FledgeX, Michael Libes, will be speaking at the Tri-Cities Research District on July 13.) Apply to seek assistance……

Apply for Tri-Cities Economic Gardening Program

The Tri-Cities Economic Gardening Program website is available for submittal of applications by businesses that would like to receive valuable strategic information.  The program is offered by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and funded by Battelle and Gesa.  Five businesses will be selected from these applications.  Businesses must be for-profit, privately held companies headquartered and operating in Benton or Franklin Counties; have between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants; and employ 10 to 99 full-time equivalent W-2 employees, including the owner.  There is no cost to apply or participate.  To view eligibility criteria and complete an application, see the website.

Tech Dates and Deadlines

Investment Capital Forum

May 7.  The 2015 Investment Capital Forum, a Northwest gathering of successful entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, and angel investors, will host a panel of experts speaking on “Bridging the Innovation Gap: Unlocking the Market Potential of University Innovation in the Private Sector” on May 7 in Spokane.  Keynote speaker is Dr. Vikram Jandhyala, Vice Provost for Innovation from the University of Washington. Other speakers represent university spinouts and investment firms. It’s at the Davenport Hotel. Dinner and the program begin at 5 pm, with a social from 6-7 pm. For more information and to register, see the event website.

Doing Business with Washington State

May 13.  Learn about doing business with Washington state and participate in outreach opportunities at the 2015 Central Washington Business Partnership Forum on May 13 in Yakima. You’ll learn about recent procurement changes and how to succeed in navigating state rules, regulations, and services. Presented by the Department of Enterprise Services, it’s 3:30 – 8:30 pm and costs $60, including dinner.  Learn more and register to attend …

Market Research for Government Contracting

May 20. Attend this free market research session to learn about analyzing current and future needs, selecting the best databases to uncover the information you are seeking, and identifying which agencies and prime contractors to target. “Market Research for Government Contracting” is May 20 from 9 – 10:30 am at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center, Kennewick. Learn more and register …

From Science Fiction to Reality

May 20.  Learn from five experts about how science fiction inspires reality. “Science Fiction: Catalyst for Reality,” hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest, is May 20, 5:30 – 8:30 pm, on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA. Costs range from $29 - $59. Learn more and register …

Marketing to the Federal Government

June 9.  Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Marketing to the Federal Government,” from 9 - 10:30 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA.  This workshop will help participants learn how to identify government customers, analyze current and future needs, select and develop the right tools to assist with marketing efforts, and connect with customers and best practices to achieve marketing  success.  No cost to attend.  To register….

Register for 2015 CleanTech Showcase

June 22. CleanTech Alliance, the nation’s largest state-level clean technology industry association, will hold its CleanTech Showcase on June 22 at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.  Registration fees range from $190 to $220 for members, and $225 to $255 for non-members. Register to attend….  

PNNL This Month

PNNL Technology Featured in The New York Times

A vanadium redox flow battery for large-scale grid storage, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was highlighted in The New York Times on April 22. The story featured UniEnergy Technologies, a company in Washington state that licensed PNNL technology and is demonstrating it now in Pullman, WA.  The battery can store about 3.2 megawatt-hours of energy, and can release about a megawatt of power over three to four hours, enough to keep 500 homes going for an afternoon. The $7 million demonstration project was funded by Avista and a grant from Washington’s clean energy fund.  Read The New York Times article…


Researchers Worldwide Using Innovative Instruments

Because of PNNL innovations in a class of analytical instruments  known as mass spectrometers, scientist around the world are better able to measure very low levels of compounds and elements for environmental, national security, and health applications. Through licenses since the 1990s, PNNL has transferred the technology enhancements to many companies, who have been manufacturing and selling an estimated 5,000 improved mass spectrometers to customers worldwide over the years. More details on these instruments and the commercial partners …

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