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The Economic Development Agency SPRINT grant supported SP3NW’s early pilot programs including Executive Advisors, Student Consultants, Workforce Networks and Angel education. The programs resulted in a sustainable business incubator, over 55 startups supported, the emergence of Evergreen Bioscience Innovation Cluster, and a robust networking of the regional life science ecosystem.

The Flexible Infrastructure for Resilient Entrepreneurship (FIRE) is led by Washington State University (WSU) business incubator, SP3NW, located in Spokane, WA. The Spokane region is the hub of the Inland Northwest, serving a population of almost 2 million people from Eastern Washington, across the North Idaho panhandle, to Western Montana. Our goal is to enhance translation of nascent technologies into products to improve people’s lives. This begins with identifying and addressing ecosystem gaps.

The FIRE leadership (EAB and Key Personnel) engaged in 4 quarterly EAB, 40 committee, and 9 Key Personnel meetings to establish, implement and review project goals. Through stakeholder diligent effort,
ICE, EARTH, WIND and RAIN foundations were built and programs running when grant funded new staff were onboarded.

FIRE developed and provided educational and networking programs previously unavailable in Eastern Washington including: Startup Advisor Lunch and Learn, Design & Engineering Roundtable, and Founders, Funders & Friends Networking.

The early MOU’s and EAB partnerships gave rise to the startup support ecosystem pictured below. Additionally, as the regional ecosystem programs developed the FIRE leadership served as Evergreen Bioscience Innovation Cluster‘s early members and supporters.

FIRE leadership contributed substantially to THRIVE Spokane, the regional CEDS update in both it’s development and also implementation.

SP3NW, with scalable entrepreneurship programs produced by the SPRINT funding, and WSU’s Center for Innovation, a leader in technical startup coaching and recipient of EDA University Center funding, have merged under the SP3NW branding. Operationally, SP3NW is now a membership-based business incubator for scalable startups regardless of industry focus or academic affiliation.

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