Partnering And Pitching In The Palouse
Partnering And Pitching – Palouse Style
The Palouse region’s businesses and universities have long been known for providing opportunities for local students, entrepreneurs, and community members to get interested in business and providing ample resources to help facilitate learning. One of these resources is the regular event series, Partnering and Pitches. This series is hosted by Washington State University’s National Science Foundation-sponsored Innovation Corps, or I-Corps, and the WSU Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. This event is an opportunity for students, staff and faculty, community members, and local entrepreneurs to gather with like-minded folks looking for partners in starting a business, hear new idea pitches, and get involved in projects that they are interested in.]
Save The Date
OCTOBER 16 @ 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Come join us for good food, drink and to learn about the transformative research that is happening at WSU.
As part of WSU’s ongoing effort to support innovation and research engagement, multiple groups are collaborating to host events focused on connecting research at WSU to people and resources to support translational research. This represents an institution-wide effort to embrace a culture of entrepreneurship that celebrates working across boundaries, creativity in research and efforts to apply our academic work to problems in the world. This event is focused on providing exposure to the ongoing research projects and connections to individuals looking to help develop and deploy translational efforts.
Please join us and be ready to tell us: What’s your problem?
Food will be served.
Please RSVP here.
Showcasing New Business Teams And Ideas
The fall Partnering and Pitches event on September 7th was a resounding success, with attendance increasing by 30% from last year. I-Corps Alumni Teams formed at this event series presented their businesses, as well as discussing their path to success, the WSU and community programs that helped them on their way, and their future vision as a new startup. Several new innovative teams were formed among students, faculty, and community members around a variety of topics ranging from energy technology to sustainability, to innovations for day-to-day consumer activities.
Alumni of this program have gone on to see thrilling successes. Several teams have turned their idea into an established company, increasing their customer base, in the process of prototyping or commercial manufacturing of their products. BiMBy Power is one such team. They were one of the winners of the Palouse Challenge event at the Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp in 2016, and following that initial success participated in WSU I-Corps, the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, and have gone on to win several awards and create new partnerships with next steps of scaling and making real environmental impacts with their new partners.
“For me, seeing the full range of ideas at the event was a lot of fun.” Said Travis Woodland, Director of WSU I-Corps.
The Partnering and Pitches event has been going for several years now, and with time, Woodland has seen the success of the teams formed at this event. Alumni from the program are happy to return to this event and present their company and path to success.
“Now instead of just having the teachers, mentors, and other community volunteers tell people that success is possible, they can see that is really happening for their peers, and I think that it has a much more impactful message.”
Having alumni attend the event enables new teams and prospective team members to see ideas at every stage, as well as having the opportunity to find new mentors and ‘pay it forward’ to the next generation of innovators.
The Partnering and Pitches event enables attendees of various levels of experience with business or stages in their idea development to gain the skills necessary to be successful in an entrepreneurial environment. This event and events like it provide the space for attendees to develop skills and find support and resources that will help them to pursue their idea and facilitate success for them later in life.
“Having access to programs at WSU that can provide those benefits to students and faculty is a big deal,” said Woodland.
Not Just A Student And Entrepreneur Event
Partnering and Pitches isn’t just for students or aspiring entrepreneurs either. This event is a chance for community members around the Palouse region to help create momentum for economic development in our community and across Washington and Idaho. Woodland praised community engagement in this event, and programs like it:
“By participating in these programs, mentoring these early-stage teams, and making sure that they are getting the support necessary to take the next steps, we are ensuring that entrepreneurs feel supported and valued in our community and hopefully in the long run are creating incentives for new businesses, and the dollars they generate, to stay here and grow our community.”
While the next Partnering and Pitches event has not been scheduled yet, interested parties can look for the event this Winter. In the meantime, we encourage students and community members alike to provide several more opportunities open for entrepreneurial-minded individuals looking to develop their skills. Some such events include “What’s Your Problem”, the entrepreneurial pitch event happening on October 16, an Amazon Catalyst informational session on October 26, and regular mentoring sessions through the WSU Carson College of Business this Fall and Spring. For more information about upcoming events, please follow the WSU Innovation Corps and Center for Entrepreneurial Studies on Twitter at @WSUICORPS and @WSU_CES.