Public-Private Partnership to Award 3 teams Funding to Move to Tacoma
Tacoma, Wa: Local investors, entrepreneurs, and city leaders have developed a program to bring high-growth, technology companies to Tacoma. This program will enrich the already burgeoning community of technology companies in the area. The intention of the Tacoma Challenge is to introduce more entrepreneurs outside the Pacific Northwest to our city as an ideal location to rapidly grow their company.
The Tacoma Challenge awards the top company $50,000 of equity-free funding, $25,000 of co-working space for 3 members for one year, and $25,000 of marketing, legal, sales, and cloud services over one year. Two additional teams will be awarded $5,000 of equity free funding, $25,000 in co-working space for 3 members for one year, and $25,000 of marketing, legal, sales, and cloud services over one year. Startup companies often struggle with adequate funding, space, and network support. The Tacoma Challenge solves this problem for companies that move to Tacoma for a minimum of one year. Winning companies also enjoy regular meetings with a wide network of local technology founders and mentors that will meet pro bono with teams. When milestones are achieved, teams will be introduced to 5-10 venture capital groups and/or angel investor groups to continue their momentum.
This project is championed by Mayor Victoria Woodards, City of Tacoma, local Universities, Surge Tacoma, JOLT Biotech, RAIN Incubator, TractionSpace, Pioneer Collective, Latchel, Humming, GiveInKind, CloudPwr, Tote Maritime and Multicare as well as a network of technology and business mentors. This group has united to bring forth the Tacoma Challenge to drive a larger ecosystem of high-growth companies in Tacoma. Bill Herling of Humming states he moved his tech company from Seattle because “we were a very, very small fish in a very, very big pond...but Tacoma was light years better at connecting with the people we needed.... There is no other place with the livability and potential that Tacoma offers”. Mayor Woodards has thrown her support behind the Challenge, telling teams that “Tacoma is investing in new schools, engineering and business programs and we are always looking to invest in training programs that make it easier for … companies to rapidly grow”.
The Tacoma Challenge awards the top team $100,000 and two runners-up $55,000 in equity-free cash, co-working space, and in kind support. The application opens on April 1, 2020 and closes on May 30, 2020. There is an informational night on March 30, 2020 at 6-7pm at Union Club Tacoma that can be Live Streamed through the website, tacomachallenge.org. Up to five teams will be awarded a travel stipend for the founder to travel to Tacoma in June 2020 for a 7 minute pitch to our panel of judges before the bells of Tacoma’s Clock Tower ring them done. The winning teams will agree to move their companies to Tacoma for a minimum of one year. Teams will work out of Jolt Biotech co-working space with an Entrepreneur in Residence onsite for support. More information and videos from our supporters can be found at tacomachallenge.org.
Kristine Grace & Eli Moreno