Empowering Innovative Entrepreneurs
As a result of the acceleration of technology and trends in 2020, successful entrepreneurship now requires greater innovation abilities in entrepreneurs and small businesses. Having worked with startups and small businesses for the past decade, we understand the unique elements needed for innovation at a small scale that will help entrepreneurs prosper in the next decade.
Workshops, Incubators & Accelerator Cohorts
We run cohort based programs with different industry focuses throughout the year. From industries like CleanTech, Maritime, Agricultural Tech and more to inventors looking to license their product. Check out our latest offerings.
Our one-on-one advising services are perfect for people who have an idea but aren’t sure where to start or don’t fit with one of our group programs. Fill out our new client questionnaire today and we’ll be in touch to set up an evaluation call.
For existing businesses trying to forge a new path or reinvent what they are doing. Learn more about it and if it’s right for you.
Below you will see some examples and links to resources we have cultivated to help new entrepreneurs create innovative businesses as well as existing ones can learn to integrate innovation practices to build strong resilient businesses for the new economy.
Building inclusive, diverse innovation ecosystems requires having a place for meeting other entrepreneurs, experts and mentors who can help your ideas grow. The NWIRC is builidng a network of these spaces across the 5 county region called TheLab. Find out more about them and the services you can find here.
Entrepreneur Knowledge Center
From subject matter expert talks on everything an entrepreneur needs to know to articles that will provide valuable knowledge to help at different stages of building a business, our EKC has resources to help you.
Jump Start Learning Modules
In addition to the in-person and virtual cohorts we offer, as part of our one-on-one advising services we have some optional pre-recorded short informational modules to help entrepreneurs learn the basics of the language of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Events, Talks, & Seminars
A diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem means we’ve had a lot of experts cover a lot of topics over our decade serving entrepreneurs. Check out the variety of different topics we’ve covered over the years.
The future of business is linked to the technologies we use everyday. Understanding how to navigate and integrate these innovative technologies is critical to long term success of businesses in the future.
Just In Time Mentorship
Over the years we have built a vast network of mentors who help the entrepreneurs we serve with their expertise at just the right time to help them power through the challenges that arise.
What is Innovative Entrepreneurship?
Innovation is a word often used and often misunderstood. It’s a spectrum from small and incremental to big and disruptive, but can also be based on spectrum of ordinary to creative. Innovative Entrepreneurship is a specific type of entrepreneurship – it is focused on unique solutions that proactively seek to find unusual, highly creative solutions to big or small problems. We know that really innovative entrepreneurs have a different view of the world, they see opportunity in problems where no one else does and creatively link old ideas into new ones. The processes and programs we have created are designed to help individuals or businesses harness the thoughts, traits and actions that will provide the innovative entrepreneurial skills needed to survive and thrive in the new economy.
What type of Innovative Entrepreneur are you?
The quintessential innovative entrepreneur is the Inventor – creating new products out of necessity and need in order to make lives better. The challenge for inventors can be the creative process for creating the ideas, lacks the structural elements needed for success in business. Using an innovation process for Inventors create products, but also grow to understand the business elements needed to get from idea to store shelf.
Startups are businesses that have already validated their idea and are looking to scale up their business from the first 10 to 100 customers or more! Innovation processes help these businesses grow into Innovative companies, harnessing the technologies needed to succeed when competition (drone or imitating entrepreneurs) come along.
While there are many definitions of entrepreneur – for us – an Entrepreneur is the individual who has an idea for a business and is looking to start a new business but has not yet validated their idea. Using an innovation process at this early stage can help with easy, early validation of the idea before getting to far along in a business planning process, ensuring their business will be resilient to challenges that will come as the business grows.
2020 showed the need for how existing businesses needed to adapt in rapid fashion in order to survive the forced changes in our lives. The results were mixed, many succeeded where others failed. Our Project ReInvent program was designed to help these businesses figure out how to engage in innovation processes to restart, reimagine and rebuild their business for long term success.
Past Events & Programs
https://youtu.be/PRxNKpOX-q4 For this first talk Lara Merriam-Smith, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Services for NWIRC, will speak with Jodie Ryan, a Sr. Manager, Threat Operations at Verizon Media. Her teams of Cyber Threat Intelligence Analysts and...
https://youtu.be/hQR_ataV0Ww On May 16th, 2014 the NW Innovation Resource Center hosted the first annual NW Sustainability Challenge. It is a program that provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial students to take action on ideas they have and...
Ready to Get Started?
Click below to learn more about the programs and resources best suited to your needs.
Not sure where you fit in?
Contact us today, and someone from the NWIRC will be in touch shortly to help you make the best use of our resources.