Finalists Make Their Pitch in the Coast Works Business Plan Competition

14333108_532596346945510_3848258907573146929_nSeptember 26, 2016 (SEATTLE, Washington) — Twelve finalists completed the final step in the 2016 Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition by competing in the inaugural FastPitch event at Impact HUB Seattle on September 14, 2016.

First place winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, with several runner-up awards. Winners will be announced at the 125th Annual Leaders Banquet on October 14, 2016 at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores. To purchase banquet tickets, contact Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. at (360) 532-7888.

“It’s exciting to participate in this year’s contest with the goal of growing sustainable small ventures on our Pacific Northwest coast,” says Dick Binns, a retired Intel executive. Binns joined a distinguished group of volunteer mentors, an emerging network of coastal impact angel investors, and seven other judges in the daylong pitch event.

The panel of judges brings a wide diversity of relevant and local experience to the competition.

“There is a rich crop of new ventures this year,” says David Brentlinger, an impact investment consultant with a forestry background, who was also a judge last year. “The business development training by Enterprise for Equity combined with CIE’s Entrepreneurship Summit has elevated the preparedness of the entrepreneurs we are considering for funding. It will be tough to pick the best!”

FastPitch finalists completed a comprehensive eight-week business development program offered by Enterprise for Equity, participated in a two-day Entrepreneurship Summit offered by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and prepared written business plans. Participating business plans included a cultural tourism business, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a beekeeper, a fair-trade chocolatier, a tiny homes builder, a dog boarding business, a permaculture farm, a stump grinder, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, and a manufacturer of art equipment. All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses and designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

The Quinault Indian Nation was the 2016 Title Sponsor of Washington Coast Works, which was established by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Enterprise for Equity and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. Coast Works is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, to build business leadership in local communities, to grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and to ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast. Visit www.wacoastworks.org for more information.

 

Coast Works 2016 Judges Selected

Photo by Bridget Besaw.
Photo by Bridget Besaw.

Coast Works 2016 Judges Selected

September 12, 2016 (Seattle, WA) – An independent panel consisting of 8 judges have been selected to evaluate the 2016 Washington Coast Works sustainable small business competition.

The distinguished panel of judges bring a wide diversity of relevant and local experience to the competition. For the names and bios of the judges, click here.

Winners will be announced at the 125th Annual Leaders Banquet to be held on October 14, 2016 at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores. First place winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, with several runner-up awards.

The 13 finalists have submitted their final written business plans and will be presenting to the judges and an emerging network of coastal impact angel investors at the inaugural Coast Works FASTPITCH event on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 hosted by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Impact HUB Seattle.

The 2016 Washington Coast Works finalists are:

  • Jessica Ellis (Montesano)- Solar powered dog boarding.
  • Jesse Foss (Amanda Park) – Bio-diesel stump grinding and wood chip recycling.
  • Mike Maki (Hoquiam) – Bio-Char based organic fertilizer.
  • Jeff Meeks (Montesano) – Sustainable production of boat kits and woodworking.
  • Carrie & Jonas Merrill (Beever) – Beekeeping farm.
  • Evan Mulvaney (Montesano) – Pig farm using sustainable agriculture and pastured pork.
  • Earla Penn (La Push) – Cultural eco-tours of the Quileute reservation.
  • Ceantanni Polm (Ocean Shores) – Community supported permaculture farm operating with closed loop systems.
  • Alan Richrod (Aberdeen) – Small manufacturing of unique art project holding systems.
  • Anna Sablan (La Push) – Solar powered tiny houses.
  • Laurel Shearer (Aberdeen) – Homemade candies using fair trade chocolate.

All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

The finalists have completed a comprehensive eight-week comprehensive business plan development program, provided by Enterprise for Equity and a two-day Entrepreneurship Summit in Forks facilitated by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity, the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

13 Budding Eco-Entrepreneurs to Compete for $20,000

Photo by National Park Service
Photo by National Park Service

Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition Enters New Phase

August 3, 2016 (Washington Coast) —Thirteen finalists from coastal communities are advancing in the Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition (wacoastworks.org). First place winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, with several runner-up awards. The Quinault Indian Nation is this year’s competition title sponsor. Other sponsors include the Washington State Department of Commerce and Bank of the Pacific.

The 2016 Washington Coast Works finalists are:

  • Alan Richrod (Aberdeen) – Small manufacturing of unique art project holding systems.
  • Anna Sablan (La Push) – Solar powered tiny houses.
  • Carrie & Jonas Merrill (Beever) – Beekeeping farm.
  • Ceantanni Polm (Ocean Shores) – Community supported permaculture farm operating with closed loop systems.
  • Earla Penn (La Push) – Cultural eco-tours of the Quileute reservation.
  • Evan Mulvaney (Montesano) – Pig farm using sustainable agriculture and pastured pork.
  • Jeff Meeks (Montesano) – Sustainable production of boat kits and woodworking.
  • Jesse Foss (Amanda Park) – Bio-diesel stump grinding and wood chip recycling.
  • Jessica Ellis (Montesano)- Solar powered dog boarding.
  • Laurel Shearer (Aberdeen) – Homemade candies using fair trade chocolate.
  • Mike Maki (Hoquiam) – Bio-Char based organic fertilizer.

All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

The finalists have completed a comprehensive eight-week comprehensive business plan development program, provided by Enterprise for Equity and a two-day Entrepreneurship Summit in Forks facilitated by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. At the Summit, finalists participated in workshops and activities focused on the entrepreneur’s mindset, lean startup techniques, sustainability, business finance and pitch presentations and connected to experienced business professionals who will help them refine their plans and pitches to be presented to the judging panel in mid-September.

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity, the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

Crowd-funding Raises Prize Money for Coast Works Business Plan Competition

newcausevoxlogoJuly 18, 2016 (Seattle, Washington) — It’s easy to invest in big Wall Street backed businesses, but next to impossible to invest in a local Main Street business in your community – especially if that business is a startup. The Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition is changing that with a crowd funding campaign that lets ordinary folks contribute what they can afford to help emerging entrepreneurs launch new businesses in rural and tribal communities on the Washington Coast. First prize is $10,000 in startup funding, with multiple runner up prizes. See www.coastworks.causevox.com.

This year’s Coast Works entrepreneurs include a cultural tourism business, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a beekeeper, a construction business, a chocolatier, a tiny homes builder, a food truck, a dog boarding business, a permaculture farm, a stump grinder, a nature-inspired fitness company, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, and a manufacturer of art equipment. All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

“How awesome that all of us can contribute to the Coast Works prize money this year,” says Coast Works intern Sarah Haensly who designed the campaign. “Web-based crowd funding now makes it possible for anyone to contribute what they can afford – without calling up your local stock broker.”

Tanikka Watford knows how hard it is to raise startup funding for a small business. She needed significant capital to launch Deep Roots Foods, a Tumwater-based small-scale food co-pack food processing business.

“I was fortunate to find local investors through Social Venture Partners’ FastPitch competition last year, but those opportunities are rare,” says Watford. “I think it is amazing that you all are making it possible for people in Coast Works communities to participate directly in their local economic development!”

Visit www.wacoastworks.org for more information.

Story Contacts:

Robin Ohlgren, Coast Works Director of Sponsorship: P| 208-301-1011 E|robin@ohlgren.com

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity, the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

 

Announcing the Coast Works Angel Network

Coast Works at Work

Learn about local investing and support emerging entrepreneurs participating in the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Initiative. Become a founding member of the Coast Works Angel Network!

 Coast Works entrepreneurs are diversifying the economy through the development of new small businesses, growing a constituency of business leaders supporting conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and contributing to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.  Now in its second year, Coast Works has been established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Enterprise for Equity and the Taala Fund, and is funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. For more information, visit our website at www.wacoastworks.org.

Central to the initiative is a sustainable small business competition for $10,000 in startup funding. This year’s participating entrepreneurs include a cultural tourism business, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a bee keeper, a construction business, a chocolatier, a tiny homes builder, a food truck, a dog boarding business, a permaculture farm, a stump grinder, a nature-inspired fitness company, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, and a manufacturer of art equipment. All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

Coast Works Angels will:

  • Reside in or have strong connections to the Coast Works communities
  • Commit to investing $1,000 in one or more of the Coast Works contestants
  • Read “Angel Investing” by David Rose and attend the upcoming Coast Works Entrepreneur Summit on July 24th to meet this year’s contestants and learn about startup seed investing
  • Attend the Coast Works FastPitch event in mid-September (date and venue TBD), where the Coast Works contestants will present their pitches
  • Make your investment decision at a final pitch event in late October (date and venue TBD)

John Sechrest will lead the July 24th angel investing workshops at the Summit. John is the founder of Seattle Angel Conference and the Willamette Angel Conference. A strong supporter of the Northwest’s startup ecosystem, John runs Lean Startup Seattle, supports Open Coffee and runs workshops on stronger startup investors and startup ecosystems. Follow him on Twitter at @sechrest.

If you are interested in joining the network, contact Mike Skinner at mike.skinner@cie-nw.org.

We look forward to this opportunity to work with you to empower tomorrow’s leaders in sustainable economic development!

 

Quinault Indian Nation named Title Sponsor for Washington Coast Works Sustainable Business Plan Competition

QIN LOGO 8x8 600 copy-144x144

June 21, 2016 (Seattle, Washington) — Washington Coast Works is pleased to announce the Quinault Indian Nation as the Title Sponsor for the 2016 Sustainable Small Business Competition. This year’s business training is underway and will conclude July 22-24 during the Entrepreneurship Summit at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks, Washington. At the Summit, participants will develop their presentation pitch and polish their business plans for a chance to vie for up to $20,000 in startup financing. Winners will be announced in October.

This year’s participating entrepreneurs include a cultural tourism business, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a bee keeper, a construction business, a chocolatier, a tiny homes builder, a food truck, a dog boarding business, a permaculture farm, a stump grinder, a nature-inspired fitness company, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, and a manufacturer of art equipment. All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

“The Quinault Indian Nation is a critical partner for us,” said Eric Delvin, Emerald Edge Project Manager at The Nature Conservancy. “Their commitment to conservation of their natural resources and to sustainable economic development is clearly demonstrated by their sponsorship of Washington Coast Works.”

Other 2016 competition sponsors include Enterprise for Equity and Washington Department of Commerce.

Washington Coast Works is an initiative of The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity (with support from a USDA Rural Business Development Grant), the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and the Ta’ala Fund, a native community development financial institution that supports business development in western Washington coast tribal communities.

The complete calendar of events leading up to the competition is available at www.wacoastworks.org. Contact at Mike Skinner info@wacoastworks.org to learn more about the competition, to volunteer to mentor or judge, or to request information about more sponsorship opportunities.

Story Contacts:

Robin Ohlgren, WA Coast Works Sponsorship Director of Sponsorship: P | 208-301-1011  
E | robin@ohlgren.com

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity, the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

Call for Pitch Coaches and Mentors

Fifteen emerging entrepreneurs have completed an intensive 8-week business development training program and are now heading to the Entrepreneurship Summit to be held July 22-24, 2016 at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks, WA. At the Summit, each entrepreneur will connect to Mentors and Pitch Coaches who will help them refine their business plan and their pitch presentations. The final business plans will be submitted at the first inaugural Coast Works Angels Conference in mid-September.

Pitch Coaches will join the Summit after lunch on July 23rd and participate in a round-robin style Pitch Clinic. Mentors will join the Summit for breakfast on July 24th and participate in a speed-dating style Meet-the-Mentor activity. Each entrepreneur will form a Mentor team and develop an action plan over a working lunch.

If you are interested in serving as a Pitch Coach and/or a Mentor, please send an email to Mike Skinner at mike.skinner@cie.org  by no later than Friday, July 15, 2016. Please include your name, address, email and phone number along with a short statement of your qualifications and why you are interested in contributing to the Coast Works initiative. Presenters are encouraged to attend as much of the Summit as they can to network and interact with the entrepreneurs. Overnight arrangements will be considered upon request. By submitting a workshop proposal, you acknowledge that there is no compensation for Pitch Coaches or Mentors, and you agree (a) to participate in a teleconference presenter orientation (tentatively to be held on Monday, July 18, 2016), and (b) to be on location and ready to present at least one hour prior to your scheduled activities.

Thank you for supporting Coast Works!

Sustainable Small Businesses Move Forward with Washington Coast Works

Eight intrepid entrepreneurs at Enterprise for Equity's Business Readiness Workshop in Forks, Washington last month
Eight intrepid entrepreneurs at Enterprise for Equity’s Business Readiness Workshop in Forks, Washington last month

MAY 31 (Seattle, Washington) — Fifteen emerging entrepreneurs from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties are participating in an intensive 8-week business development training provided by Enterprise for Equity as part of the 2016 Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition.

Participating businesses include a permaculture farm, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a construction business, a chocolatier, a bee keeper, a tiny homes builder, a dog boarding business, a cultural tourism business, a nature-inspired fitness company, a stump grinder, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, a manufacturer of art equipment and a food truck — all “triple-bottom-line” businesses designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

The training concludes in late July with an Entrepreneurship Summit to be held at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks, Washington. At the Summit, participants will connect to a team of volunteer mentors and advisors who will help them develop their pitch and polish their business plans for presentation to a panel of judges in mid-September, and for a chance to win up to $20,000 in startup financing. Winners will be announced in October.

“It (the competition) gave me a new lease on life — something that I want to do for my community. I want to build our community”, said Jean Ramos, a winner from last year’s competition working to launch a sustainably foraged Labrador tea business.

Liz Ellis, another winner in last year’s competition, used her award to launch East Aberdeen Community Farm.

“I feel so fortunate to have been part of the three days of very intensive workshops,” Ellis said about last year’s Summit. “For me, the most valuable part of the competition was learning and being inspired by professionals and people in business, coaches and economists, and the fellow applicants from the north and the south.”

Washington Coast Works is an initiative of The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity (with support from a USDA Rural Business Development Grant), the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

The complete calendar of events leading up to the competition is available at www.wacoastworks.org. Contact Enterprise for Equity at (360) 704-3375 ext. 3 or Mike Skinner info@wacoastworks.org for more information about the competition.

Story Contacts: 

Robin Ohlgren, WA Coast Works Fundraiser: P | 208-301-1011  
E | robin@ohlgren.com

Liz Ellis, East Aberdeen Community Farm: P | 360-780-0349  E | harborsolar@yahoo.com

Jean Ramos, SovereigNDNTea: P | 360-780-0349   E|  jeanniebug.123@gmail.com

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity, the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

Last Chance to Enter WA Coast Works 2016 Sustainable Small Business Competition

The third and final opportunity to be considered for this year’s Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition will take place at Enterprise for Equity’s (E4E) Business Readiness Workshop in Olympia on April 22 and 23. This workshop is free for entrepreneurs in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Coastal Communities.

To participate in the business competition, graduates of the Business Readiness Workshop will be required to complete E4E’s Business Planning Program before the end of June.

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E4E Business Readiness Workshop in Forks Rainforest Arts Center

Last year, fifteen emerging entrepreneurs completed the Coast Works competition with a wide range of “triple bottom line” business ideas including paper-crete landscaping materials, community food waste digesters, off-grid ecological learning centers, local food cooperatives, and sustainably harvested forest products. First-place winner Emily Foster, a Quileute tribal member from Forks, won $10,000 for equipment and supplies to launch Lonzo’s Seafood Company. Jean Ramos, a Queets tribal elder, won $5,000 to develop a business selling foraged bog Labrador tea. And Liz Ellis won $5,000 to build a community farm in East Aberdeen.

The goal of the Coast Works initiative is to provide the opportunity to start or expand a business that makes money, builds community, and conserves the environment.

“Coast Works will help folks like Emily, Jean and Liz diversify the local economy through the development of new small businesses, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast,” says Eric Delvin, Emerald Edge Project Manager for The Nature Conservancy, a partnering organization with Coast Works.

A calendar of events leading up to the competition is available on the Coast Works website at www.wacoastworks.org. Contact Enterprise for Equity at www.enterpriseforequity.org or email beth@enterpriseforequity.org, or call 360-704-3375 for more information.

East Aberdeen Community Farm Prepares for Launch

Congratulations to East Aberdeen Community Farm, a runner up winner in last year’s Coast Works sustainable small business competition, for fully deploying its $5,000 award. Award funding was used for fencing, drainage, raised beds and an irrigation system.

The neighborhood is buzzing with anticipation. Liz Ellis, one of the Farm’s founders, recounts recently meeting20160229_151622_resized_1a neighbor who lives a block or so from the Farm and walks the alley to get to the nearby bus stop – a high school senior in head start taking classes at the college who said that she and her mom would love to have a garden spot. “I think word of mouth will work just fine to generate enough gardeners to start with this Spring,” says Ellis.

“The impact of East Aberdeen Community Farm will go far beyond revenue and jobs,” says Mike Skinner, who helps administer the Coast Works competition. “It will demonstrate how entrepreneurship and small business can inspire and lead sustainable community wealth-building in our coastal communities.”

Coast Works 2016 launched last January and registration is currently open. To register, complete Enterprise for Equity’s Business Plan Training registration form at www.enterpriseforequity.org/intake/. Once you submit your registration form, a member of the Coast Works team will call you to discuss next steps. If you have any questions regarding the registration process, contact Enterprise for Equity by email at office@enterpriseforequity.org or by phone at (360) 704-3375. Contact the Coast Works team at info@wacoastworks.org if you have any questions or for more information about the competition.