In 2021, the Port of Seattle and Find Ventures will team up to create an accelerator for the small business community of minority and women-owned businesses in Seattle. This Small Business Innovation Accelerator will bring the expertise and networks of the Seattle entrepreneurship community, plus the mentorship and expertise of the Port of Seattle, together to support small businesses with access to demonstrations, mentoring support, increased access to funding and commercialization opportunities.
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Question & Answers
Goals + Program
Why did you create the PortGen Accelerator?
The Port of Seattle is launching this accelerator to help executives from key small businesses scale up for future Port procurement opportunities. The Port, along with other government agencies and entities in the region, depend upon hundreds of small businesses each year to design, build, maintain and government and community facilities. Our next projects will require both existing and new small businesses, and the Port is dedicated to ensure the inclusivity of a diversity of small businesses.
What are the benefits of participating in the PortGen Accelerator program?
The PortGen Accelerator brings the expertise and networks of the Seattle entrepreneurship community, plus the mentorship and expertise of the Port of Seattle, to support minority and women-owned small businesses with access to demonstrations, mentoring support, increased access to funding and commercialization opportunities. Benefits for chosen participants include:
- An opportunity to promote your business to key buyers, government agencies, customers, the public, etc.;
- Learn about helpful programs and resources for small business;
- Learn from experts in finance, operations, management, etc.;
- Develop and advance specific “growth plan” for participating businesses;
- Connect with key mentors who can help guide business through growth;
- Possibility to expand beyond current markets.
Who is eligible to apply?
The Port of Seattle seeks to scale up the reach of partner business that bring excellence to the construction and operations of the Port of Seattle and the region. We believe the strongest applications will come from minority and women-owned businesses in the construction, A&E, electrial, specialty services and general good and services industries with a minimum of 3-5 years of experience. We are eager to work with executives from selected businesses in the two month PortGen Accelerator.
How do you choose which companies to accept into the program?
Our review committee will select applicants that best meet the goals of the PortGen Accelerator project. We specifically seek businesses with revenues of $500,000 annually and 3+ years experience in current business (OR demonstrate C level experience in similar business). Ideal appliancts will have 5+ years in current business, previous experience in administering government contracts for the Port or one of its government partners, and will ideally be a resident or business owner in South King County.
My company is not based in Seattle. Can I apply?
The PortGen Accelerator seeks to broadly support businesses in Seattle and specifically those located in South King County. Competitive applications will be located in Seattle, but all applications from surrounding areas will be reviewed.
My company is not owned by a woman or person of color. Can I apply?
The PortGen Accelerator seeks to support small businesses that can partner with the Port to support our operations and capital projects. While we are prioritizing minority and women-owned businesses for the PortGen accelerator program, we actively encourage all companies that could benefit from the program to apply.
How can I find out more about the PortGen Accelerator?
Watch our Informational Q&A event! This virtual event can be attended live on 4/15 or watched here following the event.