Find Posts By Topic

Launch of Startup WA & N50 Innovation Month

A large and diverse group of Washington State innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders gathered on Sept. 6 at Intiman Playhouse to celebrate the launch of the Next 50 Commerce & Innovation Economy Month and Startup Washington. This combined launch event showcased many of the different entrepreneurial sectors in Washington, from craft food and drink to fashion, manufacturing, technology, finance, social innovation, alternative energy, international trade, global development, education and workforce development, government, and businesses of all sizes.

The event, which attracted over 300 people, sold out within two weeks of being announced and featured local food, Washington wines and beers, craft chocolates, live music and a short program featuring Wash. Secretary of Commerce Rogers Weed, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and Startup America national co-founder Pam Contag. The highlights of the evening included the energizing networking, the interactive entrepreneurial ecosystem wall on which people could position themselves, and the playful Nintendo experience – with some original Nintendo games.

Rashmir Balasubramaniam, Founder of Nsansa and MC for the evening, connected and elevated attendees with a playful and engaging tone for the evening.

“Washington State is a melting pot of innovation, entrepreneurship and conscious leadership. Our unique set of industries, ideas, and intentions are coming together to ensure that our people and our environment thrive,” said Balasubramaniam.

Seattle has remained a vibrant innovation economy over the last 50 years, first celebrated and accelerated through the 1962 World’s Fair. Seattle and the state as a whole have seen tremendous innovation since then with the rise of the technology industry, global health, life sciences, fashion, the emergence of the green economy and more. Next 50 Commerce & the Innovation Month seeks to take stock of the region’s economic progress, look boldly into the next 50 years, create innovation synergies to sustain our region and foster the leadership within the region that will help sustain the planet far into the future. So partnering with Next 50 on this launch was the perfect fit for Startup Washington.

“All of us on the Startup Washington team were thrilled to see such an incredible response to this event. We are more excited than ever about celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship in Washington State, and anticipate another 50 years of innovation and entrepreneurial success stories from our region,” noted Lindsay Andreotti, CEO, Brilliance Enterprises and Co-Chair of Startup Washington.

About Startup Washington:  Established May 14, 2012, Startup Washington is ready to serve entrepreneurs and the companies that serve them, state-wide. Our mission is to connect, celebrate, and elevate businesses & entrepreneurial organizations in Washington State to invigorate our economy and be an amplified voice to what is happening here.  We are proud to be a part of the Startup America Partnership, which focused on fostering innovative, high-growth firms in the United States.

For more information about Startup Washington, please contact:  Lara Merriam-Smith, Co-Chair, Startup Washington. Phone: 360-319-3677. Website: