Can the city of Tacoma become the Puget Sound's next startup hub?
It's a possibility that Eli Moreno, owner of collaborative workspace SURGE Tacoma, wants to explore. This week, he announced SURGE Launch, a new startup accelerator that will have its first cohort Jan. 2016.
It works like this: Each company accepted into the program will receive between $20,000 and $80,000 in seed capital and over $100,000 in perks, in exchange for 9 percent equity stake. To backup companies, SURGE will provide a mentor pool comprising seasoned entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists, helping “facilitate connections and maximize resources” for startup entrepreneurs.
“The City of Tacoma applauds the efforts of Eli Moreno to start this accelerator,” said Ricardo Noguera, community and economic development director for the city of Tacoma. “Through the collaborative efforts of the accelerator, local tech firms, real estate professionals, the University of Washington and Tacoma's Institute of Technology, expect to see the launch of many new startup tech firms.”
Gary Rubens, private investor and a mentor for SURGE Launch, concurred with Noguera.
“This kind of hub of innovation and collaboration is vital to the growth of the startup and entrepreneurial growth of the Puget Sound,” he said. “The time is right for Tacoma to participate and see a thriving startup ecosystem developed that will sustain the area into the future.”