VanTechy Meetup - April 11

VanTechy is the social starting point for the Vancouver Tech scene.

The beginning of a startup is about people and ideas. VanTechy, is our local meeting point for meeting each other in a relaxed, casual format. Our goals include:

Welcoming new people to the growing Vancouver tech community.
Sharing and discovering local events, opportunities, connections.
Growing our skills and learning new things.
Sharing our experience by mentoring new members.

For beginners, VanTechy is where you should start.
For veterans, VanTechy is a place to share and mentor others.

Tuesday, April 11
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Columbia Collective
810 Main Street, Vancouver, WA

Business Growth MAP Alliance Forum - Leadership: Going from "Me to We"

RSVP now for the April 19 forum

As your business grows, the ability to inspire, lead and develop your team becomes more important. Join us on April 19, as Marv Serhan shares the Leadership Cognitive Schema framework and how it can help shape one’s ability to communicate with, relate to, and influence the personal and professional development of others. A workshop is included so you can start to apply the insights learned to help lead your growing business and team.

Serhan, speaker, author and adjunct professor, has a storied career with extensive governmental and corporate leadership experience. He is a former Navy captain who left active duty in 1997 and worked for corporations like Motorola, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

8:30 – 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 19

Pacific Continental Bank Community Room
Hudson Building
101 East 6th Street, Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98660

$10 per person in advance with online registration
$15 per person day of event at the door
No cost for WSU students with a valid student ID

Vancouver Ruby Meetup - April 6

Join Vancouver Ruby every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month to hang out, talk web development, and work on whatever strikes your fancy. Brewed in downtown Vancouver has food, coffee, and plenty of great beer selections -- all the fuel a programmer could ask for!

You don't need to have a project to attend, but if you do, feel free to bring it along to get help from the group or just get a few extra coding hours logged.

The next meetup is:

Thursday, April 6
Brewed 360 Micro Beers & Wine Restaurant
603 Main Street, Vancouver, WA


Inslee tours AbSci on Vancouver visit

"AbSci, the biotechnology company that relocated to Vancouver in August, is bucking a statewide trend in its industry.

After hosting Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday on a tour of its new facilities, CEO Sean McClain said the company has hired four new employees since October and expects to hire a dozen more soon.

“We are meeting or exceeding expectations,” he said. “We are currently 18 employees, and we have a projection to be up to 30 employees within the next year, year and a half.”

The company’s rise contrasts with a recent report commissioned by the Washington Life Science & Global Health Advisory that found the state’s life-sciences industry is sputtering.

The February report, completed by research firm TEConomy Partners, found the industry lost 900 jobs between 2011 and 2014. The Seattle Times reported that the job loss has coincided with the expiration of research-and-development tax credits.

Inslee, who founded the advisory group that commissioned the report, said he believed that AbSci’s unique process would keep costs down and sustain its growth.

“I think the key to the success of the industry is the reduction in costs of producing a product,” he said. “That’s where AbSci is in a golden space. You’re finding these incredible advances in genetic engineering. But if the cost structure is beyond imagination, you can’t get to market.”

AbSci offers an alternative to synthetic drug manufacturing processes that have been the norm for decades. Its process uses a living organism, such as E. coli, to produce high amounts of protein that are the basis for new treatments, such as those used to make insulin..."

VanCoffee Meetup - March 21

Designed for tech executives, but welcome to anyone, this meetup is a birds-of-a-feather discussion group for those who are looking to benefit from the shared experience of Vancouver’s tech community. Why so early? Because when you run a company or manage a team, your free time either happens before employees show up for work or at the end of the day (and the last thing you want to do after a day of meetings is entertain a group discussion).

Feel free to bring your breakfast and a mug; we will bring the coffee, creamer, and sugar.

Tuesday, March 21
7:30am - 8:30am
Columbia Collective
810 Main Street, Vancouver, WA

SIGMADESIGN installs HP Jet Fusion 3D Printer

"(February 21, 2017) –SIGMADESIGN acquires a new HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printer at their headquarters in Vancouver, WA on February 22, 2017. SIGMADESIGN is one of the first HP customers in North America to receive the HP Jet Fusion 4200 model and will play an important role in demonstrating the capabilities of the new printer. SIGMADESIGN is one of the leading product development firms in the Pacific Northwest, and the HP Jet Fusion printer will enhance the way the firm provides concept through production services for clients.

Why this Technology?

The HP Jet Fusion 4200 will significantly evolve the design process at SIGMADESIGN with the cutting-edge HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology. This new technology provides design opportunities and improved processes that enable faster production times and more economical part production. By printing functional parts at the individual voxel level (a voxel is the 3D equivalent of a 2D pixel in traditional printing), HP offers customers an unprecedented ability to transform part properties and deliver mass customization.

SIGMADESIGN’s unique mix of product design and engineering services poises the company to use this printer more effectively than any other design firm.

First, the size and flexibility of the firm’s design and engineering staff enables more expansive product iterations at each design and prototyping phase. The fast build time of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology allows SIGMADESIGN’s design staff to create dozens of part iterations in a single build.  Industrial Designers and Engineers can stack parts in any orientation to fill the build envelop which saves time and money.

Secondly, the printer will produce quality parts overnight, maximizing efficiency and reducing lead times. The HP Jet Fusion 4200 will replace the need for injection molded parts in many circumstances that typically take longer to design and require costly tooling to produce. SIGMADESIGN’s Engineers will be able to bypass traditional steps from design for manufacturing (DFM) to manufacturing by leveraging the strengths of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology. SIGMADESIGN has an existing 20,000+ square foot manufacturing facility which will benefit from the increased efficiency of using parts printed using the HP Jet Fusion 4200.

Design Advantages

The HP Jet Fusion 4200 produces parts with impressive structural integrity. VP of Engineering for SIGMADESIGN, Matt Cameron notes, “We’re excited to be the first product development firm in North America to use the HP Jet Fusion 4200. The ability to produce parts similar to production-grade quality will allow us to streamline our design process.”

Unlike other 3D printing technologies, the HP Jet Fusion 4200 enables reptation to happen between layers as they are applied during the build. Under a microscope, reptation looks similar to interlocking strands of spaghetti. This structure creates uniformity throughout the entire block of material. Part density can vary from very thick to very thin while maintaining part integrity, which gives Designers and Engineers more freedom of design. Irrespective of build orientation, parts produced are near equivalence to production-grade parts..."

NurseGrid app is right on schedule

"A nurse’s schedule is often less than surgical.

“It just depends on the nurse,” said Amy Shadburn, a pediatric nurse at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. “I just got off a three-in-a-row. You feel like you’re living at the hospital. Then you have a few days off. It’s a beast.”

Shadburn, 33, has been a nurse for two years. She works nights, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and sometimes three days in a row.

When she started, she was surprised that the hospital’s scheduling software didn’t work for her personal phone or laptop. It made things more complicated, she said, and it was a complication not unique to her own workplace.

A fix came when she was introduced to NurseGrid, a smartphone app aimed at scheduling for nurses. And, it turned out, a former co-worker at the hospital named Zach Smith was helping lead the company behind it.

“There’s a lot of technology within hospitals; it’s not from a lack of trying,” said Smith, a Vancouver native. “We made it very, very simple for nurses to visualize their schedule.”

‘A lot of holes’

NurseGrid, a startup based in Portland, was founded in 2013. Its leadership includes former nurses, such as Smith and CEO Joe Novello, who worked in an emergency room.

“Given our time on the front lines, we saw a lot of holes” in the process, Smith said.

According to the pair, the standard scheduling platforms in hospitals and nursing facilities worked well enough for general staff. But nurses’ schedules are volatile: They are longer and sometimes leak into the next day, and duties change on a regular basis.

Novello said it wasn’t uncommon to see nurses resort to drawing up their own pen-and-paper time sheets.

“If I’m working 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., that’s going to block off two full days,” he said. The kind of work a nurse does on shift changes daily, too, he said. “If I look at my calendar at a glance, I can’t tell what shifts I’m working.”

Nurses also work a succession of days, then take several days off to compensate. It can be a challenge to search through a contact list to find someone to trade shifts, Novello said. NurseGrid’s calendar and messaging capabilities are designed to be an information hub where nurses can coordinate..."


IPZ Partner WSU Vancouver MAP Alliance Program Wins Award for Innovation

"VANCOUVER, Wash. – A student service at Washington State University Vancouver that assists local small businesses won international recognition today for motivating change in business education.

The business growth mentor & analysis program (MAP) is one of 35 programs selected from 315 submissions from 33 countries by AACSB International ( in its second annual Innovations That Inspire initiative. AACSB is a global business school accrediting association.

“We are honored to be recognized for the impact MAP has on our small business community, the professional development of our students and our community,” said Jane Cote, academic director for the WSU Vancouver Carson College of Business. “Students are graduating with more confidence that they can tackle business challenges, they have more refined professional communication skills and they have pride in the contribution they made to advance their small business clients.”

“The Carson College of Business at WSU Vancouver contributes significantly to economic development and the overall prosperity of the region,” said Chip Hunter, Carson College dean. “The business growth MAP program is a ‘win-win’ opportunity for students and organizations throughout southwest Washington.”

MAP focuses on pro-bono, student-conducted analysis and consultation to promote small business success while giving students a chance to solve real business issues. Student teams work with organizations from all industries to make recommendations for change to drive business growth. Learn more at

Unveiled in 2016, the AACSB initiative underscores the important role that innovation plays in achieving an industry wide vision for business education.

“We are honored to highlight Washington State University Vancouver Carson College of Business innovation as a pioneer in the business education landscape and use them as an example for how AACSB’s schools are facilitators for innovation and leadership,” said Tom R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB international. For a detailed overview of the featured innovations, visit"   

Business Growth Map Alliance - How to Launch a New Food or Apparel Product

RSVP now for the February 15 forum.

Join us for an interactive session with panel discussion focused on insights and lessons learned for getting food and apparel products to market.

Panelists are Summer Kramer, owner of SUMMERSKIN, and Cosmo Salibello, owner of Gaeta Foods, Inc. Kramer and Salibello will discuss how they refined their products to reach their target audiences and connect with customers. The panel will be moderated by Joe Cote, professor emeritus of marketing at WSU Vancouver.

8:30 – 10 a.m. Wednesday, February 15

Pacific Continental Bank Community Room
Hudson Building
101 East 6th Street, Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98660

$10 per person in advance with online registration
$15 per person day of event at the door
No cost for students with a valid WSU Student ID

Vancouver is Ranked Number 5 in the List of the Best Value Towns

"If you’re relocating to Portland and want the best value for your money, there’s a good chance you won’t be house-shopping in Portland. Or even in Oregon. You’ll be looking in Vancouver. Not the Vancouver in Canada but the one across the Columbia River from PDX, in income-tax-free Washington State. Here’s why: You have kids. That’s what happened to Jody Bamford, who moved with her husband and their young daughter from a condo near the Pearl District to the suburban city six years ago. “So many families are moving to Vancouver because the public schools are all very good,” says Bamford. But the city has a lot more going for it than high test scores. “It’s so peaceful, with wide streets and sidewalks and maple trees in storybook neighborhoods,” she says. “And every little neighborhood has its own park—from our house, there are two within walking distance. It’s like Vancouver was built for kids.” The five-year-old Vancouver Community Library definitely was. The third floor looks like a children’s museum, with tipis and a kitchen area, plus a cafe on the first floor. “We hang out there a lot when it rains,” says Bamford..."

Columbia Collective Afterhours - January 9

"Located in our NEW space above Boomerang.

Let's make this happen. This event is specifically for those interested in diving into the creative/entrepreneur scene. We are calling this Afterhours due to the nature of our industry. Most solopreneurs start out part-time. This means we are tied  up with our day jobs, and have to wait until afterhours to get going with our businesses.

Interested in starting your own creative business? Come meet the people already doing it, and get some support and ideas for how to get your feet off the ground.

Feel free to come hang out, drink a few beers, play some ping-pong, and meet other local creatives. This is networking time with no specific agenda. Let's share ideas and struggles as we establish the local creative core.

Hosted by Columbia Collective."

Columbia Collective
810 Main Street, Vancouver WA
Monday, January 9, 2010

VanTechy Meetup Featuring The Bridge Accelerator - Decemeber 6

Tuesday is the inaugural showcase of the Bridge Accelerator! Over the last few months, five exciting startups have worked with a host of mentors to refine their strategies and accelerate their businesses. The Showcase is an opportunity for you to learn more about the startup community in Vancouver, the Bridge Accelerator, and these exciting companies. Join us!

Tuesday, December 6
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Columbia Collective
810 Main Street, Vancouver, WA

cheQitout hosts deals to help local communities thrive

"The pathway to achieving sustainability in a community differs from place to place, but one of the fundamentals that makes sustainability successful is a commitment to the well-being of local businesses.

cheQitout has dedicated its business model to “keeping it local” and with each transaction, helps neighborhoods and local businesses thrive. The Vancouver-based company offers a unique mobile and web-based e-commerce platform for local businesses that allows them to directly compete with large, big box stores and advertisers. When merchants partner with cheQitout, they’re given the opportunity to gain customers and expand their brand in a crowded digital shopping marketplace. When users purchase a deal from cheQitout, they’re giving back to the community.

Joe Mazzarella, president, and Ed Frankel, chairman, first met at WSU Vancouver, where they regularly serve as mentors to business students. Frankel shares that the initial concept for the e-commerce platform took about three and a half years to develop and earlier this year, they officially launched a new, native app that can be downloaded through Apple or Google. Frankel is passionate about what their platform can offer to local businesses.

“We encourage the community to come together in a homogenous atmosphere,” he explained. “Every time someone purchases or gives through our website, they go to the store to pick up the service/product. When they’re in the shop, they can buy more when they get there.”

For local merchants, that translates to direct communication with buyers that they may not normally have been able to interact with..."

Vancouver Winter Brewfest celebrates fifth year December 9-10

"For the fifth year in a row, the Vancouver Winter Brewfest will take place at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver.

Held December 9-10, the beer festival will offer at least 20 winter ales from the Northwest and feature two Vancouver breweries: Mount Tabor Brewing and Loowit Brewing Company.

“Winter ale festivals are extremely interesting as they offer specific and creative beers only found at those festivals,” noted Tim Ahaus, marketing consultant for the Vancouver Winter Brewfest. “However, the problem lays in trying to find that beer again once you leave. We want to provide great, locally produced winter beers that attendees can find at their local stores or pub.”

The festival will be held in a large tent between the Esther Short Park clock tower and the lighted Christmas tree.

Brian Davis, Brewfest director, said that this year’s event comes with a lower cost to attend: $12 to enter instead of $25. Entry fee includes one mug and five tokens.

Additional tokens can be purchased for $1.

“We want everyone to be able to taste the Holiday from the great Northwest and Vancouver Breweries,” said Davis. “Listen to Christmas music and drink with friends and family in gigantic festive tent on the bricks. The Vancouver Winter Brewfest and other Brewfest are really turning the heads of Portland patrons. It also gives are community a reason to stay in Vancouver and not travel across the bridge.”

The event will be open December 9 from 3 to 10 p.m. and December 10 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more info or to volunteer at the event, visit"

Clark College targets manufacturing, region’s needs

"At 22, Jordan Mazi is still studying for his mechatronics degree at Clark College. But he’s already got a job.

Mazi, who was drawn to the “hands-on work” the program offers, is doing maintenance and repair work on wafer manufacturing machines for Linear Technology in Camas. It’s the kind of success story that highlights the growing demand for skilled workers in 21st century manufacturing sectors.

Clark College has singled out these types of programs in its Academic Plan, a five-year look at how the campus plans to grow programs and improve its curriculum. The Academic Plan, which was adopted in April, points to six goals for the college through 2020.

It’s not exactly an easy read, filled with academic jargon that may mean little to an average student or stakeholder at the college. But one of the plan’s chief goals — a desire to “align program offerings with regional workforce and community needs” — lays the foundation for the college to work with industry leaders and economic development groups to develop programs with jobs in mind. Many of these jobs are in manufacturing sectors, such as Clark College’s welding program, which recently began offering certification testing at a cheaper price than private test administrators.

Tim Cook, vice president for instruction at Clark College, said those relationships are an “informal process,” but are allowing the college to make an investment of time and energy into improving programs with companies in mind..."

Tech company Kolau talks DIY, globalization from Vancouver

"Danny Mola’s office in east Vancouver is little larger than a cubicle, peering into a thicket of trees so clustered it could be mistaken for camouflage wallpaper.

The 34-year-old Spaniard relishes it. When asked why he and his wife moved here, of all places, he juts his excited palm toward the window to serve up the view.

“We thought of Vancouver, it’s a very, very nice area that not a lot of people were talking about,” Mola said in a thick Spanish accent. “We like the outdoors and we like hiking. Life is better.”

From this vantage — and the dual-monitor computer at his desk — Mola orchestrates Kolau, one of the more unique businesses in Clark County, with 21 total employees spanning Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Spain and even Kazakhstan.

Kolau is a marketing and technology company billing itself as a one-stop shop for search engine optimization. Its service hinges on helping small businesses reach as many potential customers as possible. Businesses today often live or die on the first page of a web search. A florist, accountant or local grocer who can’t or won’t pay a marketing consultant would turn to Kolau, the company hopes.

“The whole model is do-it-yourself,” he said. “We provide them the tools to do so. … We make it so easy.”


The idea for Kolau began in the mountains. Two years ago, Mola and his wife hiked through the Ko’olau Mountain Range in Oahu, Hawaii, talking about internet-based platforms that made their name by making online resources easier to access.

Websites such as WordPress and SquareSpace help people with virtually no programming experience create websites. TurboTax helps people manage taxes without an accountant. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 4.47 million of the 6.69 million businesses in the United States employed 19 or fewer people in 2012. Small businesses are growing and those online platforms are giving people more tools to be their own bosses..."


Fast-growing branding firm taking industry by storm

"Just a half-year after opening its first office, Core Brand Solutions, a Vancouver-based branding and advertising company, is expanding in the face of rapid growth.

With a team that already consists of more than 45 employees, Core Brand works with clients to help them create and outline a media advertising plan.

The company’s main office is located inside downtown Vancouver’s historic Heritage Building (601 Main Street, #100). A second office opened this week in East Vancouver’s Columbia Tech Center.

Leading the company is CEO Nate Eastburn and his two business partners – Angela Eastburn, CFO, and Brett Weaks, COO. Sales manager Joe McCallum heads up the firm’s sales team.

“We didn’t necessarily plan to start as large as we have, but through working in the sales and advertising industry for several years together, Nate (Eastburn) and I created a bit of a name for ourselves,” said Weaks. “When we left our previous jobs in the Portland area to create this company, people who knew what we had to offer trusted us and wanted to continue working with us.”

Core Brand Solutions has quickly established relationships with businesses around the nation, including regional brands like Shilo Inn, Pizza Schmizza, Kaiser Permanente and Keller Williams.

Much of the company’s early success, said Weaks, has to do with Core Brand Solutions’ creative, innovative approach..."

Columbia Collective's Campaign to Expand

One of the most import resources for a small business is a good co-working community. Columbia Collective, the first co-working space in Vancouver, was formed eight months ago. Columbia Collective is home to a collective of diverse companies, freelancers, remote workers, non-profits and more.  Columbia Collective’s rapid growth has resulted in a need to expand the work space. For more information on this effort, visit: