EVERETT – When Everett Community College demolished the 10th Avenue and Broadway Mall to make way for the new Cascade Learning Resource Center, The Lab @ everett also bulldozed.
Fortunately, the city of Everett rushed to save and found a new sports house at the nonprofit business incubator – at Angel of the Winds Arena.
TheLab @ everett, a one-stop-shop, offers entrepreneurs and businesses a place to brainstorm ideas, refine an invention or consult with industry experts, said Diane Kamionka, director of TheLab.
Center services are free.
Staff and volunteers can help with everything from product development to expansion plans. Virtual one-on-one consultations with local mentors can help entrepreneurs explore the merits of their ideas, locate sources of investment or launch their startup, Kamionka said.
TheLab’s new Everett offices are located on the first and second floors of the Angel of the Winds Conference Center at 2000 Hewitt Ave.
The city, which owns the building, “stepped in very graciously,” Kamionka said, “and was generous with our lease terms.”
The new layout houses work rooms, gathering spaces and a media room where you can stage a podcast or create a training video, Kamionka said.
When Mike Thomas, 34, the new owner of the Everett Royals, a semi-professional football team, needed help finding employment opportunities for the players, he turned to TheLab. Kamionka introduced Thomas to Workforce Snohomish and other sources of employment.
âThey are great,â Thomas said of the help the business incubator has given him and his team.
Maxwell Mooney, owner of Narrative Coffee in Everett, and Joel Sellinger, Everett firefighter and founder of LifeDoor, are two of the many entrepreneurs who have tapped TheLab’s resources.
TheLab is an offshoot of the Northwest Innovation Resource Center, which retired technology CEO Kamionka launched to help accelerate the business development process.
The nonprofit resource center serves Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties, Kamionka said.
Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin is a fan.
The Resource Center and TheLab, said Franklin, âis an asset to the entrepreneurs and creators who inhabit the town of Everett.
âInnovation and creative thinking move our city forward,â Franklin said. âHaving the Northwest Innovation Resource Center right in the heart of downtown Everett will allow continued collaboration and the growth of a valuable resource for our future business leaders. ”
TheLab’s presence in Snohomish County is a plus for startups and businesses interested in expanding or relocating to the region, said Kamionka, who founded the business incubator in 2018.
âThe fact that we are an innovation lab is a big checkbox for companies,â Kamionka said.
Before TheLab took over the Broadway Mall space, Kamionka and her staff would meet customers at local cafes and restaurants.
TheLab moved into a 5,500 square foot mall at the end of 2018, but its time there was short, just over a year. The COVID-19 pandemic closed the incubator in March 2020.
“We will be able to resume the activities we were doing on the Broadway site before it closed,” Kamionka said of the new downtown Everett site.
Some of TheLab’s more recent programs aim to support entrepreneurs involved in clean tech or blue technology – maritime – projects, she said.
In January, TheLab will launch a new workshop to help local businesses use the data they compile to refine their business strategy, marketing orientation or production methods.
For more information on the data analysis program, go to bit.ly/3D7eYef.
Janice Podsada; [email protected]; 425-339-3097; Twitter: Twitter: @JanicePods.