Boosting support of startups, Washington Technology Industry Association acquires NWEN

wtia1The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) today announced that it has acquired the Northwest Entrepreneur Network (NWEN), combining efforts of the two non-profit organizations

The WTIA will acquire all of NWEN’s intellectual property — brand names, member lists, program plans, historical files, etc. In addition, NWEN’s two marquee events — First Look Forum and Entrepreneur University — will now be run by the WTIA under its own brand name.

Back in December, NWEN said it was putting operations on hold 29 years after its inception with what the non-profit organization called a “major restructuring.” NWEN temporarily shut down Dec. 31 and moved out of its home at the Impact Hub building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

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Participating entrepreneurs stand on stage after pitching at NWEN’s First Look Forum this past November at the Impact HUB Seattle.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. NWEN, founded in 1984, supported local entrepreneurs and startups with events and several other programs. The WTIA, meanwhile, was founded in 1984 and is one of the largest tech trade groups in the state with more than 800 member companies.

WTIA CEO Michael Schutzler told GeekWire that his organization will have a group of “startup experts” from places like TechStars and Madrona Venture Group that will help drive planning for the First Look Forum and Entrepreneur University.

“A team of startup experts has formed to refine the scope and integrate those programs into the other best-in-class programs available to entrepreneurs,” Schutzler said.

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Michael Schutzler

WTIA plans to hold the next First Look Forum this spring (NWEN ran that event twice a year, in the fall and spring). Schutzler said the WTIA will expand both events to serve the “entire state of Washington.”

  • Kirby Winfield

    Kudos to Rebecca Lovell for tireless work behind the scenes at NWEN. She is a major stud.

  • charlieclaxton

    I second Kirby. Rebecca was not only amazing behind the scenes but also with everything she does publicly for the entrepreneur/startup community. From all the hard – non glamorous work that Barrie Cohen and Heather Duffin put in, to Rebecca’s amazing efforts and the support and passion from the board it was exciting to have multiple offers from several entities who wanted NWEN as part of their organization.

    There are many on the board (myself included) that are very excited to see how the NWEN mission will grow and evolve as part of the WTIA under the leadership of Michael.