Tacoma start-ups get help from TEN

The million dollar idea. Every week new start-ups are banking on ideas to create millions from a great business plan.
To cover the distance from ideas that take the world by storm to that first big check, an entrepreneur may need a helping hand.
Success definitely involves effort, but perhaps more so, it involves networking: learning from others, sharing your story and finding the most efficient path to raise money.
Entrepreneurs are faced with a different reality nowadays as an incredibly large number of venture capital firms are not funding like the wild days of the late 1990s.
The bottom line for entrepreneurs is to take control of the process.
The newly renamed Tacoma Entrepreneur Network (TEN) may be the answer for Pierce County entrepreneurs.
Formerly known as Tacoma Venture, the group is a strategic alliance between the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, and the Tacoma Technology Consortium.
Its first forum will be May 16, beginning at 11:30 a.m., in the Tacoma Club, located on the 16th floor of the Wells Fargo Building in downtown Tacoma.
“Entrepreneurship is first and foremost about ideas and the motivation to act,” observes Pat Scanlon of Intowishin (www.intowishin.net) in Gig Harbor and TEN’s current chair. “Our group strives to mobilize local business resources to supply ideas and motivation, as well as focusing on the more traditional roles of management support and capital formation.”
Scanlon took TEN minutes to fill us in on his vision for entrepreneurs.
Q: How did TEN come about?
Scanlon: Tacoma has needed an Entrepreneur Network really bad, particularly in this economy.
We did have a thing called Tacoma Venture forum and that’s been going for about 18 months.
I’ve been on that steering committee for about a year now.
Q: Is it for raising money or only for entrepreneurs? What is it that TEN does?
Scanlon: We all decided to focus on three things we are going to be doing.
Number one is trying to give you a place to network with other like-minded entrepreneurs or people around that kind of thought process.
Number two – we’re going to try to bring in sage advice, wisdom from the ages, wisdom from Seattle, wisdom from anywhere we can get it to help you manage your business.
Then number three, we’re going to try to provide ways to give you ideas because that’s the most often ignored aspect of entrepreneurs.
Q: What’s on the agenda for the TEN forum next week?
Scanlon: This meeting will feature Rod Hagenbuch, principal of The Quantum Group, who will discuss “New Realities for Emerging Companies.”
The Quantum Group provides consulting and training for Goldman Sachs Asset Management Group, working with their client brokerage firms through out the country, advises nine private companies, and oversees an investment advisory firm.
Hagenbuch previously managed growth of the Merrill Lynch office in downtown Los Angeles from $4.5 billion to over $12.5 billion in assets; prior to that, he managed Merrill Lynch’s office in Tacoma.
The meeting will also present the announcement of a newly organized seed fund for start-up and emerging firms in the South Sound.
We want everyone will come to our meeting and support our local entrepreneur network.
Q: Are there still opportunities for funding in Tacoma?
Scanlon: One of the programs I’m involved with is the Tacoma Seed Project.
They’re going to be at our meeting trying to get feedback from entrepreneurs.
For those that don’t know, in entrepreneur circles, funding comes in different rounds.
There is the seed round, the angel round, A round, B round, etc., depending on how long it takes you to get profitable or how big you’re trying to get it.
The May 16 event will cost $30 to attend. Everyone is asked to RSVP for the event by contacting Rose Crist at 253/627-2175 or rose.crist@tacomachamber.org.
Dana Greenlee is a Web designer and co-host of the WebTalkGuys Radio Show, a Tacoma-based talk show featuring technology news and interviews. It is broadcast locally on KLAY 1180 AM Saturdays at 11 a.m. The show is also on CNET Radio in San Francisco and Boston, on the Web at www.CNETRadio.com, www.WebTalkGuys.com and via the XM Satellite Network, on IM Networks’ Sonic Box and on NexTel’s Wireless Web. Past show and interviews are also Webcast via the Internet at www.webtalkguys.com.