14 entrepreneurs named to the 2024 Matchstick Lab Micro Business Accelerator Cohort at Vibe Coworks

The 2024 cohort is particularly notable for its alignment amongst businesses centered on both the creative and food industries.

POULSBO, Washington (March 20, 2024) —Today, Vibe Coworks announced the 14 entrepreneur members of its second Matchstick Lab accelerator cohort, a dedicated five-month program specifically crafted to accelerate the entrepreneurial endeavors of small business owners who are ready to take their ventures to the next level.

Key components of the program include: a supportive peer community cohort model; eight-week intensive business plan training program facilitated by BE$T; hands-on workshops on storytelling, public speaking and building strong business credit; personalized mentoring and technical guidance; marketing assets and more.

This cohort represents the cornerstone of our community’s social and economic vibrancy. We’re excited to welcome these talented and ambitious entrepreneurs into the Matchstick Lab Micro Business Accelerator, where they’ll receive the tools, guidance and support to turn the visions they’ve been thinking about into reality.

Alanna Imbach, CEO, Vibe Coworks

“At Vibe Coworks, we’re committed to unlocking the full potential of bright ideas and the people who dream them, and we can’t wait to see the collective firepower of this cohort as they gain yet more tools, confidence, and connections.”

Launched in 2023 in partnership with Kitsap Bank, Matchstick Lab is the programmatic arm of Vibe Coworks specifically dedicated to supporting startups, scaleups, and social enterprises in the West Sound region through the power of community, talent and capital.

Fifty applications were received for this year’s cohort. Female-identifying entrepreneurs represented the majority of applications (64%), with 38% of all applicants indicating that they are at a stage in their venture where they are “ready to scale”. Applications represented micro businesses from across the whole of the Kitsap Peninsula, from Olalla to Hansville, and stretching to Jefferson County, with the largest percentage of applicants hailing from Bremerton (29%), and Bainbridge Island (23%).

The following 14 entrepreneurs were selected to participate in the 2024 Matchstick Lab Micro Business Accelerator cohort from a highly competitive pool of applicants representing a broad range of industries:

Members of the public and all those interested in engaging with the 2024 Cohort are encouraged to attend the monthly Lunchtime Lightning Talks held at Vibe Coworks from 11:30am – 1pm on the third Tuesday of each month, and to attend the Graduation Night + Pitch Competition that will be held at Vibe Coworks on Tuesday, June 4, from 4 – 6pm.

Thanks to grant funding, the Micro Business Accelerator is free to apply for, free to participate in, and there is no equity exchanged. Funding for the 2024 Matchstick Lab Micro Business Accelerator has been provided by the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA), thanks to a grant made by the Washington State Department of Commerce and secured by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA).

The entrepreneurs selected for this cohort are not just building businesses; they’re shaping the future of Kitsap County. The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance is proud to fund the Matchstick Lab Micro Business Accelerator program, and support our local founders in this way

Joe Morrison, Executive Director, KEDA

The Matchstick Lab Micro Business Accelerator complements a growing number of available resources in support of local entrepreneurs, including: CreativeMornings Poulsbo, KEDA’s Washington APEX Accelerator, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Greater Kitsap Chamber, Kitsap Community Resources BE$T program, NW Tech Bridge, Western Washington University Small Business Development Center, WTIA Startup Series at Vibe Coworks, and more.