Micro business accelerator

You’ve got powerful new business ideas. Our micro business accelerator is here to help make them happen.


Need help defining your business strategy? Eager for encouragement and accountability to keep you on track? Hungry for thought partnership and experienced peer feedback?

Join us for a brand new, five-month micro business accelerator program in Poulsbo, specifically crafted to supercharge the entrepreneurial endeavors of startup founders and small business owners like you who are ready to take their big ideas to the next level.

By the end of the program, you’ll be armed with a rock-solid business plan, key marketing assets, and a village of peers and expert advisors who will continue to rally around you with support, resources and connections as you launch and scale your venture.

What you’ll get

  • highly personalized technical assistance
  • one-on-one and small group business coaching
  • coworking membership + private office access at Vibe Coworks
  • 8-week intensive business plan training course (optional, but recommended!)
  • monthly lunchtime lightning talks + peer networking on key topics (optional, but recommended!)
  • marketing assets, including professional headshots and a business intro video
  • a supportive peer community
  • access to follow-on opportunities that may include capital, talent development, and storytelling resources

Who should apply

YOU! Specifically, current and aspiring founders and small business owners who:

  • have fewer than 5 employees
  • are deeply committed to working on their business
  • are hungry for a supportive peer entrepreneur community and are eager to uphold the Give First philosophy
  • will actively work from the Matchstick Lab office at Vibe Coworks when they’re able, and will actively engage with the accelerator cohort in-person and online
  • have traditionally been excluded from business ownership opportunities and resources, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), people with disabilities, veterans, women, LGBTQ+ people, and returning citizens

There are no limitations on business type, stage, revenue or geography (so long as you can make it in to Vibe Coworks for our in-person activities).

A maximum of 10 current or aspiring startup founders and small business owners will be admitted to the inaugural cohort.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program via email by February 8, 2023.

Cost

Zero. Zilch. Nada!

The micro business accelerator is made possible thanks to funding provided by the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA) together with Kitsap Bank, through a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce secured by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance.

Time commitment

If selected, you are expected to actively participate in the program events and activities outlined under the Key Dates below to the greatest extent possible. In particular, the Business plan training track is optional (though highly recommended!).

In addition to these dates, a key component of the accelerator program revolves around individual and small group mentoring. The schedule for peer mastermind groups, mentor office hours and personalized coaching sessions will be determined by you, your fellow cohort members and your mentors and coaches during the first week of March.

Generally, you should expect to commit a minimum of 5 hours per week, which includes individual work that you are doing on your business throughout the week at times of your choosing, and any peer group, mentor sessions, business plan training classes, and lunchtime lightning sessions.

Important note: We recognize that many participants hold other jobs while they are building and scaling their startups, and that you may be unable to attend all of the offered workshops and events. Similarly, we appreciate that some Founders may be juggling personal responsibilities that may make it difficult to attend events that take place in the evening hours.

If this is the case for you, please contact us so that we can work with you to find a solution, including especially around any childcare needs. We’re here to support you!

Key dates

JANUARY 18
Applications open
APPLY NOW

FEBRUARY 5
12pm Midnight
Application period closes

FEBRUARY 8
Matchstick Lab cohort announced

FEBRUARY 15
11:30am – 1:30pm I Vibe Coworks
Matchstick Lab Founder Meet + Greet luncheon and program onboarding

MARCH 3
Time TBD I Vibe Coworks
Meet the Matchstick Mentors + 1st Friday happy hour

JUNE 14
4:30 – 5:30pm I Vibe Coworks
End of program celebration

Lunchtime lightning talks

Join fellow Matchstick Lab accelerator Founders and members of the general public for monthly lunchtime lightning talks guaranteed to spark new ideas, conversations and collaborations.

BYO lunch and arrive at 11:30 for conversation and networking. Lightning talks begin at 12pm and end promptly at 1pm. Advanced RSVP is requested but not required.

Business plans: Essential or passé?

FEBRUARY 21 I 11:30 – 1pm I Vibe Coworks
Speaker 1:
Speaker 2:
Speaker 3:
REGISTER

Building for the world we live in: What diversity looks like for businesses built in Kitsap

MARCH 21 I 11:30am – 1pm I Vibe Coworks
Speaker 1:
Speaker 2:
Speaker 3:
REGISTER

Business built on values: Real talk on becoming a B Corps, social purpose, or minority-owned company

APRIL 25 I 11:30am – 1pm I Vibe Coworks
Speaker 1:
Speaker 2:
Speaker 3:
REGISTER

Stop looking like an amateur: How to knock your digital marketing and PR out of the park

MAY 10 I 11:30am – 1pm I Vibe Coworks
Speaker 1:
Speaker 2:
Speaker 3:
REGISTER

Who you know matters: Tips and tricks for building your power network

JUNE 14 I 3 – 4:30pm I Vibe Coworks
Speaker 1:
Speaker 2:
Speaker 3:
REGISTER

Business plan training workshops

The BE$T Business Basics class is an eight-week course that is available free of charge to all Matchstick Lab accelerator cohort Founders as an optional (highly recommended!) hands-on resource.

The course is also available to the general public on a space-available basis. Registration is required.

The three fundamentals of business

Tuesday, March 7 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
Analyze the core requirements of all businesses and help you figure out if you have what it takes to run your own business.

Defining your business

Tuesday, March 14 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
Learn how to define your business in the eyes of your customers and competitors by examining the features of your business, its benefits, and your business strategy.

Licenses, insurance and taxes

Tuesday, March 21 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
Dive into legal issues, risk assessment, and tax planning through actionable tips to help avoid common small business mistakes.

Costs + pricing

Tuesday, March 28 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
Learn how to estimate the costs involved in running your own business, and how to best price your product or service.

Cash flow + break even

Tuesday, April 4 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
Get clear on the concept of cash flow and test your business model’s cost and pricing structure to calculate when you will begin to make a profit.

Branding + marketing

Tuesday, April 11 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
Master the fundamentals of brand identity, create systems to maintain your brand, and learn how to navigate the different ways to market your product or service.

Creating a sales plan

Tuesday, April 18 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
Get actionable tips on how to sell your product or service and create a sales plan to continue driving a profit

Crafting your business plan

Tuesday, April 25 I 6 – 8pm I Vibe Coworks
It’s time to tie it all together! You’re now ready to describe your business model and include the nine key elements you will need to explain how and why your business works. This session is a culmination of the concepts presented in prior weeks.


Mentors + Coaches

Interested in serving as a mentor or coach?

Please join us! We’re looking for mentors and coaches who are eager to help early stage founders and small business owners navigate new business ownership and preparations to scale, working one-on-one and in small groups on a volunteer basis to help them achieve their goals. 

Mentors will be matched with entrepreneurs who can most benefit from their expertise, interest and availability.

Engagement will include a schedule of open office hours to be held at Vibe Coworks, as well as one-on-one or small group time as determined together by you and your mentees. In addition, mentors are asked to participate specifically in the following full-cohort events:

MARCH 3
Time TBD I Vibe Coworks
Meet the Matchstick Mentors + 1st Friday happy hour

JUNE 14
4:30 – 5:30pm I Vibe Coworks
End of program celebration


Program partners

Kitsap Economic Development Alliance logo

Funding for the Matchstick Lab micro-business accelerator at Vibe Coworks has been provided by the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA) together with Kitsap Bank, thanks to a grant made by the Washington State Department of Commerce and secured by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance.

What is Matchstick Lab?

Matchstick Lab is a dynamic, high-touch entrepreneurial hub at Vibe Coworks, especially crafted for startup founders and small business owners from across the West Sound region.

While Vibe Coworks has always had a strong focus on entrepreneurship, the launch of Matchstick Lab in partnership with Kitsap Bank allows us to more formally create an epicenter of entrepreneurial-focused programs and activities that better serve the whole of our West Sound community and go above and beyond coworking space.

This work is done in in close collaboration with key drivers of our local ecosystem, including leading private sector business leaders, and entities such as the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), PNW Mission Acceleration Center (MAC), WWU Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) among others.

Pending funding, future work is anticipated to include: an on-going accelerator program, intentional mixer events, a startup supper club for local angel investors, pitch competitions, founder launch parties, coworking scholarships for high-potential founders, work around community storytelling and more.

If you’d like to get involved, or if you have interest in funding future Matchstick Lab initiatives, please contact Alanna Imbach.

See also: Vibe Coworks and Kitsap Bank announce the launch of Matchstick Lab to support entrepreneurs