Applications are now open for the inaugural five-month program designed to help current and aspiring small business owners accelerate the growth of their ventures
POULSBO, Washington (January 18, 2023)—Today, Vibe Coworks and Kitsap Bank announced the launch of Matchstick Lab—a dynamic, high-touch entrepreneurial hub for current and emerging startup founders and small business owners from across the West Sound region.
In partnership with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), Matchstick Lab kicks off February 15 with a five month-long program specifically crafted to accelerate the entrepreneurial endeavors of small business owners who have powerful new business ideas.
The program is open to all current and aspiring business owners, with applications being accepted through midnight Sunday, February 5. Entrepreneurs who have traditionally been excluded from business ownership opportunities and resources are especially encouraged to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), people with disabilities, veterans, women, LGBTQ+ people, and returning citizens.
“At Vibe, we believe in the power of entrepreneurship and bold new ideas to build stronger, healthier, more equitable communities,” said Vibe Coworks Founder, Alanna Imbach.
Matchstick Lab will provide an on-ramp for more founders to tap into the collective strength of our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Starting a business is hard, and we want founders who have made the bold decision to go out on their own to feel supported throughout their journey to success.Alanna Imbach, Vibe Coworks
A maximum of ten current or aspiring startup founders and small business owners will be admitted to the first cohort of the five-month program, which will include highly personalized technical assistance, one-on-one and small group business coaching, coworking membership and private office space at Vibe Coworks, marketing assets for their business, and a supporting peer community. Follow-on opportunities may include access to capital, talent development, and storytelling resources.
“As a community bank that is committed to growing our local economy and supporting entrepreneurs, Kitsap Bank is proud to partner with Vibe Coworks on this innovative program,” stated Kitsap Bank President and Chief Operating Officer, Tony George.
“Through Matchstick Lab, entrepreneurs have access to a business ecosystem that supports the growth of innovation right here in our backyard.”
Funding for the first Matchstick Lab micro-business accelerator cohort 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 KEDA.
For more information, and to apply, go to: vibecoworks.com/community/matchstick-lab
The program complements a growing number of available resources in support of local entrepreneurs, including: the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Greater Kitsap Chamber Growing Greater Businesses Grant, Kitsap Community Resources BE$T program, PNW Mission Acceleration Center, Western Washington University Small Business Development Center, WTIA Startup Series at Vibe Coworks, and more.
As a community bank that is committed to growing our local economy and supporting entrepreneurs, Kitsap Bank is proud to partner with Vibe Coworks on this innovative program. Through Matchstick Lab, entrepreneurs have access to a business ecosystem that supports the growth of innovation right here in our backyard.Tony George, Kitsap Bank