fbpx

Join the Mailing List Sign Up!

Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Kickoff: A Watershed Moment for Emerging Businesses

An Agenda Filled with Knowledge and Connection 

The air was thick with anticipation as entrepreneurs gathered at Tabor 100 in Tukwila, WA, for the Port of Seattle PortGen Kickoff event. Designed to be a powerhouse of activities aimed at fostering collaboration and inspiring innovation, the day was far from a simple meet-and-greet. From the first introduction to the last handshake, every moment was a stepping stone toward enhanced business growth and stronger relationships. 

The event kicked off with in-depth introductions from the 12 businesses selected from a pool of 60+ applicants. More than just names and faces, these introductions were emblematic of the transformational journey that lay ahead for everyone involved. 

A Friendly, Frenzy of Collaborations 

The networking segment emerged as the heart and soul of the entire experience, embodying the limitless potential for collective growth and individual success that the program so beautifully encapsulated. Amid the swapping of business cards—so fervent that some attendees actually ran out—entrepreneurs were also practicing and sharing their Unique Value Propositions (UVPs) and elevator pitches. For some, these pitches were works in progress, yet to be fully crystallized. But the encouraging atmosphere and the support from like-minded business owners fueled a sense of pride, inspiring them to share their stories. 

The event featured deluxe catering, although the room was so abuzz with conversation that attendees hardly paused for refreshments. The topics of discussion were as diverse as they were insightful, spanning technology, market strategies, and sustainability. The unspoken goal was future collaboration. This was more than just a networking session; it was the formation of an empowered community eager to elevate each other’s ventures. 

As the session came to an end, there were promises of follow-up meetings, reminders of exciting dialogues, and symbols of a shared future. Participants left the room not just with stacks of these cards, but with their minds buzzing with new ideas and excitement of being an integral part of a dynamic, flourishing business ecosystem. 

A Crucible of Collective Insight 

After the electric atmosphere of the networking session subsided, the focus shifted to a transformative SWOT analysis workshop. Here, entrepreneurs engaged in an introspective journey, scrutinizing their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to refine their strategic roadmaps. Business Coach Michael Reis emphasized the deeper significance of the exercise: "This isn't merely a business analysis. It's a milestone that marks how far you've come and sets your sights on a future of untapped potential."

Initially, there was some hesitancy when filling out the "Weaknesses" column. Michael, however, steered the conversation, highlighting the value of viewing weaknesses as masked opportunities or even concealed strengths. Attendees openly shared their experiences and insights and the session concluded with each entrepreneur equipped with a robust business strategy and a revitalized sense of mission and fellowship.

Guiding the Next Generation of Business Leaders 

Behind every successful entrepreneur is a network of advisors, coaches, and mentors who support them on their journey. The program mentors will play an invaluable role, providing one-on-one coaching for each cohort member throughout the program. Elizabeth Angel has been a mentor to Debbie from Fresh Family LLC. She shared what excites her about partnering with Debbie throughout the program.  

“This is such a great opportunity to be part of the Port’s program. I personally am excited to get to meet everyone and understand their businesses and understand how to coach where we can and be mentors. I’m excited to provide opportunities that will not only help them grow and learn but make their business really successful.” KO session

Elizabeth had the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with Debbie and shed light on their dynamic. In that short time, she anticipates their time will be a mutually enriching experience, full of growth and opportunities for both. 

“She's fun and she's very intelligent. I see only good things from her. I was able to sit down with Debbie and ask some quick questions—and she's already on her way. She knows what she wants. She understands all that it takes to get there. She knows where how she wants to continue to grow her business. The next step is seeing the questions she’ll have that will get her to that next level." 

KO Session Port of Seattle business acceleratorA Transformational Launchpad

As the event wrapped up, the 2023 cohort members carried with them much more than a stack of business cards and a list of action items. They left equipped with new insights, fortified partnerships, and a heightened sense of purpose. All of which will be instrumental for the road ahead. This gathering marked the inauguration of a transformative voyage. It marked the formation of a dynamic, empowered community focused on innovation, growth, and sustainable success.

 

About the author

Janelle is a storyteller through and through. She was raised in a family of entrepreneurs who owned and managed a series of small businesses, including a Hawaiian restaurant, a video store, and several real estate properties. Growing up in a low-income community but attending schools as a minority in affluent areas, she struggled with the inequities she faced each day.

Janelle graduated with a degree in Creative Writing, specializing in screenwriting and playwriting. She has worked for a number of nonprofits and has remained steadfast in her commitment to using her craft to support the missions of each organization, and uplift underserved communities throughout the Bay Area.

Posted in BIPOC Owners, Business Impact NW, Business Resources, Client Stories, Women Owners

Janelle Bonifacio View posts by Janelle Bonifacio

Janelle is a storyteller through and through. She was raised in a family of entrepreneurs who owned and managed a series of small businesses, including a Hawaiian restaurant, a video store, and several real estate properties. Growing up in a low-income community but attending schools as a minority in affluent areas, she struggled with the inequities she faced each day. Janelle graduated with a degree in Creative Writing, specializing in screenwriting and playwriting. She has worked for a number of nonprofits and has remained steadfast in her commitment to using her craft to support the missions of each organization, and uplift underserved communities throughout the Bay Area.
Scroll to top