Find more resources, events, and opportunities to support your idea and help you take it to the next step! Explore the links and information below. These resources are focused in Alaska, but similar resources and events can be found throughout the U.S.
Alaska Economic Development Centers
The following are links to economic development centers in communities across Alaska. Not Alaskan? Search for similar resources in your state!
- Anchorage Economic Development Corporation
- Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation
- Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation
- Juneau Economic Development Council
- Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District
- Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation
- Petersburg Economic Development Council
- Prince William Sound Economic Development District
- Sitka Economic Development Association
- Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference
- Valdez Community and Economic Development Department
- Wrangell Economic Development Department
Alaska Business Plan Competition 2017
March 13 to April 21, 2017
Since 1999, the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) and Alaska Pacific University (APU) have worked with local corporate sponsors and the business, investor, and startup community to provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to present their startup to the public and validate their business ideas. The Alaska Business Plan Competition was created to encourage entrepreneurs to develop their entrepreneurial skill and experience, and to support the growth of new, great Alaska companies. The competition is open to for-profit and non-profit businesses that have or intend to have a significant operating presence in Alaska. Participants must be Alaska residents or students. Submitted business plans must be for a new business venture that will be or is actually headquartered in Alaska.
Path to Prosperity (P2P) Business Development Competition
May 31 to December 3, 2017
Spruce Root’s Path to Prosperity (P2P) Business Development Competition is a partnership between Spruce Root and The Nature Conservancy. The competition aims to grow local companies that will increase employment, have a positive social and economic impact on their communities, promote sustainable use of local resources, and increase entrepreneurial know-how and business leadership in Southeast Alaska. For each competition cycle, two winning entrepreneurs will receive an award package of up to $25,000 in seed funding for consulting/technical assistance to develop their business concept, along with support in finding investor funding. The competition is open to all residents of Southeast Alaska. This includes individuals, for-profit businesses and tribal entities. For 2017, business concepts must be for a food business located in Southeast Alaska. Applications are due on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
Alaska Startup Week
July 22-30, 2017
Startup Week is a cornerstone statewide event in the “Year of Innovation,” a statewide effort to strengthen and diversify AK’s economic base through improved access to effective resources and mentors to grow entrepreneur ecosystems; Engage export and import substitution businesses to innovate, and Engage the next generation through K-12 outreach. The purpose of Startup Week is to HAVE FUN (!!), and connect, and celebrate in the process. We do this by reaching out and connecting with individual entrepreneurs, wanna-preneurs, intrepreneurs, creatives, technicals, inventors, businesses, and administrators, and investors, of all ages, welcoming them into the startup community, and doing FUN STUFF!!
AEDC 2017 3-Year Outlook Luncheon
July 26, 2017
Startup exhibits, networking opportunities, and one of the biggest business events of the year. Featuring Keynote Speaker Abhi Nemani – writer, speaker, organizer and technologist. He is currently building EthosLabs, a govtech startup that connects the public sector with entrepreneurs. As Sacramento’s interim Chief Innovation Officer, Nemani developed and launched the city’s landmark $10 million Innovation and Growth Fund to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. While he was the first Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles, he developed a nationally recognized analytics partnership with local universities. Between 2010 and 2014 Abhi helped build, launch and run Code for America, an organization working to advance the priorities of creating healthy, prosperous and safe communities. Nemani’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Government Executive and Forbes. He has been featured as a speaker at SxSW, World Bank and various universities and conferences around the world.
September 8-10, 2017
Fairbanks Hackathon is a competition to motivate computer programmers, developers, designers, coders, and other tech-savvy creative-types to share their best ideas, create something amazing for a chance to win a grand prize! Hackathon participants will spend a weekend brainstorming new ideas, learning from peers, and finding solutions to interesting “puzzles”, using data sets, in an innovative group setting.
Startup Weekend Fairbanks
September 22-24, 2017
Startup Weekends are 54 hour, weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs (Developers, Designers, Techies, Nerds, Students, Lawyers, Investors, Marketers, and Engineers, etc.) come together to share ideas, form teams, in a risk-free environment, to build products and launch startup businesses. Startup Weekends begin with open-mic 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable concepts. Teams spend Saturday and Sunday learning and focusing on to get to customer development, validating their ideas and maybe even building prototypes with the help of experienced mentors. On Sunday, teams demo their products or share about their services and receive valuable feedback from a panel of business experts.
Startup Weekend Anchorage
November TBD, 2017
Join us for the next Startup Weekend in November. Startup Weekends have created businesses that continue to operation years later – and they connect the Arctic Innovation Competition to later events including a Business Plan Competition and the spring Launch Alaska pre-accelerator and then the main event – our next cohort of the Launch Alaska Accelerator program. You can start in the fall and follow this path to over $40,000 in funding and in one year go from an idea to an investable business. Join us for a weekend of fun, food and friends as you learn the tools of Lean Entrepreneurship and design a new business model that will be part of the future economy of Alaska. No experience necessary… you don’t even have to have an idea… just a passion for being creative, solving problems and being a part of the solution. Follow us on Facebook for updated information.
February 21-22, 2018
The Innovation Summit is an annual event produced by the Juneau Economic Development Council to foster collaboration, productivity, and prosperity in our Alaska region. The Innovation Summit brings together hundreds of business owners, government employees, policymakers, NGO members and thought leaders to shape the economic future of Alaska. Our goal is that we come together across industries and sectors, learn from outside perspectives and engage and connect to develop strategies that work for our region
The Launch Alaska business accelerator, the first of its kind in the state, is a cohort-based program to help high-growth businesses form and grow. It’s an intensive, 120-day process for companies to improve their operations, identify their market and product fit, learn how to innovate and iterate quickly, and become investment ready, scaleable ventures. In the process, they form connections, get access to capital and mentors, and formulate and test their strategy in a supportive environment. From June through August, participants relocate to Anchorage and receive mentorship, business training, business services, and $25,000 in exchange for six percent ownership of their company. The program culminates in “Demo Day,” an event for start-ups to pitch their company to investors and the public. The next cohort of Launch Alaska starts in summer 2018
1 Million Cups
1 Million Cups is an event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer network of founders in Anchorage. The coffee is highly encouraged.
49th State Angel Fund
Anchorage has established the 49th State Angel Fund (49SAF). The purpose of the 49SAF is to provide a new source of capital to Anchorage entrepreneurs that will spur economic development and encourage the creation of a qualified network of Angel investors. The 49SAF will make equity investments in local start-ups and small businesses that need additional capital for growth.
Alaska Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support Group
The intent of this LinkedIn group is to develop a network of ‘can do’ entrepreneurs,innovators,educators and mentors to create innovative business opportunities for Alaskans and Alaska oriented individuals and organizations. Thank you for joining our ‘virtual incubator.’ Your success is our success.
SCORE is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.
Alaska Seed Fund
The Alaska Seed Fund provides grants to help inventors, creators, and developers fund their prototypes in Alaska.
Alaska Startup Digest
Alaska Startup Digest is a weekly curated email subscription. Sign up to receive the emails and submit your own event to the calendar.
Alaska Startups is a University of Alaska platform that exists to complement the existing startup scene in Alaska, and to inspire future entrepreneurs by providing them with resources. Whether you’d like to stay up-to-date on local startup news, discover upcoming events, or connect with like-minded entrepreneurs—there’s something here for everyone. Be a part of Alaska’s growing startup environment!
Anchorage Maker Space
Anchorage’s Makers are an enthusiastic group of hobbyists and professionals that identify with the “maker culture” — a movement which encourages experimentation and invention in The Arts and Sciences. The strength of a group is in its members, so if you like to build things (or take them apart), hack hardware, write software, design electronics, work with wood, metal, fiberglass, or plastic, grow your own food, or just look up at the stars and wonder how it all works… well, you’re in the right place. The Anchorage Makerspace (AMS) is a place for Tinkerers, Creative Artists, Roboticists, 3D Designers, Startups, Evil Genius’s, Infovores, and all who Aspire to Learn More:
Small Business Development Center – UAA
SBDC helps small businesses grow throughout Alaska via its expanding online resources and business management expertise. SBDC provides resources, advice and assistance that help small businesses grow and create measurable economic impact throughout Alaska. Assistance is provided by experienced business advisors and experts through on-site and/or online interactions or training, and at no or very low cost to clients.
How do the entrepreneurs and small businesses in your region find help when they need it? Do they bounce around search engine results, trying to figure out which resources might fit their needs? Or maybe they wade through endless online lists of outdated contact information, only to end up at the wrong resource for their business stage and challenge? U.S. SourceLink was created to help business and community leaders create dynamic, thriving communities by mapping assets, providing innovative practices and implementing tools and programs to foster entrepreneurship. We help community organizations build the network needed to support and sustain entrepreneurship in your region. We offer well-tested tools and processes that connect the dots between entrepreneurs and the resource organizations available to assist them. We help you create a community-wide network that provides higher levels of service and success.
Technology, Research, and Development Center (TREND)
The Technology, Research, and Development Center (TREND) is an initiative of the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Our goal is to catalyze the high-tech economy in Alaska by bridging the gaps between innovators, industry, and financiers.
The Entrepreneurs and Mentors Network Inc. (TEAM)
The Entrepreneurs and Mentors Network Inc. is a 501 C 3 not for profit corporation with a membership emphasis on mentors and potential business Angels. Alaska is currently one of only two states that doesn’t have a formal Angel investment network. Our objective is to support each other while we individually and collectively invest, mentor, and grow knowledge based companies in Alaska. Our goal is to create a culture and economic environment conducive for innovation, entrepreneurship and empowerment for our children and grand children.
University of Alaska Center for Economic Development (UACED)
The University of Alaska Center for Economic Development (UACED) is a program of the University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute and is one of 52 University Centers designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. UACED leverages the resources of the university system to support economic development in Alaska, providing technical assistance in the form of information, data and implementing specific projects and programs that promote economic development across the state. The center provides a wide variety of technical assistance, from developing initial project ideas to mentoring clients through project implementation. The scale of projects the center has been involved with also varies, as do the types of projects.
UP Anchorage is part of a global movement, home to the city’s innovators, leaders, doers, makers, and entrepreneurs. UP supports new ventures, provides resources for entrepreneurs, and connects the community. UP Anchorage is a part of a global movement dedicated to ensuring that anyone can experience entrepreneurship, no matter where they live. We’re fully driven by local volunteer efforts, being led by the best and brightest Anchorage’s entrepreneurial community has to offer
U.S. Small Business Administration – Alaska District Office
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. The SBA has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.