Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Our Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee brings together many different stakeholders including entrepreneurs, small businesses, ecosystem builders, supporters, and community. Together, they work on initiatives making Kitsap a great place for building a business and attracting new technologies. Kitsap values our entrepreneurs and innovators, who shape the world around them. Kitsap’s “E&I” team is focused on the future of Kitsap’s economy, making sure our community has the necessary resources to build companies, site technology in our community, all while offering connectivity to the greater Puget Sound startup and innovation ecosystem. 

Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) was recently awarded a two-year $500,000 grant to launch the Washington Autonomous Vehicle Cluster, or WAV-C. Innovation cluster accelerator models bring key players together – business, entrepreneurs, academia, investors and government – to solve industry challenges that limit growth and innovation. "WAV-C [will] initially focus on the water segment of these vehicles, given the strong maritime and defense industry presence in our community” said KEDA Executive Director Joe Morrison. “We’ll use our infrastructure, connectivity, and experience in entrepreneurship and innovation to create a broad, diverse, and industry-led cluster effort that will generate value for companies in Washington and beyond.” The underwater segment of unmanned vehicles alone has a projected size of $9.5 billion by 2028.

Get Involved! To help out with local initiatives involving Entrepreneurship and Innovation, email: ei@kitsapeda.org 


  • Kitsap SBDCAmerica’s Small Business Development Center is a nationwide business advisory network, in partnership with the federal Small Business Administration. In Kitsap County, the SBDC is hosted by Western Washington University, in conjunction with its headquarters SBDC in Bellingham. Local funding is provided by Kitsap Bank, Kitsap Credit Union, First Federal, and the City of Poulsbo. In-kind services are provided by Kitsap Regional Library. The Kitsap SBDC works collaboratively as part of the Washington SBDC network. 
  • Kitsap SCORE: The local branch of this national volunteer organization provides free and confidential business advice to entrepreneurs who are working to launch a new business or grow their existing businesses. Their volunteer mentors have extensive experience in a broad range of industries and specialties, and their mentoring services are available without charge.
  • Kitsap Community Resources BE$T Program: Works with entrepreneurs who are ready to start a new business or improve an existing one.BE$T is an approved Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP).
  • Government Contracting Assistance KEDA’s Washington APEX ACCELERATOR, (formerly PTAC),  provides no cost, confidential, one-on-one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state, and local governments regulations, certifications, marketing and proposal review.  WA APEX also assists agencies, departments and primes in their efforts to comply with federal and state procurement diversity and subcontracting goals. KEDA's APEX Accelerator service area covers Kitsap and North Mason Counties.



  • Bremerton Canvas  offers rentable photography studio, pop-up shop or workspace; 
  • Bainbridge Artist Resource Network (BARN) is a unique non-profit community center for artisans and makers, has studios for everything from Electronic & Technical Arts to Woodworking. 


  • Kitsap Regional Library: Offers premium business resources (free with your library card) including customizable legal forms, business database products, business plans handbook,  and market research tools including Data Axel (formerly Reference USA).  Data Axel can help business owners  research what their competitors are doing (gross sales, number of employees, number of years in business, number of locations and the sales at each location) as well as who their potential customers are (mailing lists can be created based on purchasing behavior). KRL also offers free access to LinkedIn Learning, a site offering thousands of training videos and tutorials on subjects including business, design, marketing, developer/coding, IT, photography, video, audio, 3D animation, education and e-learning, and more


Washington State Resources

Washington State is consistently ranked as one of the best places to start a business. The state has more than 250,000 businesses registered, from one-person start-ups to some of the most familiar names in retailing, aircraft, software and outdoor recreation equipment. If you plan to be the next Amazon.com, Microsoft or Boeing, here are some resources to help you open your business and position it for success.

  • The Business Startup Playbook  Get your team all on the same page as you drive down the field toward your business goals. A great resource for planning and opening your business, as well as some of the things you’ll need to know down the line to stay inbounds and avoid penalties.
  • StartUp WashingtonAlong with its sister site ChooseWashington.com,  StartupWashington serves as a clearinghouse for all the news and information you need to grow your existing state business, relocate your business or some of its operations to Washington State, export your products or services, engage in international trade, attract foreign and domestic investment and identify new market opportunities, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

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  • ScaleUp: Based on the highly successful program run by the Center for Business & Innovation in Thurston County, this 35-hour intensive is designed to provide small business owners with additional skills in financial mastery, operational efficiencies and marketing. Instructors guide owners through a proven curriculum that will help them improve profitability, control costs and grow their business with confidence.Creatives Academy
  • Creatives Academy: The academy is a series of free, on-demand lessons that cover a wide swath of business skills,  designed to teach those in the creative sector how to turn their passion into a livelihood.

    Twelve sessions to help them create a sustainable, profitable business, from pricing and negotiation to intellectual property and going global.


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  • Thrive!:Thrive! is designed to take second-stage companies to the next level. At this stage of growth, businesses often experience internal and external roadblocks to that keep them from growing larger or more profitable, such as those related to human resources, operations, finances, marketing, competition or new markets. Companies that are accepted into the Thrive! program work with a team of national experts to explore the most pressing issues, using data, best practices and research tools that are usually only made available to the largest corporations. This actionable information helps CEOs make informed decisions about their businesses, allowing them to overcome roadblocks that historically, lead to 15 to 30% growth in revenue. To help businesses, the Department of Commerce pays a large portion of the cost of the Thrive! program.


More training from StartUp Washingron:



More Washington State Resources:


WASHINGTON BusinessHub A one stop resource for starting and operating a business in Washington State including printable small business guides which includes detailed information on writing your business plan.

Office of Regulatory Assistance: The Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance (ORA) offers great information and resources for small business and permit projects.  Staff members are available to answer any questions related to local and state government regulations. The Small Business Guide is a helpful tool for all phases of business. Contact ORA at 1-800-917-0043 or help@ora.wa.gov

Access Washington: Offers great one-stop shop that includes nearly everything you need, from how to choose a business structure to licensing requirements. Washington State is definitely open for business, and this portal will give you a jump start on getting your business up and running quickly. You may also want to look through their handy Business Roadmap, which is an easy to follow introduction to doing business in Washington State.

 Secretary of State: If the business structure you’ve chosen is a corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership, you will need to register that company with the Office of the Secretary of State first, or have your attorney do it for you. Registration with the Office of the Secretary of State is simple, just be sure to properly plan by using the Washington State Small Business Guide.