Startup425 has partnered with Bellevue College’s Tombolo Institute to offer Startup425 Innovation Lab, an intensive, seven-week program designed to help existing businesses and entrepreneurs interested in starting a business to acquire new knowledge and adapt to the changed economic environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It consists of seven weekly modules delivered online, required homework, and peer-to-peer interaction. The program has a customized approach that is designed to meet the unique needs of the cohort of participating businesses by conducting a comprehensive assessment of and addressing the pain points that each is experiencing. The course instructor, Professor Leslie Lum, has over twenty years of experience at Bellevue College and is a published author of Multicultural Marketing and Business Consulting, one of whose co-authors includes UW Foster School’s Michael Verchot. She will be assisted by a group of local expert business advisors and mentors who will be available to provide their insights and expertise and connections to the Eastside business ecosystem.

The topics covered are:

  • Becoming an Entrepreneur
  • Customer Journey
  • Product, Promotion, Channel, and Price
  • Legal, Source of Capital, Strategy & Metrics
  • Value Analysis
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Recruiting & Retaining Teams, Leadership

Click here to view an informational video about the program.

Dates and Application Procedure

This exciting new program will take place in October 2021 on the following dates:

  • Saturday, October 2
  • Thursday, October 7
  • Saturday, October 16
  • Thursday, October 21
  • Saturday, October 23 in conjunction with Boost Your Business

Space is limited and admission is selective.  The application process will open soon.  In the meantime, please contact if you have questions.

Interested in being a Mentor for the Innovation Lab  

Startup425 is looking for volunteers interested in becoming mentors for the Innovation Lab, an intensive program, delivered virtually and designed to help existing Eastside businesses that have advanced beyond the pre-revenue stage to acquire new knowledge and adapt to the changing economic environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mentors are experienced Eastside business owners and managers. One or more mentors will be assigned to each participating business and can assist during the course and beyond. Their role will be to help the participants stay on task, offer feedback on homework assignments, and provide general guidance and networking opportunities based on their own business experience. The mentor is expected to attend an orientation and also, follow the business and continue to help them for at least six months beyond the Innovation Lab.

To apply, please click here.

Please note: this link will take you to a City of Kirkland site.