Newly rebranded StartUp Skagit Valley postponed due to COVID-19 spread concerns

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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MOUNT VERNON – The latest StartUp Skagit Valley course has been postponed due to concerns of the spread of COVID-19, the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship announced Tuesday.

The course will resume May 5 at EDASC. It will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 21.

The current cohort has already met twice. The class was originally set to run March 3 to 31, said Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship Executive Director Mike Skinner.

“We are off to a good start, and the StartUp team and volunteers are as excited as ever to have an opportunity to contribute to your success,” stated Skinner in the announcement. “Let’s stick together through this rough patch and get back at it in May even more resolved to build strong, healthy, sustainable and resilient communities in the Skagit Valley.”

StartUp Skagit Valley, previously known as StartUp Sedro-Woolley, had made a few changes for this most recent cohort, including changing its home base to EDASC in Mount Vernon.

The changes were made in response to increased demand for the program after its successful start in Sedro-Woolley.

“After we started the program in 2019, we started hearing from folks across Skagit County that wanted to come on board and help,” Skinner said. “This gradual expansion of the program is exactly what we want.”

StartUp Skagit Valley is a program of the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship in partnership with EDASC, the Sedro-Woolley Downtown Association, SBDC, the Mount Vernon Downtown Association and the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce.

The program’s current cohort also has a different makeup than past ones: most of the aspiring entrepreneurs are millennials.

“This is a younger group and they are so far engaging and fun to work with,” Skinner said.

Looking at the bigger picture, Skinner said he is pleased with how StartUp Skagit Valley fits within the county’s current business support system, serving as an on-ramp program for startup businesses, filling a previously unmet gap.

 “We intentionally want our grads to be successful enough to hand them off to support services like those offered by SBDC, which are designed to support existing small businesses,” Skinner said.

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