Washington Technology Industry Association was started in 1984 by a group of people who felt that they needed a support network in a technology world that was just beginning to take off. WTIA was created with the mission to help Washington technology companies prosper. They’re a nonprofit funded through sponsorship and membership dues. They serve all in the tech industry, from the earliest startup to the big guys. No profit, all mission. They really dig the range!
As an association that has been supporting tech startups for 28 years, they’ve seen a lot of companies succeed and soar, which is what they live for. WTIA has a myriad of resources that support the success of startups:
Feed the Seeds Membership
This is a special offering to newly formed tech companies that provides either free or significantly discounted membership depending on headcount and provides for likewise significantly discounted WTIA event fees. For more information on their Feed the Seeds program contact them via email@example.com.
WTIA Health Trust
This is one of their most highly utilized member benefits, due to the favorable pricing they receive as an aggregator for the tech community. The offering lets even a 2 person company buy the same quality of health insurance that the big guys offer—a critical benefit when competing for tech talent.
This is an event based program currently with 13 communities organized by executive, non-executive and market segments. They get together three times a year to learn about specific industry topics and issues. Events typically involve an interactive discussion with a group of subject matter experts in the topic. There are opportunities for start-ups to host or speak at these events and there is no charge for WTIA members to attend the events. Groups most applicable to startups: gaming, exec women in tech, CTO, sales leadership, marketing, HR, finance & legal, mobile exec. They’re always open to form new groups and welcome suggestions.
They do a lot of events but those of particular interest to startups:
TechConnect is geared around “routes to market” for early stage organizations. This is an opportunity for early stage companies to pitch the buying execs in a global enterprise. Think day-of-match-making for 5-6 early companies that have been vetted by the enterprise through an application process wherein the early companies are responding to tech specs needed by the enterprise. WTIA is the facilitator. Launched in January 2012 with HTC and 6 lucky, and great, early companies of which 2 are now in vendor discussion. WTIA is aiming to run this program four times a yr. They are gearing up for their next one, aiming to be scheduled in the fall.
TechNW is a day-long one track conference that brings iconic speakers to deliver insights into the current and future sector challenges of mobile, ecommerce, cloud computing, gaming etc.
There’s more WTIA offerings that startups can leverage, like the Job Center, the Marketplace for discounted products & services, continuing education and professional development offerings from 4 top drawer organizations at a discount to WTIA members.
The WTIA has open office space, view real estate on Alaskan Way, that will be offered to 2 early stage companies. They’re working on a new community group to appeal to startup concerns and they are more engaged than ever through collaboration with organizations that are in the heart of and service only startup companies, like Alliance of Angels, Surf Incubator, NWEN, StudentRND and of course StartupCity (#shamelessplug).