Leading Organizations in the Pacific Northwest Sign MOU for Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network, a Partnership to Fuel Innovation

New partnership among British Columbia, Washington and Oregon boosts innovation by introducing startups to cross-border funding and collaboration opportunities

SEATTLE, Dec. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, nearly 50 organizations in the Pacific Northwest convened at Cambia Grove in Seattle to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network, a partnership of incubators, accelerators, universities, investors and industry associations that have pledged to work collaboratively in support of entrepreneurs and researchers across British Columbia, Washington state and Oregon. The Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network will initially focus on the Life Sciences, Information Technology, and CleanTech industries, then expand to include other sectors in the future.  

“In line with the Government of Canada’s mandate to foster international partnerships in science, technology and innovation, the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle led the development of the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network as a springboard from which to launch new strategic and regionally-focused initiatives targeted at entrepreneurs, innovators, and academic researchers in the Pacific Northwest,” said Lewis Coughlin, Consul & Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada in Seattle.

The Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network MOU does not replace, but rather fully supports the innovation partnership that began in September 2016, when the State of Washington and Province of British Columbia entered into a memorandum of understanding calling for increased collaboration in cultivating the development of a regional innovation zone known as the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. In September 2017, the Corridor was extended to include Oregon.

"Oregon's universities, business associations, incubators and signature research centers are honored to join the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network to advance regional innovation and collaboration,” said Erin Flynn, Associate Vice President for Strategic Partnership, Portland State University; Chair, Oregon Innovation Council. “Our state's innovation ecosystem in clean technology and life sciences has grown dramatically over the past decade due to stakeholder commitment, collaboration and investment. It is an ideal time to join forces with our partners in Washington and British Columbia to put the Pacific Northwest region on the global innovation map."

Consistent with the initial vision for the Corridor, the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network was launched to nurture the mutual spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship between private, non-profit and research entities within British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, and bring them closer together to compete as one economic region on the global scale.

“The Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network holds great potential for tech innovation: connecting research, industry, academia and investment across the Pacific Northwest,” said Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “The Government of B.C. fully supports this significant agreement. By working together towards shared goals, our regions can create a powerful innovation economy that benefits from local talent and entrepreneurship.”

Key goals of the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network will focus on innovation implementation and commercialization, to include activities such as:

  • Identifying innovations ready, or nearly ready, for commercialization
  • Introducing innovators to cross-border funding and support opportunities
  • Facilitating cross-border trade and collaboration for innovators
  • Redirecting non-commercial-ready innovations to research organizations
  • Sharing activities such as workshops, seminars and other educational and networking events

“The Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network celebrates the region’s shared interests and talents, strengthening our individual voices by speaking as one region,” said Maura Little, Executive Director, Cambia Grove. “We’re proud to be a founding member of this partnership which will broaden the collaborative foundation of the Cambia Grove. Our mission is to build community and foster solutions that will create a more person-focused, economically sustainable health care system. We look forward to working across our borders to create a stronger ecosystem for innovation.”

The signatories of the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network MOU are as follows,

Washington State, USA

  • Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
  • Alliance of Angels
  • Cambia Health Solutions (a.k.a.) Cambia Grove
  • Cancer Research And Biostatistics (CRAB)
  • CleanTech Alliance
  • Flying Fish Partners
  • E8 Angels (Cleantech Angels)
  • Life Science Washington
  • Life Science Washington Institute
  • Liquid Capital Northwest
  • Readiness Acceleration Innovation Network
  • SURF Incubator
  • Technology Alliance Group for NW Washington (TAG)
  • University of Washington (UW)
  • Voyager Capital
  • Washington State University (WSU)
  • Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA)
  • Western Washington University (WWU)
  • WINGS – The Medical Technology Angels

Oregon State, USA

  • Oregon BEST
  • Oregon Bioscience Association
  • Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN)
  • Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU)
  • Oregon State University
  • Oregon Translational Research & Development Institute (OTRADI)
  • Portland State University (PSU)
  • Technology Association of Oregon (TAO)
  • University of Oregon
  • Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI)
  • Oregon RAIN (Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network)
  • Willamette Angels


British Columbia, Canada

  • Accelerate Okanagan
  • Accel-Rx (Health Science Accelerator)
  • British Columbia Cancer Agency Branch
  • BC Innovation Council
  • BC Tech Association
  • Cascadia Venture Forum
  • Espresso Capital
  • Foresight CleanTech Accelerator
  • Kensington Capital Partners
  • Innovation Boulevard Society (BC Health Tech Accelerator)
  • Life Sciences BC
  • Mitacs
  • New Ventures BC
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Victoria Innovation, Advanced Tech & Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC)
  • Wavefront


About Cambia Grove

The Cambia Grove is a health care-focused hub where northwest innovators and entrepreneurs can convene and catalyze new solutions. We offer a shared space for the region’s emerging health care economic cluster where a host of stakeholders set aside competition in favor of true collaboration toward the shared goals of better health and a more sustainable system. To learn more, visit us at CambiaGrove.com or on Twitter.

About Cambia Health Solutions

Cambia Health Solutions, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is dedicated to transforming health care. We put people at the heart of everything we do as we work to make the health care system more economically-sustainable and efficient for people and their families. Our company reaches more than 70 million Americans nationwide, including more than two million people in the Pacific Northwest who are enrolled in our regional health plans. To learn more, visit us at CambiaHealth.com or on Twitter.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c18c2155-46b0-43c3-be02-43cbdd71c42c


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5bfd2fe8-02da-42e3-aa52-96731d828a1f

Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network

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