Economic Development and Business Support

Please see the City of Spokane Greater Spokane, Inc., and the U.S. Small Business Administration website for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. 

 

The phrase "innovation district" is a popular moniker for network-building, placemaking, R&D ingenuity, and economic development--a waypoint where entrepreneurs and researchers cross paths, ignite new ideas and bring them to market.

 

In 2007, the Washington Department of Commerce designated The University District as an Innovation Partnership Zone to generate economic growth in sectors such as healthcare, technology, and manufacturing. As such, The University District increasingly attracts a critical mass of exceptional students, faculty, researchers and creative entrepreneurs whose work catalyzes new public-private partnerships, commercialization opportunities, job growth, and overall prosperity.

 

One of the most significant economic development opportunities for the region is Life Sciences Spokane. Led by Greater Spokane Inc., this initiative promotes the nationally competitive, Intermountain Northwest health sciences sector, a billion-dollar industry that is projected to grow to $2.5 billion within ten years. The University District is at the heart of that growth trajectory as the fastest-growing health sciences campus in North America.  

 

Other significant economic development plays in our area are led by Startup SpokaneIgnite, and the new Spinout Space (sp3NW), all of which help launch life science companies, and provide resources, programs and events that support Spokane's entrepreneurs and business ecosystem. Likewise, Toolbox and the McKinstry Innovation Center, are collaborative spaces for manufacturing-. service- and product-based startups. 

 

The University District is proud to be an organizer, along with North Idaho College, of the Northwest Entrepreneur Competition (NEC). The competition is one of the largest, longstanding entrepreneurial events in the Inland Northwest, acting as a catalyst and support program for regional entrepreneurs across the communities of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho to gain feedback, connections, and financial support for their entrepreneurial ventures.
 

The City of Spokane also offers excellent business development incentives to encourage private investment in targeted areas to further economic growth.