StartZone Northwest

Based on an award-winning program established by Highline Community College, StartZone Northwest provides accessible and affordable “first step” training, one-on-one consulting and other support to help people start and grow a profitable small business, bringing the simple and effective approaches developed at Highline to communities beyond South King County.

Programs and Services

StartZone Northwest offers a variety of programs and services that introduce entrepreneurship and help launch and grow small businesses.

  • In collaboration with our community college partners, Business ESL offers a unique opportunity for ESL newcomers in our community to learn about entrepreneurship and business while improving their English. StartZone membership is not required to take advantage of this offering.
  • New to the Pacific Northwest, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Mindset Series takes the mystery out of entrepreneurship. Developed by the Entrepreneurship Learning Institute with support from the Kauffman Foundation, and built on a “rigor and relevance” framework, Ice House is an innovative learning program that combines narrated chalkboard presentations with video interviews and case studies featuring modern-day examples of ordinary people who have triumphed over hardship and adversity by embracing an entrepreneurial mindset. Participants are immersed in the entrepreneurial mindset to awaken their “inner-entrepreneur” empowered to explore the possibility of self-employment, business ownership and entrepreneurship as a meaningful path to sustainable livelihoods and community wealth. StartZone membership is not required to take advantage of this offering.
  • Reality Check: Starting a Business Eyes Wide Open is a monthly four-part workshop series that helps new members assess their readiness and the feasibility of their business goals and get to a quick “go-no go” decision. Members who complete the series with a business goal that “pencils out” on paper will have an opportunity to meet with a StartZone Business Specialist for one-on-one consulting.
  • Our Drill Down Sessions help you build on business fundamentals in the areas of marketing, back office operations, and business finance. These workshops are generally offered weekday evenings and many are repeated quarterly. Contact us for details.
  • For members with a viable business goal, our Consulting Services offer one-on-one time with a StartZone Business Specialist focused on developing a start up plan, a marketing plan, a business plan, or finding money for your business.
  • StartZone members participate in MicroMentor to connect to hundreds of professional business mentors across the country for help with business fundamentals as well as industry specific advice.
  • StartZone connects its members to networking opportunities to mix, mingle and meet with other StartZone members as well as local businesses.
  • Referrals - If you need help that is beyond the scope of our program, or if an another program is better able to meet your needs, StartZone will provide you with a referral and a warm hand-off to the appropriate service and make sure the service is completed to your satisfaction.


StartZone Northwest believes in providing reality-based, individualized services to put members on the path to owning a business that can grow and be profitable.

  • Reality Based – We help our members determine early whether or not they are ready to move forward and whether their startup or expansion goals are realistic and feasible. Our assessment tools help members make an early “go-no-go” decision, before they’ve invested a lot of time, energy and money on a business concept that won’t fly.
  • Person-Centered Service – StartZone is not a one-size-fits-all program. Not all of our members need a business plan or are looking for financing for their business. Our members reflect the wide diversity of the community we serve and bring with them challenges that are often culturally-specific. We meet our members where we find them, help them articulate their business goals, and develop a customized work plan designed to help them overcome their specific challenges and move them toward success.
  • Pathway to Growth and Profits– Businesses in the informal economy (that is, businesses that are “cash only under the table”) can work on a small scale but are not bankable and have limited growth and profit potential. We are committed to helping our members build businesses that are formal, bankable and profitable with a solid foundation that can support growth.

Many Paths, All Lead to Your Future

Contact StartZone Northwest

If you have any questions or would like more information about StartZone Northwest, contact us by email or call us at 206.780.6230.

Become a Member

Becoming a member of StartZone Northwest is easy!

  • Submit a completed StartZone Northwest application. The application may be completed below or you can print it out and mail it to us.
  • We will review your application. We will ensure you are eligible, have a business goal that fits our program, and are ready and willing to get to work. After our review, we will contact you to let you know whether or not your application is approved. Typical response time is approximately one week after your application is submitted.
  • If your application is approved, you must attend our intake orientation to learn about StartZone Northwest’s services and complete the enrollment process. Our intake orientations are generally held at the beginning of every month.

Submit your application today and take a step toward your business success!

If you have any questions or would like more information about StartZone Northwest, contact us by email or call us at 206.780.6230.

Contact Information

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Business Information


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