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6 Month Startup

Startup Kitsap brings entrepreneurial program to startups in Kitsap County

Startup Kitsap’s 6 Month Startup program drew entrepreneurs from across Kitsap County to its last session, which was held at the beginning of July. Photo courtesy Startup Kitsap

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If there's anything you learn to do well in the military, it's how to see a project through from start to finish. You learn to take your ideas, brainstorm them, formulate a plan and timeline, and then execute. One thing you probably won't learn in the military, though, is how to apply those skills to starting your own business. But that's where 6 Month Startup (6MSU) comes in, an entrepreneurial program designed to help start-up business owners, transitioning veterans, innovators, digital nomads and students learn the ins and outs of starting a successful business in Kitsap County.

"This is a way to work on your business in a friendly community," said Brett Eddy, one of the founders of the business collective and entrepreneurial incubator Startup Kitsap. "You do the homework, but this program is different than college because it's not an academic exercise. You're truly working on your business."

6MSU is just one of several business programs and services offered at Startup Kitsap. The program consists of monthly, in-person meetups between business coaches and entrepreneurs in locations central to Kitsap County residents. Topics covered in the program include fleshing out ideas and confirming their worth as business endeavors, finding potential cofounders and investors, structuring corporate goals, and learning the basic processes and workflows to stimulate innovation.

"Entrepreneurship is robust and alive," said Eddy, who has over 20 years of experience in software development, technology leadership and business development. "A huge number of startups are starting, but startups themselves are a tough way to learn how to conduct business. Eight out of 10 startups fail. However, startup development and its ecosystem create talents and skills that are vetted in the real world ... When you build a company, you're improving the economy and developing a skillset that's leverageable in whatever you decide to do professionally. That's what we're all about."

Although 6MSU launched in Kitsap County only five months ago, the program was founded by Seattle-based business mentor, five-time startup founder and Code Fellows CEO Dave Parker. With the help of Parker, Startup Kitsap co-led a cohort of 6MSU in Seattle, then went on to lead its own cohort in Kitsap County earlier this month.

"We've been shadowing Dave through the 6MSU program," said Eddy. "He has a wealth of knowledge and he's been incredibly generous with his time and materials."

The current 6MSU cohort in Kitsap County is led by Eddy.

"Kitsap is unique in that we have so many talented servicemembers who come here, love it here, but then get out and have to ask themselves, ‘what am I going to do now?' So, if those individuals are wondering what it takes to start a business and develop an idea, then this program is ideal. They'll be amongst friends and colleagues who have their own ideas, and they'll actually get to work on their business," said Eddy.

Even though the current 6MSU cohort began earlier this month, those interested in participating need not wait until another begins. Entrepreneurs can "jump" into a program and participate in the remaining, scheduled meetups so long as they complete work from previous sessions. At each session, dinner and drinks are included in the program fee.  

"If you're a servicemember with an idea or any desire to explore what it means to have a startup, then this is a great program for you ... You just have to be entrepreneurially minded and desire to be your own boss. Servicemembers have that, although they may not have the practical or business skills they need. But, if you have good intention and a good work ethic, you can get a lot out of this program."

6 Month Startup, 6:30-9:30 p.m., monthly, July-December 2018, location varies based on participant registration, $20-$35 per session,

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