Participants in 2018’s Startup Week gather at the Yoga Yurt in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Pamela Parker)

Participants in 2018’s Startup Week gather at the Yoga Yurt in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Pamela Parker)

Startup week to provide tools for local entrepreneurs

“It reminds you why you’re doing the whole entrepreneurship thing in the first place.”

Beginning Sunday, the cities of Kenai and Soldotna will participate in Techstars Alaska Startup Week, a weeklong series of events aimed at promoting small businesses and entrepreneurship.

Pamela Parker, owner of Everything Bagels in Soldotna, is one of the co-chairs for Alaska Startup Week and said that the series of events are great for providing entrepreneurs the tools they need to turn their dreams into a reality. Plus, Parker said, some of the events are just a lot of fun.

“You get this feeling being in a room with other movers and shakers that you just want to go out and do something!” Parker said. “It reminds you why you’re doing the whole entrepreneurship thing in the first place.”

To kick off Startup Week on the peninsula, an “Idea Launch” will be taking place Sunday, Nov. 17 at Addie Camp in Soldotna. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., aspiring entrepreneurs can stop in and speak to business mentors from the community about how they can explore and expand their business ideas. Appetizers and refreshments will be available.

To “Jump into Startup Week,” the Kenai Young Professionals will be hosting an “adults only” night at Jumpin’ Junction on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna on Monday, Nov. 18. From 7 to 9 p.m., attendees will have full use of the building, which features mini-golf, a Velcro wall, and a new virtual reality system. Everyone 18 and older is welcome. The cost is $20 per person, payable online through the Kenai Chamber of Commerce or in cash at the door. Socks are needed to use the bounce equipment and athletic shoes are required for the VR system.

Also on Monday, Nov. 18, the Alaska Small Business Development Center will be hosting a workshop on starting a business. The workshop will focus on the topics of business licensing, record-keeping, hiring, planning, legal forms of business and access to financing. The workshop will be at the SBDC office on Kalifornsky Beach Road at 2 p.m., and attendees can register ahead of time at the SBDC website.

During lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 19, Soldotna Speakers will be hosting a one-hour workshop on effective communication. Starting at noon, anyone interested will have the opportunity to expand their public presentation skills and develop effective communication skills in the upstairs conference room of Peninsula Community Health Services in Soldotna. Anyone who is interested can contact Stephanie Lambe at Stephanie.lambe@akcpas.com.

Later that evening, current and future business owners can join City of Kenai staff at the Main Street Tap and Grill for “Policy with a Pint.” From 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, there will be a facilitated discussion on how the City of Kenai can support entrepreneurs and business through government policies.

On Wednesday, budding entrepreneurs can attend “Cannabis for Dummies,” where presenters will provide information on the legal cannabis marketplace in Alaska. The event will be in the old Kelsi’s Kloset next to East Rip in Soldotna from 5 to 8 p.m.

On Thursday, Kenai Kombucha will be teaming up with KeyBank for “Banking and Booch.” The event will be a “deep dive” into the importance of marketing at every stage of starting and running a business. Devon Gonzalez, owner of Kenai Kombucha and local lead for Alaska Startup Week, said that KeyBank helped her and her husband with all of the financial aspects of starting their business and was thankful for their partnership in the event. The event will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. at the KeyBank in Kenai.

Thursday evening, Kenai Joe’s Taphouse will be hosting “Networking on Tap.” From 5 to 8 p.m., several rounds of “speed-networking” will take place followed by casual mingling with fellow entrepreneurs.

Friday morning, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Dry Bones in Kenai, representatives from the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District will host an Entrepreneur Pitch Workshop. The event is described as a casual sharing of ideas, and KPEDD staff will be on hand to provide consultation and answer questions about starting a new business.

Immediately after the pitch workshop at Dry Bones, attendees can head over to KeyBank for a presentation on “Building Your Brand.” The presentation will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and will focus on small-business marketing.

The grand finale of Startup Week will be a Shark Tank-style event called “Spark Soldotna.” Local entrepreneurs will be presenting their ideas to a panel of five local community members and business owners with the hopes of winning a $4,000 scholarship through the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce. The public is invited to watch the competition, which will take place at The Catch restaurant in Soldotna starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and include dinner.

For more information about Startup Week in Kenai and Soldotna, visit their Facebook Page.

Participants in 2018’s Startup Week attend a finance panel at the Soldotna Library in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Pamela Parker)

Participants in 2018’s Startup Week attend a finance panel at the Soldotna Library in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Pamela Parker)

More in News

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen, right, participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee talks purpose of potential change, possible calendar

The change could help curb costs on things like substitutes, according to district estimates

A studded tire is attached to a very cool car in the parking lot of the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Studded tire removal deadline extended

A 15-day extension was issued via emergency order for communities above the 60 degrees latitude line

A sign for Peninsula Community Health Services stands outside their facility in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
PCHS to pursue Nikiski expansion, moves to meet other community needs

PCHS is a private, nonprofit organization that provides access to health care to anyone in the community

Jordan Chilson votes in favor of an ordinance he sponsored seeking equitable access to baby changing tables during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna OKs ordinance seeking to increase access to baby changing tables

The ordinance requires all newly constructed or renovated city-owned and operated facilities to include changing tables installed in both men’s and women’s restrooms

Joel Caldwell shows off the new Tecnam Traveller on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. Kenai Aviation has since added two more Tecnam Travellers to its fleet. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Aviation adds 3rd plane to commuter service, readies for busy summer schedule

Kenai Aviation plans to increase its schedule to include 18 flights a day running seven days a week

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Kelley Cizek, right, speaks as Jason Tauriainen, Patti Truesdell and Penny Vadla listen during a special meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s school board in Soldotna on Monday.
‘They deserve better than this’

School board passes budget with broad swath of cuts, including pools, theaters and some support staff

The Alaska State Capitol on Friday, March 1, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska House passes budget with roughly $2,275 payments to residents, bill goes to Senate

The bill also includes a roughly $175 million, one-time increase in aid to school districts that would be paid according to a funding formula

The Kenai River flows near Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The Riverfront Redevelopment project will impact much of Soldotna’s riverside areas downstream to the bridge. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna riverfront redevelopment planning moves forward

Soldotna City Council on Monday unanimously approved the creation of a project manager to shepherd the Riverfront Redevelopment Project

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Corey Cannon, who plays baseball as part of Soldotna Little League, speaks to the Soldotna City Council during their meeting in Soldotna on Wednesday.
Soldotna Little League receives donation for facility repairs

The city owns the fields, but the Little League leases the land and is responsible for the maintenance of the facilities

Most Read