APRIL 21 (Moscow, Idaho; Pullman, Washington) — The nominations are in and the awardees are selected: Three more organizations will join the ranks of the Entrepreneurs of the Palouse, and with the award receive $1,000 each to continue serving the region.
“The high volume of applicants we received this year indicates that the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well on the Palouse, and that our communities value the contribution of our innovators and small businesses,” said Robin Ohlgren, Palouse Knowledge Corridor co-chair.
Pullman business College Cabs, started by WSU alums Zane Larsen and Rob Borden, won in the Rising Star category. College Cabs started in 2012, offering flat-rate cab services around the Palouse, as well as partnering with organizations and bars to ensure students get home safely. The company has recently expanded to include winery tours.
“Zane and Rob go to dramatic ends to help facilitate the Palouse’s largest tourism events and support all the local causes they can,” nominator Jon Carson wrote. “As young entrepreneurs, these gentlemen work hard in order to realize their dream.”
Sangria Grille, a Latin-inspired fusion restaurant that utilizes local ingredients, won in the Business category. George Skandalos and Carly Lilly co-own the restaurant, which has been in Moscow for more than 10 years. They also co-own Maialina in downtown Moscow and have recently had an expansion proposal accepted by the Moscow Urban Renewal Agency. Sangria Grille sources much of their food locally and pairs with the WSU Organic Farm to offer a $1,000 Farm to Table Scholarship each semester to students who are organic agriculture majors and work on sourcing fruits and vegetables to local restaurants.
“They have made the Palouse a destination for good food,” writes Orin Ford, who nominated Sangria. “I have seen them mentor many young people. They support our community in a variety of ways.”
Palouse-based nonprofit organization Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (ATVP) won in the Non-Profit category. The 35-year-old nonprofit is currently headed by executive director Christine Wall, who has been with ATVP for more than 20 years. ATVP provides 24-hour crisis intervention to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a confidential shelter, and community education. Wall has secured more than $8.5 million in grants for the organization, and averages $25,000 per year in donations, writes nominator Emilie McLarnan.
“ATVP has been able to train hundreds of volunteers who have gained valuable skills they have been able to take with them as they go on to careers in the helping professions. Domestic violence has a tremendously detrimental economic impact on victims, costing them lost work time, medical bills, therapy costs and sometimes legal fees” McLarnan writes.
The Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp aims to foster entrepreneurship and regional connections. The 2015 Bootcamp, which runs June 14-18 in Pullman and Moscow, will prepare individuals for business in three tracks: Health, Technology, and Agriculture. During the five-day, intensive training, entrepreneurs will connect with mentors, business leaders, and business advisers across the Palouse. From crafting a business plan to pitching to investors, the Bootcamp is about getting entrepreneurs off the ground.
The Palouse Knowledge Corridor is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to match innovation with opportunity, promote assets of the Palouse and foster collaborative efforts with universities, private sector, economic development agencies and government.
Robin Fahle Ohlgren
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