Incubator Programs

Taylor Cox of Coxswain Press, Spaceworks Incubator (2021)

Spaceworks is seeking creative entrepreneurs who want to grow a thriving business and make a positive impact in Tacoma. Since 2010, the Spaceworks Incubator has provided relevant and meaningful business training for first-time business owners, ambitious creative professionals, and folks passionate about making Tacoma a great place to live and work. We serve as a training ground to test new ideas, products, and services with a safety net of technical assistance and mentorship.

Business Foundations focuses on the idea phase of business for 4 weeks. Class highlights include understanding the ‘why’ behind your business, setting up your business finances, finding your ideal customer, and developing your vision, mission, and values statements. At the end of this cohort, you will have a clear understanding of your business foundations and the next steps to move forward and make it happen. 
Next start date: February 6, 2024.

*Applications are always open and there is no selection process for the Business Foundations.

The Business Plan Cohort is the backbone of our Incubator and results in a formal business plan. Participants meet once a week for 12 weeks (3 hours/week).

This cohort focuses on those business that have tested their product or service in the market (friends, family, markets, Etsy, brick and mortar, etc.) and have a clear understanding of what they are providing to the customer. At the end of this 12 week cohort, you will have gained the knowledge to successfully run your business, a completed business plan, and will have presented your pitch at your Graduation. 
Next Start date: September 19, 2023 (no class on October 31st)

*Applications are always open and notifications of acceptance will go out September 4, 2023. **Applications received after August 28th will be added to the next round for the following Fall cohort.

Sessions include:
Session 1: Orientation, Expectations, and Alumni Panel

Session 2: Business Foundations, Your “Why”, and Products/Services

Session 3: Business Financials

Session 4: Branding and Culture, Visual Merchandising

Session 5: Defining Your Customer and Competition, Market Analysis, SWOT

Session 6: Marketing in Practice

Session 7: Funding/Financing Opportunities

Session 8: Insurance and Leasing

Session 9: Hiring Employees, HR, and Contracts

Session 10: Growing in Your Community

Session 11: Graduation Presentation Practice and Peer Review

Session 12: Graduation – Class graduation ceremony and presentations followed by Q&A

For Black business owners, we have additional services and programming as part of our commitment to equity in entrepreneurship. This program prepares Black businesses to access future leasing opportunities in Tacoma, with an emphasis on Hilltop. Participants can access all the above incubator benefits, as well as the following:

  • Dedicated bookkeeper (6-months)
  • Marketing and branding consultation
  • Business coaching (emphasis on raising capital)
  • Business district annual membership
  • Black Business Directory membership, in partnership with the Tacoma Urban League
  • Annual Black business demonstration day

For more information about the Black Business Investment, please contact the Property and Business Coordinator:

Acceptance into the Incubator includes several key benefits:

  • $500 stipend for professional business services
  • 6-month trial membership to the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
  • Professional business portrait or product shots
  • Spaceworks alumni meet-up, and events
  • Support for grand-openings and other major milestones
  • Commercial lease support

Note: Completion of the Business Plan Cohort is required to access the full suite of Incubator benefits. If you already have a business plan, you may be eligible to skip the 12-week cohort. Please apply to the incubator and be sure to upload your existing business plan for review in the application.
A comprehensive business plan needs to include detailed information about:

  • Vision, Mission, Values
  • Value Proposition
  • Financial projections (minimum for 1 year out)
  • Previous Financial History (if applicable)
  • Business Structure and Description
  • Product/Service Descriptions and Pricing
  • Ideal Customer or Target Market
  • Marketing Plan
  • Organization or Team Rolls/Description

Questions? Please contact the Business Training Coordinator: