Some Pre-SEED Benchmarks

On a Jan. 21 story on Kitsap SEED, (It ran on page A1. For the benefit of one of our loyal [And by “loyal” I mean a commenter to be named later who seems to me to have the impression that we’re the offspring of Al Franken.] readers I’ve provided proof.) in which we wrote about port commissioner Larry Stokes’ unanswered questions, the commenter dubbed “BlueLight” again raised questions about a contract between the port and SEED’s chief consultant, Tim Botkin.

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They were decent questions, though I would say they were better questions before we answered them in a earlier blog post here in September. We answered them on the blog, because that’s where BlueLight had asked them previously. He read the entry and commented on it, but thought it worth asking again. Actually, BlueLight is right to follow up on it, but there’s little mention that we had asked about and answered it before.

Meeting the benchmarks BlueLight mentions, which are in Botkin’s contract, depend first of all on the Olympic View Business Park building being finished the month before the deadline, which it wasn’t.

The contract calls for a SEED-like tenant to be in the new building in the Olympic View Business Park within a month of its completion. The contract states:

Lease agreement executed no later than August 1, 2007 for the first “SEED” like tenant in OVBP # 1

While it wasn’t complete on Aug. 1, Tim Thomson, the port’s chief operating officer, said the fire marshal was scheduled to inspect the building Friday and landscaping was beginning. Port officials were hoping the building would be available for occupancy in early March.

For those of you scoring at home, that means the 30-day benchmark countdown would begin when the doors open.

Thomson said the port is in negotiation with two SEED-like companies, both of which could occupy the building and still leave room for others. One of them is in the pre-production phase of its business, meaning if the commercialization center (It was formerly referred to as the “incubator,” but was relabeled for political reasons. Botkin said a state study on business incubators included programs that offered no business consultation, something SEED proposes to provide.) were open it would be a good candidate for that site.

The other business could be ready to produce an actual product soon. Both companies are in the clean technology business, Thomson said.

Should the deals get made, it would mean Botkin would have met that benchmark. In the previous post the port held “benchmark” as more of a goal than a strict requirement. In theory it allows the port to terminate the contract if it believes Botkin’s progress has not been satisfactory. But it allows for some wiggle room if there has been clear progress.

In the same story referenced above, we named a company that was interested in the SEED site.

Scott Reynvaan, president of the Bainbridge Island startup clean-energy company In The Works, said his company is interested in locating on the SEED site. He said he was impressed with the commitment of the majority of local elected officials so far and said the best support a fledgling company can get is the kind of business advisement and lab space that will be part of SEED’s incubator pod.

He said lack of public interest from other would-be SEED tenants is not based on the merits of the idea. “I think, to be fair, it hasn’t properly been marketed,” Reynvaan said.

I don’t know the names of the companies negotiating for the business park space. I also don’t know what kind of progress has been made on the benchmark for a client in the industrial park.

The port meets Tuesday, and Kitsap SEED is on the agenda, as it probably will be at every meeting for some time to come.

5 thoughts on “Some Pre-SEED Benchmarks

  1. Would be interesting to know if the building now has an occupied tenant (the article said “early March”). It is now late March.

    Have either of these two companies signed contracts?

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  2. This post constitutes an attack?

    I answered your question — again — updated it and added one question that I hadn’t answered.

    Sure, I teased you a little for asking again a question that we already answered. Then I updated the answer and conceded that it was worth asking again. If that constitutes an attack, then yes, we are attacking our blog participants.

  3. Steve,

    Can you see if you can get an update? I’ll even put up with an attack in the process.

    (smile)

    Seriously, I didn’t see the blog as an attack on Bluelight. In fact I find it cool that reader comments are generating follow-up by reporters.

    Ah, the mighty power of the pen (keyboard?) these days.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

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