Category Archives: Tech

Poulsbo coworking office will open in 2017

static1-squarespaceA coworking space aimed at serving telecommuters, freelancers and entrepreneurs is slated to open next year in Poulsbo.

Vibe Coworks has leased a 5,300-square-foot space in the top floor of a new commercial building planned on Eighth Avenue, according to a news release.

The building, designed by Rice Fergus Miller, is expected to be completed by Tim Ryan Construction in the fall of 2017.

Poulsbo native Alanna Imbach and her husband, Marcel Imbach, are the creators of Vibe Coworks. They’ll be relocating from New York City to start the business.

“We’d had phenomenal experiences with coworking communities in NYC, and knew the timing was right to bring something like that to Kitsap,” Alanna said in the release.

Vibe Coworks will provide Kitsap residents a flexible alternative to commuting, working from home or working out of coffee shops. The Imbaches believe Seattle-area employers also may be interested purchasing memberships at Vibe for employees who want to live in Kitsap.

The space will feature conference rooms, offices, individual phone/video booths, event space, a balcony, lockers and a coffee shop-style community kitchen, according to the release.

See the Vibe Coworks website for more information.

Poulsbo firm’s software will power state liquor licensing system

palladin_11951299_ver1-0_640_480Post by Nathan Pilling, Kitsap Sun

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board has selected a product from a Poulsbo company to support its licensing and enforcement operations throughout the state.

Paladin Data Systems’ SMARTGOV is a cloud-based product that will manage the state’s alcohol and cannabis permitting and licensing processes.

The system will allow the state to process applications faster, and “empowers applicants to become active participants in the permitting and licensing process, providing all of our citizens with information transparency,” Paladin CEO Jim Nall stated in a release.

The system will allow businesses to apply for permits, upload documents and monitor those applications online.

Liquor and Cannabis Board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter said SMARTGOV will replace the agency’s old, outdated licensing system and will make the permitting process less complex for both state employees and customers.

The agency is expected to begin using SMARTGOV in late 2017, Carpenter said.

Software glitch forced Doctors Clinic shutdown

logoA software glitch disrupted services Monday at The Doctors Clinic facilities.

TDC President Dr. Randall Moeller said a problem with the operating system installed on the group’s servers prevented staff and physicians from booking appointments or accessing medical records.

“It pretty well shut us down,” Moeller said.

Moeller stressed the computer issue was not the result of any hacking activity and no patient information was compromised.

Many doctors still saw patients Monday and took notes on old-fashioned paper.

The Doctors Clinic was operating normally Tuesday.

Concentrix files official layoff notice with state

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Concentrix gave the state official notice Wednesday of plans to close its East Bremerton call center.

As we reported last week, the closure will impact about 500 employees.

concxlogo_business-983x3001The official WARN notice reports 520 positions are being cut, though Concentrix spokeswoman Jyllene Miller told me fewer than 500 people are currently employed at the center.

Miller said the displaced employees will be given priority for “a few hundred” work-at-home jobs Concentrix is hiring for.

The center is slated to close March 4, according to the WARN notice. Concentrix will continue paying employees through March 28.

A team from the local WorkSource office is responding to the call center to provide employees with information about unemployment insurance claims, retraining opportunities and job leads. Kitsap WorkSource Administrator Margaret Hess said a forum for employees is being planned.

This isn’t the only WARN notice being filed by a Kitsap employer this week. We also received word defense contractor BAE Systems will lay off 68 workers in Silverdale by the end of March.

Port launches free Wi-Fi at marinas

marina
Boaters can now surf the web while snug in their slips at the Bremerton and Port Orchard public marinas.

The Port of Bremerton has launched a free Wi-Fi service at both Sinclair Inlet marinas, according to a Monday announcement.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said in the announcement. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable.

The network provides a 125-megabyte-per-second access link shared by both facilities, which can be scaled up to 1 gigabyte-per-second as demand increases.

marina_23283854_ver1.0_640_480The system can accommodate up to 1,000 devices at a time. Service is provided by NW Commnet of Bremerton. 

In an email, Rothlin said the agency spent about $150,000 installing a fiber optic backbone and Wi-Fi system at both marinas.

Hardware chosen for the network had to be especially rugged to survive in the corrosive marine environment.

“I would say the biggest challenges were getting coverage through all parts each marina, dealing with getting coverage within covered moorage, and keeping the connection across the two marinas as the tide goes in and out,” Rothlin said. 

The full announcement, with more technical info, is posted below:  Continue reading

Virginia Mason adds virtual care clinic

VMPatients can now consult with Virginia Mason health professionals face-to-face without leaving home.

The Seattle-based medical group announced the launch of a “virtual care clinic” Wednesday that links providers with patients via video-conferencing. The service is available to both existing and new Virginia Mason patients, according to a news release.

Providers can diagnose ailments, recommend courses of treatment and prescribe medications through the virtual clinic. The cost is $35.

Most insurance plans don’t cover virtual care, though that’s beginning to change. Virginia Mason’s online clinic is not available to Medicaid or Medicare clients.

Virginia Mason joins a growing number of health care groups offering virtual care and telemedicine. CHI Franciscan Health, parent company of Harrison Medical Center, recently opened its virtual urgent care portal to Kitsap County patients. 

Virginia Mason has also expanded services locally with the addition of no-appointment urgent care on Bainbridge Island. 

The website for Virginia Mason Virtual Care Clinic is virginiamason.org/Virtual-Clinic.

Avalara departing Bainbridge by 2016

logo-tagline-extend-FF6600-@2xUpdate: Here’s my story on Avalara’s relocation plans.

Fast-growing tax software firm Avalara will migrate its headquarters from Bainbridge Island to Seattle by early 2016, according to a Tuesday afternoon post on the company’s Facebook page:

Avalara’s next move: exciting yet bittersweet

We are proud to have bucked the odds for 11 years and built a world-class business on Bainbridge Island, which is a huge tribute to our exceptional Kitsap employees and supportive community.

That said, over the past few years it’s become clear that to sustain our growth and our close-knit culture we would need far larger facilities than are available on the island, not to mention better access to the deeper workforce in the Puget Sound region.

Since we are committed to keeping our entire Seattle area team in close proximity every day, today we are sharing our plans to continue expanding our current Seattle location and move our remaining BI workforce and headquarters there between this fall and the first part of 2016.

We are excited to bring our various Seattle area teams closer together and are grateful for the support Bainbridge provided in making this possible.

CoderDojo finds permanent home

CodeDojo_17743908_ver1.0_640_480West Sound CoderDojo, a free computer programing workshop for kids, has landed a permanent home at Western Washington University’s Olympic College center in Poulsbo.

West Sound Technology Association booted up the CoderDojo this spring as a nomadic program, offering courses at different places around the county. The partnership with WWU will give coders a consistent meeting space.

West Sound Coder Dojo’s first class at the WWU center in Poulsbo will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 11. Tickets are free but registration is required.

You can read more about CoderDojo’s move here and find my story about the program here. 

Check the West Sound Technology Association website for information about upcoming classes.

Port of Bremerton lands clean energy startup

The Port of Bremerton has inked a lease agreement with a clean energy company it hopes will power future job growth in Kitsap County.

The tenant is SuperCritical Technologies Inc.,  a 3-year-old startup organized with the modest goal of revolutionizing the energy sector.

“It’s a massive market,” SuperCritical CEO Craig Husa said during a presentation to the port commission Tuesday night. “We’ve got great technology that disrupts that massive market.”

The startup has developed power plants that harness supercritical Co2, rather than traditional steam, to power turbines and generate electricity.

A key advantage of the technology is it’s compact. SuperCritical claims it can produce a 5-megawatt plant small enough to fit in a  40-foot shipping container.

The company’s systems can be used to convert waste heat at industrial facilities into electricity, which can help offset the facility’s power needs.

For now, SuperCritical is a scrappy startup with a tiny team. Its leaders see unlimited potential for growth.

“This is one of the reason’s we’re excited to be here at the Port of Bremerton,” Husa said. “We’ve got great space, we’ve got potential to grow, there’s a potential labor force that’s strong in the area, we’ve got access to shipping… it’s really is an awesome place for us to be.”

All of this was music to the ears of port officials.

“This is something we could see growing really big,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said. “… we talk about trying to find what’s going to be our niche here. This could possibly be our niche… nowhere else has this kind of thing.”

SuperCritical is starting small at the port. The company has agreed to lease a 6,000-square-foot building in Olympic View Industrial Park for $2,880 a month. The initial term is for two years, with the option for 10 two-year extensions.

The port is obligated to install a security fence in January 2016 and upgrade the building’s electrical system. The cost of those improvements is estimated at $53,000.

The full lease agreement is embedded below.

We’ll have a full story on SuperCritical technologies soon. In the meantime, you can read a Puget Sound Business Journal Q&A with company officials here. 

SuperCritical Lease

Avalara’s McFarlane named ‘CEO of the Year’

Bainbridge Island-based Avalara has been making waves lately, and the tech world has taken notice.

News site GeekWire named Avalara executive Scott McFarlane “CEO of the Year” at its 2015 awards ceremony last week.

The site noted the $100 million investment Avalara recently received, which spurred even more growth at the 800-employee business.

According to GeekWire, McFarlane studied economics at Claremont McKenna College in California, and founded a fitness equipment company with his college roommate. He’s been with Avalara since its founding in 2004.

“I might be the luckiest person on earth,” McFarlane said in his acceptance speech. “I have great investors and great Avalarians that bleed orange every single day. This is for you guys.”

Avalara specializes in sales tax compliance software.