Puget Sound Region Tech Leaders Launch First Peer-to-Peer Leadership Network for the Innovation Economy

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The first peer-to-peer leadership network focused on executives of innovation and technology growth companies is launching in the Seattle region - iInnovate Leadership Network.

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ilnnovate Leadership Network supports unique challenges that CEOs, Presidents, Founders, and other Chief Operating Officers of innovation and technology-enabled businesses face as they grow their companies.

The first peer-to-peer leadership network focused on executives of innovation and technology growth companies is launching in the Seattle region. Supported by top Seattle area technology leaders, the iInnovate Leadership Network, is led by veteran tech entrepreneur, investor, and management consultant, Randall “Joe” Ottinger.

The idea for iInnovate came out of a study of the Puget Sound Tech Ecosystem that Ottinger conducted with students from University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. iInnovate focuses on companies scaling their businesses, and compliments incubators, accelerators, and Angel networks whose emphasis is primarily on start-ups.

“I founded the ilnnovate Leadership Network to support the unique challenges that CEOs, Presidents, Founders, and other Chief Operating Officers of innovation and technology-enabled businesses face as they grow their companies. I have benefitted from being part of a CEO network where I could be completely open and honest about the challenges of my business. However, the network I joined did not benefit me much as a technology business leader, which led to the idea of iInnovate. I believe it will be a game changer for technology business leaders, and for communities that want to see new businesses grow and succeed,” said Ottinger.

iInnovate is supported by a world-class advisory board of leaders in the Puget Sound, that includes:

  • Chris Ackerley, co-founder and Managing Director of Ackerley Partners, LLC, private investment company focused on the media and entertainment sectors, angel investor, and board member of multiple tech organizations
  • Arthur J. Buerk, Co-Founder, UW Foster School for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Vikram Jandhyala, Vice President of Innovation Strategy and Executive Director of CoMotion at the University of Washington
  • Ralph Pascualy, Chief Executive of Swedish Medical Group and Vice President, Chief Executive of Care Transformation for Swedish Health Systems
  • Heather Redman, Chair Elect of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of WTIA and 9 Mile Labs, and Angel investor
  • Michael Schutzler, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association
  • Craig Sherman, Partner at Wilson Sonsini
  • Karl Triebes, former F5 Chief Technical Officer and EVP of Products

“As a CEO, I have experienced directly the power of group peer mentoring. As an executive coach, I’ve witnessed the outcomes that are made possible by a more private effort. It’s an honor to help iInnovate build better leaders through peer mentoring and private coaching,” says WTIA CEO Michael Schutzler.

To qualify for membership in ilnnovate members must be the CEO, founder, President, or COO of a technology-enabled company that has raised enough money to grow and scale its company.

“Serving as CEO of a private technology company can be one of the loneliest jobs around – iInnovate offers a unique opportunity for executives to confidentially share with and support each other,” added Wilson Sonsini Partner Craig Sherman.

During the last 20 years, the Puget Sound region has grown from an aerospace innovation leader thanks to Boeing, to a diverse technology community with next-generation technology leaders such as Microsoft and Amazon, and healthcare leaders such as Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the Institute for Systems Biology. In addition, bolstered by the University of Washington, Puget Sound has also built a top tier startup community with the likes of accelerators such as Techstars, 9MileLabs, and UW’s Comotion incubator.

With all of its success, however, less than 10% of the 14,000 technology companies in Washington State have more than 20 employees. While there have been notable home grown successes such as F5 Networks, Zillow, and Expedia, which have gone public, there is an opportunity to help more tech companies grow and scale, which is the mission of iInnovate.

“Seattle has so much talent but it is very hard anywhere to build a great network to support the successful leap from great team and great product to great business. iInnovate aims to create that network in a highly effective and scalable way. I’m really pleased that Seattle is the birthplace of this great effort,” said Heather Redman, Chair-Elect of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

iInnovate helps members grow successful businesses through a combination of professionally moderated forum groups, coaching, and a business support network. Forum groups of up to 14 tech leaders are led by “iLeaders”, who are experienced tech business leaders, facilitators and coaches. They help to create the environment for members to learn from each other and knowledge experts.

Ottinger envisions the mission of iInnovate as broader than building a network for tech entrepreneurs, and believes that by helping entrepreneurial business leaders he can improve communities and the lives of stakeholders where they work and live. Ottinger expands on this topic in his recently published book about entrepreneurship and the innovation economy, called iInnovate – A guide for engaging in the innovation economy.

About ilnnovate Leadership Network
Based in Seattle, Washington iInnovate is a C-Level peer-to-peer network for business innovators and tech entrepreneurs. Its purpose it to help members grow successful businesses through a combination of professionally moderated forum groups, education, and a business support network that creates opportunities for members to learn from each other, professional coaches, and knowledge experts. Founder and CEO Randy Ottinger is a technology entrepreneur, author, and thought leader in the areas of business leadership and innovation. He has advised CEOs and facilitated CEO groups for over 20 years.

For more information contact: Melissa Milburn, melissa(at)iInnovateNetwork(dot)com and please visit http://iInnovateNetwork.com.

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Melissa Milburn
@RJoeOttinger
since: 01/2012
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