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With its affordable office space, top talent, vibrant lifestyle, and business support resources, Tacoma is the perfect place to launch your startup.

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Featured Success Story – Namatad's Mission: Saving Lives

Founded out of CEO Dr. Matt Tolentino’s research at the University of Washington Tacoma, Namatad, Inc. is agile, forward-thinking, and dedicated to its mission to inform, connect, and protect those who protect us all.

The Tacoma-based startup’s journey began after a conversation with Tacoma Fire led the Namatad team to apply their work to helping Tacoma’s firefighters orient themselves within buildings that lacked GPS and cell signals. The culmination of that effort is Namatad’s innovative FIREFLY Platform, which integrates location accountability, environmental sensing, and real-time analytics to increase situational awareness and operational accountability, and, ultimately, to keep personnel safe in the line of duty. Continuing grant awards from the Department of Defense have allowed Namatad’s FIREFLY to further evolve and become adapted for use by U.S. Special Forces teams. More recently, Namatad has expanded the FIREFLY platform to assist in mining, wildfire, and space operations.

Namatad has also developed CANAIRY — an exposure accountability system created specifically to track on-scene environmental conditions and detect dangerous hazardous gases that threaten personnel health and safety. CANAIRY provides a logged record of exposure and can be integrated into the FIREFLY Platform, used as a stand-alone system, or as a personal device. The team is currently testing CANAIRY for use in wildfire operations with Scappoose Rural Fire Protection District in Oregon.

From the beginning, Namatad’s entire team has been based in Downtown Tacoma and they credit Tacoma’s thriving startup culture for their continuing success. “Tacoma has a vibrant and constantly evolving tech community,” the team said. “We have received incredible support from the community, not only from the University of Washington Tacoma, but also the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Fire Department, the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, Washington Maritime Blue, and many others.” For more information on Namatad visit

Building Ecosystems of Opportunity

Tacoma’s proximity to large military bases and longstanding collaborative and entreprenuerial culture supported by the city’s several higher learning institutions, creates a rich environment for startups of all kinds.  The city houses several incubators including those targeted towards creative, bioscience, maritime/marine, minority business, internet of things, and makers among others.

Connect with Other Startups

Tacoma’s close-knit, collaborative community is one of its biggest attractions for employers. Plus, Tacoma is ideally located in between two of the fastest growing startup cities in the US: Portland and Seattle; this allows new startups to easily connect with fellow entrepreneurs and investors, learn the ropes, and recruit the right team. From hackathons, to startup weekends, to pitch fests, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other startups, find investors, and connect with customers. Startup 253 provides valuable connections and networking opportunities for the startup community.

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Find Space, Network, and Innovate

Tacoma is a vital place for creative and tech-based startups. Our city center is the heart of a thriving startup network supported by a host of co-working spaces and incubators.


We have assembled a resource directory of current spaces for your convenience. Click here to see Startup Resources.


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Find Affordable Real Estate

Tacoma offers high-quality, competitively-priced real estate throughout the city, so whether you’re looking for a high-rise office space, downtown storefront, or industrial warehouse, Tacoma has it. Tacoma also offers a myriad of coworking spaces and incubators that allow entrepreneurs and freelancers to rent office space and network. Check out our user-friendly real estate tool to find the right office or property for you.

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Join Forces with Higher Education

The University of Washington Tacoma, located in the heart of downtown, offers training programs, internships, and networking events that are perfect for startups wanting to connect with the community. Attend lectures featuring world-renowned industry experts, hire a capstone student researching the latest technologies, or connect with the Milgard School of Business to meet industry experts and faculty. UW Tacoma offers programs and experts in cybersecurity, healthcare, computer science, finance, insurance, urban planning, and more. Learn more about Tacoma’s higher-educational institutions.

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Get Free Business Guidance

Whether you’re starting a new tech company or launching a new brewery, City of Tacoma staff can help. They’ll walk you through the key steps of starting your business, including licensing requirements, researching your target market, and more. You can also get started by downloading our startup business checklists here.

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