Bill Kalivas– Managing Partner at LaunchPad INW, LLC.
I walk across the hall here in the 1889 Building at Main & Stevens to find Bill. The office is empty, his laptop waiting patiently on the desk. “Anybody seen Bill?” Oh, he’s at a meeting. Two hours later I notice his door is slightly open, but a glance through the window and I see he’s on the phone. This guy is networking 24/7, it seems! It’s more than a full-time job running the day-to-day at LaunchPad.
Although LaunchPad recently broke the 5,000 member mark you might not be familiar with it yet– LaunchPad is a professional networking and business development company located here in Spokane, WA. The physical location is 120 North Stevens. And you can find them online at launchpadinw.com. LaunchPad’s focus is to help organizations and individuals achieve their career goals by offering training and workshops that maximize their professional skill-set. Building synergy between business & community leaders and the educational community is another goal of LaunchPad– something Bill feels will bring long-term benefits to the membership.
But how did this all get started? Several years ago Bill was in technology sales, making cold calls in Seattle while based in Spokane. He experienced the difficulty of penetrating a market without strategic relationships. Bill saw the importance of having a network based not only in the town where you are working but also knowing the right people in your chosen industry.
In early 2008 Bill learned about a website platform that supported networking through online communities. With business partner Alan Battle, Bill pushed the idea forward while working out of the Spokane Entrepreneurial Center. They incorporated the LLC in February of 2009 and moved into the Holley Mason building later that year. Membership and awareness continued to grow as they hosted events in the LaunchPad Lounge. In December of 2010 LaunchPad began leasing space in the 1889 Building at Main & Stevens. Now they have a Training Room on the main floor, shared office spaces and workstations on the 3rd floor and a Member’s Lounge in the basement (with art provided by Kent Henderson Photography- shameless plug!)
Bill and his wife enjoy raising their family here in Spokane and Bill is excited to be part of the solution to strengthening Spokane’s economy– “The greatest assets are the people. We need to encourage the entrepreneurs and the innovators. We need to help these people reach their goals.” And LaunchPad is fulfilling Bill’s vision by providing an atmosphere for professional development and networking both online and offline. If you haven’t checked out LaunchPad yet, just visit their website– launchpadinw.com, sign up for a free membership, then look at Events and stop by for a workshop. You will be rewarded with useful information and you will meet other business professionals who are trying to build value into our local economy.
One year Bill’s Hoopfest team had a member bail out for the whole weekend. In spite of having no substitute, the team won all three games on Saturday! Then reality kicked in. On Sunday all the aches and pains caught up to them and they lost two in a row and were done. Ouch!
Spokane Snapshot highlights local business owners and decision-makers and the good work being done by their company. If you know someone who is helping Spokane become a better, more stable place to live and work, e-mail Kent (email@example.com ) with your suggestion!