Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join Now
Site Search
President's Corner
Blog Home All Blogs
Bellevue Chamber President & CEO Betty Capestany shares insights from her vantage point as head of Bellevue's premier business organization.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: connections  entrepreneurial  technology  business awards  business showcase  congestion  digital economy  education  entrepreneurs  HOT lanes  Interstate 405  marketing  social media  tech revolution  traffic  trends 

It's Been an Honor and a Privilege

Posted By Betty Capestany, Monday, July 2, 2018
Over 17 years ago I accepted the position as President & CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. What an honor and pleasure it has been to work with amazing community leaders to transform our community and the Eastside region through two economic cycles. Bellevue has gone from “holes in the ground” to one of the most vibrant cities in the country. As I pause and reflect on these years, it is working with leaders like you to build community and economic prosperity that bring me the greatest joy. To work with and learn from the best of the best has been so very rewarding. My greatest inspiration has come from connecting leaders to possibilities and opportunities.

It has been my privilege to work with tremendous Board Chairs: Joan Wallace, Randy Bannecker, Kathy Lombardo, Gregg Jordshaugen, John Valaas, Dean Rebhuhn, Chris Falco, Craig Foreman, Greg Krape, Earl Overstreet, Janet Ray, Ron Smith, Tom Sulewski, Gary Guenther, Tanya Fraioli, Dave Masin and Jim Hill as well as hundreds of Board of Directors and volunteers. Their passion and commitment to the entrepreneurial marketplace and the community has been my inspiration as collectively we have accomplished amazing things. 

In the last 17 years Bellevue has transformed from largely FIRES (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Services) sectors to IT/Technology as our fastest growing job cluster. During this time, the technologies that Microsoft, Amazon and others have created go from being an “out there crazy idea” to everyday applications for our traditional businesses.  Bellevue has attracted wickedly smart talent from all over the world to become a global city. We’ve also been blessed by the great foresight of our community leaders that has led to investments in our educational institutions as well as transportation infrastructure and kept our City focused on the value that jobs and economic prosperity bring to our employment base and residents. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many efforts in the pipeline that I know Bellevue will continue to prosper and be a strong regional leader. I look forward to celebrating in your continued success. 

While this is a very bittersweet moment for me since I have truly enjoyed working with all of you. I am embarking on a new adventure as Economic Development Director for Pierce County. In this new role, I will have the opportunity to continue our work on larger regional strategies of attracting and retaining talent as well as transportation and other infrastructure issues. Until we meet again!
 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Not-So-Trivial Pursuit of Knowledge

Posted By Betty Nokes Capestany, Wednesday, June 27, 2018

We opened our 17th Annual Eastside Leadership Conference last week with a fun trivia game to test our knowledge about driverless cars, blockchain, and space exploration. What we discovered is we knew much more about these and other topics by the end of the day! 

Over 400 business and civic leaders gathered at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond and the buzz was tangible. The conversations that occur when you have established corporate citizens, techies and brick ‘n mortar companies all under one roof (view the photo gallery to see who was there) really are game changers. They help us all understand how to respond to what’s on the horizon.

The Conference is a unique opportunity that takes tech talks and innovations to business leaders in a manner that is readily understood. The techie event for traditional companies – it is the melding of science, technology and the extremely bright people transforming how business gets done. Companies get an inside look at some of the disruptive forces that are creating change and the next opportunities for economic growth.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight some of the trends, companies, and topics we explored this year including digital transformation, blockchain, robotic manufacturing of mini organs, earthquake early warnings, and Mars Rover exploration. 

I’d also like to give a special shout out to our Sponsors that made this event so successful! They are tops in their industries and have the entrepreneurial mindset needed to respond to our changing marketplace. They are also great contributors to the vibrancy of our community.

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Bellevue - A Place for Great Corporate Culture & Smart Ideas

Posted By Betty Capestany, Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The City of Bellevue has a great corporate culture which has attracted a diverse portfolio of businesses. From start-ups to enterprise companies across an array of industries. These companies bring jobs - the total number greater that than the number of people that live in the City. These jobs have also led to an amazing number of corporate and regional headquarter companies.

As a Chamber of Commerce we celebrate all of our businesses who collectively make Bellevue a great community that attracts talent and investments and enhances our quality of life. We get extra excited to see that Smartsheet, a company that was launched in 2005, continue to grow its HQ in Bellevue while having a global portfolio of customers. On April 27th President and CEO Mark Mader proudly rang The Opening Bell on Wall Street as the company went public. We are also extremely proud to be the center of amazing technologies, the home of wireless, and to have corporate Headquarter Company T-Mobile announce their pending merger with Sprint. We applaud their continued investment in Bellevue as their corporate home.

Also, a shout out to the King County Library System and the Bellevue Branch launch of ideaX, a great community makerspace. From electronics to robotics and coding that “inspires you to create awesome in the world." We look forward to championing and advancing entrepreneurial success stories. Email your story to staffteam@bellevuechamber.org.

Also I want to specially invite you to come and get inspired by the entrepreneurial stories of our Young Entrepreneurs Academy students. Stop by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, May 9 from 4-5:30 pm to see the 17 amazing companies this year's class has launched at the YEA! student startup trade show. You'll be impressed. Join in their celebration!

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Bellevue Chamber Helps Launch 17 New Start-up Companies

Posted By Betty Capestany, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

 

 
 2018 Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, these 17 amazing sparks of inspiration to fill unique niches or grab opportunities have been created by 24 young entrepreneurs! Students in the 6th-12th grades have participated in a 30-week intensive hands-on business course called Young Entrepreneurs Academy. This year’s cohort is our fifth graduating class. In all, over 62 companies have been launched through the Bellevue Chamber.

Students pitched their business ideas to an investor panel of judges last week. The judges awarded $4,500 to the companies to help with their start-up costs. “I thought the presentations were amazing, with well thought out and innovative ideas. I was most impressed with the students’ ability to articulate their vision and execute on a plan,” said Diane Najm, CEO/President, PhotoPad for Business, who participated as a judge.

The investor panel selected Neil Chowdhury, CEO of iConverge to represent Bellevue to advance to the 10th Annual YEA! Saunders Scholars National Semi-Finals College Scholarship competition May 4 in Rochester, New York. Neil is an 8th grader at Odle Middle School and his product is truly meaningful, making life better for those with similar life challenges. iConverge is a cross-platform app that treats patients with double vision cheaply and efficiently and in a way that’s a lot more fun. It wasn’t until last year that Neil realized he had been born with double vision. He didn’t think the paper exercises he was given were very interesting, so he launched his concept for iConverge. Neil has already developed his mobile platform of eye exercises and is working with a local optometrist to use his platform for other patients.

Meet these budding new entrepreneurs and learn more about their enterprises at the YEA! Student Business Trade Show and Graduation on May 9 from 4:00-5:30pm at the Bellevue Chamber offices.

Here’s a peek at this year’s companies:

  • Ohider Pet Care is a website and app that connects pet owners and veterinarians.
  • Zoompark makes parking more affordable and convenient through an app which lets you reserve a spot and pay for it.
  • AutoMathics is an educational website which helps children and adults improve their mental math skills.
  • Trouvi Trackers is a company that creates fashionable and compact trackers with the purpose of making trackers like accessories, optional but very needed.
  • The Paper Bag creates eco-friendly skincare products made to help you live sustainably.
  • Unfold the World is an innovative non-profit that helps underserved students experience the world. It not only funds field trips but helps disadvantaged students join excursions at other schools.
  • G^2 is a sports equipment company that sells specialized golf grips.
  • Here comes the Shocc team. They are trying to make sports equipment more efficient for players.
  • Still Mind is a non-profit that provides mental health technology.
  • Plug Hug is a hardware company offering a device that screws into a wall socket to prevent power cords from falling out.
  • Wardroballot is an application helping people decide on outfits and keep their closets organized that aims to connect people through fashion.
  • Fuerza is a non-profit centered around empowering women and teaching them more about their rights. Fuerza works with colleges and high schools to create chapters that propel the women's rights movement through the sales of their unique charm bracelets.
  • Immigrant Nation is a non-profit corporation building a resources center for new immigrants in the United States.
  • Bellevue RoboClinic is a non-profit organization that teaches robotics to kids in underfunded schools in Washington.
  • Politikids offers a website that inspires activism along with awareness in kids.
  • Boxfull is an on-demand/subscription box for school supplies; sports; self-care.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Special Orders are Welcome!

Posted By Betty Capestany, Monday, March 5, 2018

It's a good feeling when you sit down at your favorite restaurant and you know you'll get a meal just the way you like it - where special orders are welcome! At the Bellevue Chamber we love to hear how we can create the perfect Chamber package to meet your "just in time" needs.

We know that every business is unique and continually evolving. That's why we have such a large array of opportunities to help you, your company and your team. Whatever your business stage - we have something to offer you.

Are you a turtle - staying the course and plugging along?
A butterfly - just starting to fly with a new product, service or team?
A gazelle - experiencing exponential growth?
or an eagle - soaring and wanting to give back to the community?

Contact us at staffteam@bellevuechamber.org to discuss how we can tailor your Bellevue Chamber experience!

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A*Mazing Adventures in Bellevue!

Posted By Betty Capestany, Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Remember back to the days of getting lost in a corn maze? You would take unexpected twists and turns to try and figure your way out. Now, fast forward to today. At every corner in Bellevue you will see construction and detour signs directing you to try a different route. I enjoy walking our City and at first was frustrated by my sudden change of course - but after taking a few new turns, I uncovered some amazing businesses offering an array of services. The other thing I discovered was a lot of others walking along the paths and discovering new things about Bellevue.

Daily I chance upon the opportunity to help direct walkers to their destinations. I must have “Chamber of Commerce Wayfinder” written on my forehead. While helping them track down what they are looking for, I have also taken the opportunity to engage in conversations to find out where they are from and how they found Bellevue. Just last week, there was a young couple from Chicago looking for the 550 bus route and they fell in love with Bellevue thinking it was a “mini-Chicago” with interesting design and open spaces. I also met a spouse traveling with her partner from Portland to shop. She had been to REI and HomeGoods and then was looking for Bellevue Square and an Uber since she had purchased more than she had planned. Another gentleman was looking for a bank at a particular address, not realizing he had the right address, he just had to go up 22 floors. All of them were very impressed with our City.

So, my challenge to you, is to encourage your customers, suppliers and employees to look at the positives of a great economic cycle. Have them look for amazing opportunities and connections that may be just around a corner – unexpected detours that lead to new encounters. Let’s embrace our inner child and find a sense of wonderment. Bellevue is a beautiful, well-planned, and clean city that attracts home grown and global companies and their teams.

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Seizing Disruption – Advancing Transportation Opportunities

Posted By Betty Capestany, Wednesday, January 10, 2018
The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce is an innovative business association focused on the future. Our business leaders continue to blaze new trails and create new opportunities. Many of these leaders are leveraging technology to disrupt business models and think of things differently.

With a focus on your top challenge of removing transportation log-jams, the Chamber is working with companies to help accelerate and integrate technologies to help reduce peak period demands. We are working to ensure your employees have better first and last mile commute options and your customers and suppliers can get more efficiently to your door.

The ACES sector (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, & Shared) is anticipated to be a multi-billion-dollar industry in the next couple of years. Innovation is happening in traditional companies like auto-makers and truck manufacturers like PACCAR, in addition to new technology companies that provide elements to make these connected experiences operate seamlessly.

Why are we passionate about this opportunity? The Bellevue Chamber has always looked to the horizon to help bring new economic opportunities to our community. We have a long history of smart business leaders working to bring needed infrastructure and growing companies to Bellevue and the Eastside.

As an early adopter in this disruptive transportation space, Bellevue can attract innovative companies in the ACES sector to be part of our local economy. This will bring in new jobs and ensure we continue to be a technology market leader. As an added benefit, we’ll bring new, flexible, on-demand opportunities that help you and your co-workers get to work and home faster.

Some of these efforts require legislative fixes, so join us for Chamber Day in Olympia on January 24th to help us chart the course for the future. We are urging the adoption of legislation that will eliminate statutory barriers to shared employer shuttles; that allow private shuttle providers to access park ‘n ride lots; and to incentivize TNC’s and flexible van pools under the Commute Trip Reduction Act. Interested to learn how you can engage in this initiative? Contact me - I look forward to hearing from you!

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A Shout Out of Gratitude!

Posted By Betty Capestany, Friday, December 15, 2017

As we enter the magic of the holiday season we would like to give a shout out of gratitude to all of our awesome sponsors, members and most importantly the people that make the Bellevue Chamber rock with entrepreneurial spirit. As you engage in the Chamber to accelerate your business you are helping advance our mission to help businesses prosper and our community thrive.

As I think back through this last year I am so thankful for the amazing companies we have in our community - from start-ups to companies with over 50 years of history. What really drives our success are the dedicated business leaders that serve on our Board of Directors and run your companies. As Bellevue continues to grow jobs, investments and residents we look forward to furthering our existing relationships and the new partnerships we will form in the year ahead.

May your holidays be bright and 2018 the most prosperous year ever. As part of your New Years resolutions, why not add maximizing your business connections through the Bellevue Chamber? You'll be glad you did!

Warmly,

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Disruptive Transportation Technology

Posted By Betty Capestany, Saturday, October 21, 2017
Updated: Thursday, October 19, 2017

In our fast-moving world, disruption is an instantly unsettling word. It produces a state of uncertainty, making us unsure of where we fit. Tony Seba, cofounder of RethinkX, a center focused on disruptive technologies, captivated the audience at the Chamber's Eastside Annual Dinner. He showed us change is fast moving in the transportation space and highlighted the opportunities Bellevue and our region have to capitalize on new technologies that help reduce congestion.

Click here to view Tony Seba's slide presentation.

We are talking about the ACES economy that is fast approaching and just around the corner. ACES stands for autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles and is projected to be the next major revolution that will take hold between 2 and 10 years from now.

For those pondering the speed of change and if it can really happen that fast, Tony showcased how at the turn of the century (1900’s) in New York City, it was only 13 years between the time a car was introduced amidst horse and buggies to 99% car usage.

Other quick facts:

  • Today 20% of all vehicle miles travel in San Francisco’s trips are Uber and Lyft.
  • New York City has 500,000 ride-hailing rides/day

Tony highlighted how disruption happens: a disruption is when new products and services create a new market and significantly weaken, transform or destroy existing product categories, markets or industries. The new technology cuts costs and intersects with business model innovation and product innovation.  He also highlighted that business model innovation is as important and as disruptive as technology innovation and cited AirBnB - the world’s largest hotel that doesn’t own any inventory.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007  there was a convergence of the touchscreen, Li-ion batteries, computing and sensors that made the smartphone possible. This has totally transformed what was a traditional phone into a min-computer in your pocket - and even a transportation device with the mapping and able to hail rides upon demand.
  
The key to the transportation disruption that is quickly approaching is the convergence of the technologies listed below – couple that with Moore’s Law (the doubling growth every two years).

For transportation - the key technologies that are converging are:

  • Internet of things (IoT)/sensors
  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Robotics
  • Solar PV
  • Batteries
  • 3D Printing
  • 3D Visualization
  • Mobile Internet & Cloud
  • Big Data/Open Data
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Nano Satellites
  • Blockchain

Disruption also happens when the economies of scale align and the costs drop at least 10 percent.  For transportation technology, a critical component is the changeover to electric vehicles. There are huge impacts and ramifications from car ownership that overlays the sharing economy. 

Electric vehicles will be the vehicle of choice since they are 5X more energy efficient and 10 times cheaper to charge/fuel and maintain. Other states, cities and countries are leading the way on this movement. As of last spring there were over 40 corporations working on autonomous vehicles. The Bellevue Chamber is actively working in this space to help the employees and customers of our region’s businesses that don’t have easy access to our city due to transportation gridlock. Our goal is to help the 405 crescent neighborhoods have flexible options to get them into the established infrastructure.  If you are interested in knowing more and how you can plug into the ACESNW movement contact bcapestany@bellevuechamber.org.

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Betty's Bench: David Masin's Story

Posted By Betty Capestany, Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Betty's Bench, Bellevue Chamber President & CEO Betty Capestany's roving video series. In this episode, Betty visits with Bellevue Chamber immediate Past Chair David Masin. Hear his story about being part of a four generation family-owned business.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 3
1  |  2  |  3
more Upcoming Events

7/25/2018
Morning Business Builder

7/26/2018
Port Unplugged

8/1/2018
Morning Business Builder

Featured New Members
ResponzaResponza provides remote and onsite IT services dedicated to your business.
Crossroads Grocery OutletBrand groceries and farm fresh organic produce for 40-70% less than conventional grocery stores

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal