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First Look Forum coming to Bellingham Nov. 18

Entrepreneurs hoping to get a business idea off the ground have the opportunity to get it in front of potential investors.

For the first time, the First Look Forum is coming to Bellingham. Put on by the Washington Technology Industry Association, the forum hosts no more than 20 seed-stage companies, giving them a chance to network, meet potential investors and practice a pitch to investors. Companies must have never publicly pitched the idea before, preserving the first-look concept. The companies can be from any industry.

The forum has been held in King County for eight years. The WTIA wanted to branch out and chose Bellingham to hear from entrepreneurs in this region, including British Columbia, said Claire Dillow, event manager for the WTIA. The goal is to expand the program statewide.

The format will allow entrepreneurs to pitch their idea, absent the asking for money. The audience then will provide feedback on the presentation so it can be improved before making a formal pitch, said Michael Schutzler, CEO of the association. The best pitch will win a grand prize of $10,000.

The association is working with the NW Innovation Resource Center to put together the event. The forum is 2-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at the Bellingham Golf & Country Club. The application deadline is Saturday, Oct. 18. For details, visit washingtontechnology.org/firstlookforum.

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