Beat the Winter Blues With Dreams of Spring in
Winter blahs got you down? You need something to look forward to – like attending NBIA’s 21st International Conference on Business Incubation April 1-4 in Seattle. Here are some enticements to feed your daydreams.
- One of the highlights of any conference is the tour of a host-city incubator, and this year’s conference promises a doozy: the Accelerator, one of the world’s leading biotechnology incubators. Founded in 2003, the Accelerator offers emerging bioscience companies venture capital, management assistance, and 18,000 square feet of wet labs and office space in the heart of Seattle’s Eastlake life science cluster. Among the Accelerator’s backers is Alexandria Real Estate Equities, our conference title sponsor. Read about the Accelerator at www.acceleratorcorp.com.
- If your schedule permits, stick around on Wednesday for the optional tour of nearby Tacoma. First stop is the William M. Factory Small Business Incubator, NBIA’s 2005 Incubator of the Year. Visit the incubator’s 20,000-square-foot facility, where the program serves women, minority and low-income entrepreneurs. Then you’ll visit the Museum of Glass, which features the works of some of the world’s best contemporary glass artists – including Dale Chihuly, whose exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden was hugely popular with those who attended the 2006 conference in St. Louis. Learn more about the museum at www.museumofglass.org/.
- Read about the more than 60 sessions scheduled and the many opportunities to talk with colleagues from around the world at the conference at www.nbia.org.
ON YOUR OWN
- One of the best ways to see Seattle is from the water. For nearly 60 years, Argosy Cruises has offered tours of Elliott Bay, with spectacular views of the skyline framed by the Olympic and Cascade Mountains and massive container ships being loaded and unloaded in Seattle Harbor. Cruises leave four times daily from Pier 55 on the Seattle Waterfront (just a half-mile from the Sheraton Seattle, the conference headquarters). Cost is about $20 per person. For more information, visit www.argosycruises.com.
- Despite Seattle’s rainy reputation (more on that below), its hometown baseball team is highly unlikely to get rained out. That’s because Safeco Field, where the Mariners have played since 1999, has a famously retractable roof. The nine-acre, 22-million-pound roof can be opened or closed in less than 20 minutes. (Learn more about the field and read the ground rules concerning the roof at seattle.mariners.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sea/ballpark/index.jsp.) The field is about a mile from the conference hotel; at press time, the Mariners were scheduled for a three-game, season-opening home stand against the Oakland A’s April 2-4.
- Contrary to popular belief, it does not rain all the time in Seattle. In fact, Seattle gets less precipitation, on average, than New York, Atlanta or Houston. It is, however, often cloudy – about 226 days a year, or the equivalent of seven-and-a-half months. It’s also sometimes drizzly. Want to blend in? Leave your umbrella at home. Seattlites, by most accounts, make do with raincoats or just let themselves get damp. Do, however, bring a jacket: Average early spring temperatures in Seattle are in the mid- to upper-50s F.
- There won’t be many excuses not to keep up (or even start!) your exercise routine. Seattle is home to the flagship store of outdoor retailer REI, where you can load up on gear for hiking and camping. You also might want to pack or rent a bicycle: Seattle is routinely ranked among the 10 best cities for cycling by Bicycling magazine, among others. Or enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city while you work out in the Sheraton Seattle’s 35th-floor health club.
You can turn these daydreams into reality by registering for the conference online at www.nbia.org. See you in Seattle! —Corinne Colbert