Photo courtesy Maegan Murray
Washington State University Tri-Cities, known for its contributions to industry and agriculture, is about to produce a new kind of “cash crop”—by cultivating future entrepreneurs who will potentially improve the region’s economy.
The campus launched a new Entrepreneurs in Residence program to connect students to successful entrepreneurs who can help them scale entrepreneurial concepts into reality. Entrepreneurs in residence will provide free advice, coaching, and mentoring as well as industry networks for potential partnerships.
The program resulted from conversations between WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes and regional entrepreneurs Paul Carlisle and Christina Lomasney.
“We see an opportunity to build a pipeline of future entrepreneurs starting on the WSU Tri-Cities campus,” Lomasney says. “The pieces are already here: a thriving Tri-Cities economy, a local national laboratory presence, growing venture capital resources, and access to a strong academic foundation.”
“This new opportunity at WSU Tri-Cities complements our work in promoting student entrepreneurship across the WSU system,” says Chip Hunter, Carson College dean. “Mentoring and networks are keys to learning.”
Carson College grad and technology expert Paul Carlisle leads new program
Carlisle (’06 Busi. Admin., ’07 MBA) leads the program at WSU Tri-Cities. He is a Carson graduate of the Tri-Cities campus, where he developed the business plan for his technology business, elevate, which provides technology solutions for businesses and organizations across the Pacific Northwest. Carlisle announced the sale of elevate and is excited to give back to students. He is an adjunct Carson faculty member at WSU Tri-Cities and chairs the college’s WSU Tri-Cities advisory board. He received the Sam Volpentest Entrepreneurial Leadership Award in 2016, recognizing community leaders who support entrepreneurs in the region.
“Over the past 12 years, I’ve taught entrepreneurial courses around management, marketing, and strategy,” Carlisle says. “We look to build on the decade of successful coursework in those areas to engage students where they are. For example, a young undergraduate, a graduate engineering student, and a seasoned business professional would all have a place at the table to access what they need to succeed on their unique journeys.”
Christina Lomasney contributes executive-level entrepreneurial expertise
Lomasney cofounded Modumetal Inc. and was the company’s president and CEO until 2020. The company partnered with leading Fortune 500 companies to commercialize revolutionary classes of nanostructured metals. Prior to Modumetal, she cofounded Isotron, creating advanced materials for environmental remediation and nuclear, biological, and chemical defense. As the director of commercialization for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lomasney now advises technology companies in energy, transportation, defense, manufacturing, and advanced materials sectors. She is also a registered patent agent and a board director on Washington state’s main initiative to secure critical material supply chains, JCDREAM. Fortune named her one of the “World’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs” in 2015.
Lomasney says the WSU Tri-Cities program will open an unlimited horizon for business, science, and technology students to go beyond learning and to build for a better future.
Both Carlisle and Lomasney will spend time regularly at WSU Tri-Cities to work with classes, individual students, and student groups on entrepreneurial concepts.
The pieces are already here: a thriving Tri-Cities economy, a local national laboratory presence, growing venture capital resources, and access to a strong academic foundation.
– Christina Lomasney