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WTIA is more than a trade association. It is a community of members working together for the greater good of the technology sector throughout the state of Washington.
Members are the lifeblood of our organization. Membership means gaining access to approximately 1,000 companies with a wide range of expertise, from finance to human resources to artificial intelligence to software development.
It also means connection. WTIA members have an opportunity to plug in to the local technology community, where they can scale and grow their businesses by developing mutually beneficial connections and relationships within a vast network of local companies and entrepreneurs.
A long-standing partnership
The ability to make those connections has been especially valuable for Clark Nuber, a Seattle-area CPA and consulting firm. Clark Nuber served as an auditor for WTIA for about a decade, and has been an active WTIA member since 2014.
Around the same time, the firm began to take a strong interest in serving emerging technology companies in the Seattle area and beyond. With its strong roots and relationships in the local tech community, WTIA was the perfect partner to help the firm cultivate those connections. Since they already had an existing relationship with WTIA, Clark Nuber asked how they could do more to support its members.
A partnership was born, and the firm has been an integral contributor to a few key WTIA programs ever since. For starters, Clark Nuber has sponsored the Founder Cohort since the program’s inception. The Founder Cohort provides support to 15 to 20 venture-backed, seed-stage startups as they grow and scale over six to nine months. WTIA and our partners provide founders with a blueprint to help them navigate increasing revenue, securing additional investments, and growing their teams.
Founder Cohort sponsors also benefit from a unique opportunity to support the startup ecosystem, meet successful founders, and establish themselves as thought leaders in the community. As a sponsor, Clark Nuber hosts a regular accounting workshop for cohort companies to help familiarize founders with the financial side of their business.
“WTIA does a really good job of attracting new and interesting companies to the Cohort,” said Matt Sutorius, CPA and Clark Nuber shareholder. “One of the big benefits for us is the connections we’ve been able to make and the exposure we’ve achieved in the local market. It’s been a good way to get our name into the early technology ecosystem. As these founders grow and begin to need professional tax and accounting support, they automatically think of Clark Nuber because they already know us.”
In addition, Clark Nuber also joined our Cascadia Blockchain Council in 2019. The Council helps blockchain companies from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC reach their full potential by serving as subject matter experts and a collective voice to better advocate for constructive public policy and educate key stakeholders, especially investors.
Building a thriving community
Since service-based businesses like accounting firms rely largely on word-of-mouth referrals, being plugged in to a vast network of tech CEOs and founders through WTIA has been invaluable for Clark Nuber, fulfilling its goal of becoming embedded as a go-to service provider in Seattle’s early-stage technology community. “Through the Founder Cohort, we have gotten our name in front of around 100 emerging technology companies, 10% of whom have already become clients,” Matt noted. “As these companies mature and meet additional investors, we expect those relationships to grow as they require additional accounting services.”
What’s more, the referrals go both ways. “The greater Seattle area has a broad ecosystem of accountants, bankers, and lawyers, and we all know each other, so we’re constantly passing referrals around,” Matt said. “Since we’re a part of WTIA, we really get to know the startups, which means we have an opportunity to make referrals to the firms that will best serve them as clients.”
And that is the true value of WTIA membership — the ability to cultivate solid connections throughout our network of member companies and partners to build a strong, thriving tech community for all.