BOISE -- As America marks the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week, a Boise-based organization is working to improve the environment for small businesses and startup companies in the Treasure Valley.
Startup Boise's goal is to create a concentrated, collaborative and supportive community of startups in Boise. It is a non-profit, grassroots organization led by entrepreneurs.
"What we're hoping is that Boise becomes a better place for entrepreneurs to start businesses," said Pat Lawless, founder of Startup Boise.
Doug Joseph is involved with Startup Boise. His startup business is called Locate Express. It is a real time, location-based search engine for local services.
"Within seconds we can find a homeowner a local service provider based on where they're physically standing at that moment and their availability," said Joseph.
Locate Express has recently expanded to Boston and Cleveland. However, Joseph says the success wasn't easily achieved.
"It consumes every moment of my day from six in the morning to 12 at night," said Joseph.
Joseph says being involved with Startup Boise has given him valuable insight and exposure.
"We are all small businesses looking for that megaphone, and Startup Boise helps us shout out to the world that we're here," said Joseph.
"They're kind of chomping at the bit for help on how do I get funding, how do I get engage customers, how should I set up my organization, and what kind of accounting practices should I have, and who else has done this before me that I can get some advice from?" said Lawless.
Startups are given free access to resources, networking and expertise. Lawless says the idea is to work together as entrepreneurs to build a stronger startup environment in Boise, which will attract even more startups to the area.
"There's this whole notion that when local businesses start selling and exporting, your competitiveness as a state rises," said Lawless. "We want to see that competitiveness raise the tide and all boats in that tide."
"There are some really amazing people here, entrepreneurs and programmers, that are starting some incredible technology businesses," said Joseph.
Startup Boise works closely with other organizations such as the Idaho Technology Council and Boise State's Venture College.