Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Juneau, AK

Juneau, AK

Juneau is the second-largest city by area in the USA with a strong tourism and fishing industry. Entrepreneurs are moving in and taking advantage of its beautiful scenery and budding opportunities.

Juneau, AK, is the state’s capital and third-most-populous city, and the second-largest city by area in the entire country. As the capital, Juneau also serves as the primary governmental hub and a major economic hotspot for the state. The city’s economy is anchored in large part by the tourism and fishing industries, though entrepreneurship is an emerging piece of the economy.

In 2019, WalletHub ranked the city sixth overall on its list of the best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs, with a ranking of fourth in the “Hispanic Purchasing Power” category. The state of Alaska as a whole also ranks well in entrepreneurship: according to the Kauffman Foundation’s Indicators of Entrepreneurship in 2018, the state had the seventh-highest rate of new entrepreneurs among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, while Alaska ranked only 28th overall in WalletHub’s 2019 list of the best states to start a business, it was 10th in the “Business Environment” category and 16th in the “Access to Resources” category, suggesting plenty of opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Juneau’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

907 Real Estate Investors is a new group in Juneau designed to help support aspiring real estate investors and entrepreneurs in the area.


Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

Hosted by the Juneau Economic Development Council, the Innovation Summit is an annual event celebrating and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce holds several annual events, including a golf tournament and an annual dinner and awards ceremony.

Techstars organizes an annual Startup Week in Alaska, with a wide array of conferences, workshops and other events taking place over the course of the week throughout the state.


Startup Competitions:

The Alaska Angel Conference is an annual opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet and work with angel investors over a 12-week period, with one entrant winning a $100,000 investment.

One of Alaska’s first startup competitions, the Arctic Innovation Competition offers a total of over $30,000 in cash prizes across its three age divisions.

Hosted by Spruce Root, Path to Prosperity is an annual competition for startups in Southeast Alaska that are making positive social, environmental and economic impacts in the region.


Co-working Spaces:

CityFeet, a website that compiles office space available for lease in cities around the world, has two locations listed in Juneau.

Like CityFeet, OfficeSpace.com compiles commercial real estate openings in cities around the world, including a handful of available locations in Juneau.

Space Unlimited, which primarily offers storage units in Juneau, also makes both office and retail space available for rent.



The Juneau Makerspace has a wide variety of equipment available through its many workshops, which include a woodshop, an electronics lab, a ceramics room and even a kitchen.



Juneau is home to one of eight locations of the Alaska Small Business Development Center, which runs programs throughout the state to support small business and entrepreneurship.



Launch Alaska is an accelerator program that works primarily with startups in the food, water, transportation and energy industries.

A program of the Alaska SBDC, the Technology Research and Development Center of Alaska (TREND) assist tech-based businesses in Alaska through funding and mentorship.



The University of Alaska Southeast offers both a Bachelor and Associate degree in business administration, a minor in business and a certificate program in small business management.


Angel Groups/VCs:

Located in Anchorage, the 49th State Angel Fund invests in high-growth startups located throughout the entire state of Alaska.

The Alaska Venture Fud aims to support companies that are working to protect Alaskan land and water or support the health and well-being of Native Alaskans.

Alaska Venture Partners provides angel investments, private equity financing and business consulting services to promising startups.

Headquartered in Alaska, Pt Capital invests in companies in the hospitality, tourism and industrial sectors that are located in the Pacific Northwest, Iceland and Finland.


Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

The magazine offers a pair of email newsletters covering business news and events from around the state as a whole.

This organization offers a newsletter covering news and events that affect the state’s startup and entrepreneurial scene.

Techstars’ Alaska Startup Digest offers emails with information on upcoming entrepreneurial and tech-related events happening throughout the state.

The Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce offers a newsletter focusing on major news and events affecting the city’s economy and business scene.


Are you familiar with the entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Juneau not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Salem, OR, Olympia, WA, Corvallis, OR

Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at FundingSage where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.