Silicon Valley isn’t the only place known for a startup scene. At the other end of the country, Seattle is witnessing a startup renaissance, attracting top talent from around the state and nation.
Ask anybody who lives and works at Seattle, and they can tell you just what makes the city so appealing. It’s a combination of the people that help build solid support networks and the energetic environment around them. Sure, Silicon Valley may house tech titans, but Seattle offers startups more resources, connections, and opportunities to stand out compared to its West Coast counterpart.
But which qualities position Seattle as an attractive hub for entrepreneurs and new firms?
Diverse and experienced talent pool
Seattle is a breeding ground for talented developers, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs. Most are born and raised in Seattle, but some come from the big companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, HP, and Oracle.
“We are the number one tech-importer of talent in the country” – Michael Shutzler, CEO of WTIA.
Of the different businesses in Seattle, technology startups are most prevalent. WTIA, or The Washington Technology Industry Association estimates 250,000 people with technology-related jobs in the state of Washington, and nearly 90% of those workers live in King County, the same county Seattle is located.
Energetic startup culture
Seattle has a community of entrepreneurs who are willing to help support each other’s ideas. There are even a few dedicated services and networks specifically created to connect startup leaders with resources, opportunities, and other professionals:
- Startup Haven connects founders with educational resources and other entrepreneurs, even providing a list of networking events each month. They also have communities in Portland and around the California area.
- New Tech Seattle is a Meetup group with over 13,000 members and hosts Seattle’s largest ongoing monthly event. Meet other partners and organizations while enjoying a night out.
- Startup Grind has the largest independent startup community, with a network of over a million entrepreneurs from 250 cities. The Seattle chapter has over 4,000 members, has a simple list of upcoming events and updates with speakers from a wide range of industries.
Shared coworking spaces
Office spaces are crucial to the early success of a startup. They provide a safe haven for creativity and productivity, with opportunities for partnerships and collaborations.
Level Office provides an office and coworking space solution for new businesses in the historic Pioneer Building. Originally used as a headquarters for the mining companies during the Klondike Gold Rush, and later Seattle’s first speakeasy during Prohibition, the Pioneer Building now houses elegant spaces for modest freelancers, to large office suites for major corporations.
The Pioneer Building is close to CenturyLink Center (home of the Seattle Seahawks), Pike Place Market, and major transit stations and highways. Commutes are quick and accessible, and nights out after work are always something to look forward to.
Thriving venture capitalist scene
With an influx of startups and entrepreneurs, it’s only natural that Seattle has a community of investors willing to lend advice or financial backing. When you’re surrounded by other entrepreneurs looking for the next big idea, it’s not hard to find the funding you need for your own business.
The Seattle Angel Fund is an angel investment group managed as a collective fund and aims to support “growth-oriented” startups in the Pacific Northwest. Since the fund is a collaborative effort, only the most serious, most competitive startups are assisted, usually in the form of partnerships and capital.
Alliance of Angels is the largest and most active angel group in the Pacific Northwest, with over $100 million invested in over 200 companies in the past 21 years. The Alliance is comprised of experienced business professionals from companies like Amazon and Starbucks, committed to growing companies through networking and investment. They target to provide an investment decision on a startup within just 6 weeks.
Iconic Scenery And Landmarks
Seattle is home to some of the most breathtaking views both in the city and around it. From the futuristic architecture of the Space Needle and the Museum of Flight to the eccentric attractions like the Gum Wall, the city offers some of the most inspiring displays of creativity that any city can have.
Outside of the metropolitan area is a stunning vista of nature, including Discovery Park (Seattle’s largest green space), Lake Washington, and Mount Rainier. Businesses surrounded by mountains, trees, and lakes can find a sense of tranquility and escapism that can be hard to come by within the city.
Starting a business is never easy- it requires dedication, hard work, and even a little luck. But when a business moves to Seattle in its early stages, the benefits are as clear as day. There’s simply more in Seattle: more partnerships to be had, and more customers to reach. The opportunities are endless when it comes to a place as beautiful and supportive as the city of Seattle.