Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | December 28, 2014

Start Up Seattle

Seattle’s Start Up scene is the hottest thing existing in the Silicon Ecosystem in decades…

The local scene is sizzling.Seattle Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

The Silicon Forest rocks the world with great consumer Internet companies and giants of e-commerce. It also leads all the software publishing business by concentrating almost 90% of that business in and around Seattle.

A great unsung feat if you ask me.

Just a few hours by plane up the coast from Silicon Valley, this woodsy and folksy entrepreneurial community is thriving.

Seattle has an often overlooked, but ever-present startup ecosystem.

Home of tech giants like Microsoft (MSFT),  Amazon (AMZN), Adobe, F5 Networks, Real Networks (RNWK), Boeing, and T-Mobile (TMUS) — Seattle has developed a significant talent pool of engineers, geeks, coders, and biz dev types, to best any competing city for talent. Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) have a growing presence in the area as well, to tap this lucrative human capital potential.

Seattle is really well positioned because we have an incredible abundance of technical talent, and since it is the e-commerce capital of the United States because of the great talent here from Amazon to Microsoft and everything in between – it has become the global heaven for new Start Ups in America and beyond…

In general, internet companies, as well as regular e-commerce and even brick and mortar commerce companies have excelled in Seattle. Now consumer internet and SaaS companies are thriving too…

Employees and executives from locally headquartered retail and commerce trading giants, who started out as locally home brewed Start Ups, in the recent or distant past, from the likes of Starbucks (SBUX), Costco (COST), and Nordstrom (JWN,) have spawned many consumer-related startups in the city. E-commerce sites like MSN, Expedia (EXPE) and Blue Nile (NILE) cultivated multi layered executive talent and have also spawened a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Venture firms also thrive locally. Take for example the VC firm Maveron, co-founded by Dan Levitan, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who see opportunity in the hot pace of consumer startups in the region. The firm saw both its Zulily (ZU) e-commerce, and Trupanion (TRUP) insurance investments, go public this past year.

Seattle is a fantastic place for Start Ups. A place where for years, people willing to work hard and follow their passion in technology, have seen dreams come true. There’s been a pattern of things that started in garages and became world-leading companies in our lifetime.

From the founding of Boeing (BA), more than a hundred years ago, to the founding of Weyerhaeuser (WY), to the Swedish start up Healthcare hospital, and the best all around department store clothier Nordstrom — the tradition of founding great enterprises still flourishes in the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle specifically. A century later the vibe is still on…

It’s hard to believe that a hundred years ago Boeing, was a tiny airplane startup on Seattle’s Lake Union district, operating out of an oversized garage and making airplanes out of bicycle parts. Yet it’s also great to have that great legacy and all the successful mentors, still living inside the region. We are fortunate in that we have all this accumulated business wisdom, since there’s a long history of entrepreneurship here in Seattle, and enough capital earned and deposited locally, to support the local StartUp ecosystem.

Real estate startups have also seen success in the region. Zillow (Z) went public in 2011 and recently announced a $3.5 billion deal to acquire rival Trulia (TRLA). Up-and-comer real estate site Redfin, also calls Seattle home.

Drawing on experiences from Microsoft and Amazon, cloud startups are also on the rise in Seattle. We not only have lots of clouds in the sky but we also have cloud computing.

The city also has a burgeoning biotechnology community, with three Seattle-based health-care IPOs so far this year. PitchBook data shows that $382 million in venture capital has been invested in the region’s sector this year, more than any other category.

As far as fundraising goes, data shows that in the past five years, $4.1 billion in capital has been invested in 1642 deals in the Pacific Northwest Region, with the total growing each year.

Good on you Seattle.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

It used to be that all the little Seattle startups gained Start Up investment and a little bit of traction and soon thereafter they moved to San Francisco, to New York, to Boston, and even London or LA to follow on their luck…

Of course the one who stayed back, became giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe etc.

Now things are different…

As a local Angel spins it: “We as a community have rallied and made sure the local Start Ups got the resources they needed, to keep them local, and scale them to a great force right here in Seattle.”


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