THIS PAST YEAR (2015-16)
In 2015-16, the Technology Alliance welcomed a new CEO, Carol Rava, and stayed focused on two core competencies: daylighting current and emerging issues across the tech sector, and connecting leaders from business, research, education, and elected office to the data, stories and experts in these issue areas. Our programming furthered conversations about the role of computer science in K-12 education, Washington’s renewable energy sector, the next big growth area for the region (virtual and augmented reality), and the history and future of innovation here. Through our events alone, we reached more than 1,600 key business, education, and civic leaders; and across all of our programming we made sure that our board members and sponsors were visible and acknowledged for their commitment to strengthening our innovation-driven economy.
IMPACT OVER TIME
Over two decades, our programming has directly impacted the following areas:
Seed funding for start-ups - Uncovering an unmet need for an active ‘Angel’ investment community, the Technology Alliance incubated and spun off the Alliance of Angels. Ten years later, the Alliance of Angels has granted more than $100M to more than 200 companies.
Technology in education - In its first five years, the Tech Alliance’s Smart Tools Academy provided in-depth, hands-on training to every school principal in Washington state, ensuring that they had the tools and know-how to lead their schools through a technology revolution (digitizing workflow first and beginning the conversation about using technology to transform teaching and learning).
Emerging research and innovations - Great ideas sit across the state, across sectors, and in public and private institutions. Through the Discovery Series, Innovation Showcase, and Research to the Marketplace, the Technology Alliance has worked to shine a bright light on emerging trends, big ideas, and early start-ups, and at the same time connect leaders from these organizations to others in the field, investors, policy-makers, and other audiences key to their future success.
Youth in computer science -As an increasing number of jobs require basic coding and mathematical skills, the call to introduce computer science principles early has become louder. The Tech Alliance’s Youth Apps program provides an accessible, fun entry point for both students and teachers in middle school and high school, through a combination of teacher training and a development contest for students. The program has introduced basic programming and problem solving skills to more than 1000 students and 100 teachers over three years.
Women in technology - With women representing less than 30% of tech employees, there is a clear need to be creative and multi-faceted to increase workforce diversity. The Technology Alliance launched, incubated and spun off Ada Developers Academy, which, after only two years, has already helped more than 100 women get the programming skills and hands-on job experience to make a transition into well-paying software engineering jobs with this region’s top employers.
Opinion leaders’ understanding of tech issues - We know how important it is for our local, state and federal elected officials to understand the issues that cut across and directly affect the varied tech-driven sectors (IT, energy, life sciences, aerospace, retail, wireless, etc). And for the leaders in each of these sectors to have that same visibility and connections for themselves. The Technology Alliance has provided objective benchmarking research, thought leadership retreats, and compelling speakers to ensure that our elected leaders have a solid understanding of and strong relationships across the state’s tech-driven industries.