The Technology Alliance (Tech Alliance) is a statewide, non-partisan, not for profit organization that brings together leaders from Washington’s high tech businesses and research institutions to advance the vision of a vibrant, technology-based innovation economy that benefits all of our state’s citizens. The Tech Alliance engages in a variety of activities to support the drivers of our long-term economic success: an educated, competitive workforce; strong research capacity; and a robust entrepreneurial environment.
Since its founding in 1996, the Tech Alliance has effectively advocated for policies that improve Washington’s competitiveness and has implemented programs that advance innovation in our state.
Showcasing a more connected innovation community to turn research into results
Research to the Marketplace is a day-long event that bridges the gap between research and commercialization by highlighting promising technologies and industries to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs, commercialization experts, and other innovators. The emerging technologies and industries highlighted are chosen because of their strong potential to be both high impact and high growth. We showcase industries and sectors that have the ability to significantly enrich the economy of Washington state and improve the state’s competitive advantage globally.
In March 2015, the Tech Alliance partnered with UW Computer Science & Engineering to present a day-long event on Big Data, “From Insight to Impact”. In 2014, the Tech Alliance partnered with the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) to stage a half-day event highlighting investment opportunities at the intersection of health care and information technology.
Science & Technology Discovery Series: Broadening support for research
The Science & Technology Discovery Series features presentations by scientists and technologists from our state’s most innovative institutions and companies. The program runs September through May and has featured more than 170 speakers, who help the state’s business leaders and decision-makers understand the important advances being made in Washington research and innovation, and the importance of the research enterprise to our state's long-term success.
Youth Apps Challenge: Engaging Washington’s students in hands-on computer science
The Youth Apps Challenge provides students with an opportunity to gain computer science and entrepreneurship skills through app development. The Tech Alliance offers curriculum, training and resources that enables teachers to lead students through the process of app development as part of an in-school course or an after-school or summer program. More than 500 students across the state submitted a total of 154 projects to our Youth Apps Challenge contest in the spring of 2015, the second year of the program.
Over 150 educators from 35 schools have been trained in the apps curriculum, and more trainings are planned. The Youth Apps Challenge is supported by Amazon.
TA Associates: Connecting regional organizations to advance the drivers of our economy
The Technology Alliance connects regional organizations from around the state that focus on technology-based economic development. The TA Associates share best practices, forge new collaborations, and provide regional perspectives on the Tech Alliance’s statewide initiatives and policy activities. Participants include the Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance; Ignite Northwest; the Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington; the Tri Cities Research District; and the West Sound Technology Association.
Programs of Note
Ada Developers Academy
Ada is an intensive software developer training school for women that addresses the gender imbalance within the software industry while helping to meet the talent needs of Washington's tech employers.
Ada combines classroom instruction in cutting-edge web technologies with internships at Puget Sound-area technology companies. Through the support of sponsor companies, the program is tuition-free and offers a living stipend to students.
To learn more, visit the Ada website.
Alliance of Angels
Alliance of Angels is an entrepreneurial investment group established by the TA to support Northwest-based startups. It quickly established itself as the most active angel investment group in the Pacific Northwest, directing millions of dollars toward early-stage companies in the region.
To learn more, visit the Alliance of Angels website.
Smart Tools Academy
In partnership with the University of Washington, the Technology Alliance launched the Smart Tools Academy, an education program designed to enhance the effective use of technology in the state K-12 system. The program trained thousands of principals, superintendents, and private school leaders in the tools and skills necessary to utilize technology in the classroom. This valuable program was made possible through the substantial support of Bill and Melinda Gates.
Research and Policy
Economic Impact Report: Illustrating the importance of our technology-based industries
The Tech Alliance periodically produces an economic impact report that provides a detailed analysis of the size and strength of our technology sector. The report highlights the growth in tech-related employment, as well as the other contributions that industries such as aerospace, information technology, scientific research, and device manufacturing are making to the statewide economy. The report, which was most recently published in May 2014, is widely cited by media and economic development groups, and used to inform policymakers of the vital importance of our innovative companies and institutions to the entire state.
Benchmarking Washington: Measuring our capacity to compete in the innovation economy
The Tech Alliance’s benchmarking study measures Washington’s performance in education, research and entrepreneurship compared with a group of peer states with technology-intensive economies, as well as the rest of the nation. Our benchmarks reframe and inform conversations around Washington’s economic competitiveness and are widely used by other organizations, the media, and policymakers. We released findings from our latest study in June 2015.
Innovation Coalition: Amplifying the voice of the technology community
The Tech Alliance collaborates with the state’s two major technology trade associations -- the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) and the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA) -- to advocate for a shared policy platform focused on cultivating the talent and conditions that will enable innovative, entrepreneurial businesses to thrive in our state. Alongside our partners, we have consistently made expansion of engineering and other high-impact degree programs a centerpiece of our ongoing policy advocacy efforts. We also have been a vocal proponent of targeted investments in academic research programs, and have worked to increase access to STEM education for students across the state.
State of Technology Luncheon: Celebrating Washington innovation and focusing on the future
The State of Technology Luncheon is the premier annual event for Washington’s innovation community, bringing together leaders from business, research, education and government to gain perspectives from world-renowned technology leaders and to learn the results of the Tech Alliance’s latest work. These luncheons have included a range of high profile speakers including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Our 2014 luncheon featured acclaimed innovation expert and best-selling author Geoffrey Moore, and 2015 featured Concur CEO Steve Singh and Madrona Venture Group Managing Director Tom Alberg. Our 2016 luncheon will feature Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Technology Institute: Engaging state policy leaders and identifying strategies for success
The Tech Alliance organizes a biennial policy retreat for leaders from Washington’s tech-based businesses and research institutions to educate government leaders about issues affecting our innovative sectors and identify actions and investments that will advance our long-term competitiveness. The 2013 Institute, “Beyond Benchmarking: Nurturing Talent, Innovation & Job Creation in Washington State,” took place in September 2013 and featured keynote presentations by Eric Kutcher, Managing Director for the Western U.S. region at McKinsey & Company, and Hadi Partovi, Co-founder & CEO of Code.org. The 2015 Institute was held in September, and was co-chaired by Darcy Nothnagle, Head of External Affairs, Western Region, Google, and John Wecker, President & CEO of Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute.