The Issue, Our Vision & Approach

Read the Tech Alliance’s latest reports - Gorges and Bridges The Rebels, Gurus, Gamblers of Corporate Venture Capital.

Issue Overview

Healthy economies are driven by new ideas, bold leaders, and risk takers. At the same time, the equation must balance these entrepreneurs with equally committed investors. The two feed off of each other, the one begetting the other. Currently, the greater Seattle region ranks fourth out of the top five tech-driven communities in venture and angel/seed investments (and third-ranked Boston has more than double the investments, making Seattle a distant fourth). Too many start-ups have to look elsewhere for funding and then end up relocating - taking with them their ideas, employees, leadership, and potential. This is not a new problem, and there have been and continue to be a number of important efforts to address it. But we remain a distant fourth.

Washington is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies (2016) and countless others with deep pockets, and there are estimated to be more than 300,000 millionaires in the state. This region does not lack capital, it lacks an investment risk-taking culture prevalent in other technology hubs. If more of our innovation-driven companies understand how they can engage with (and benefit from) local entrepreneurs and research entities, we’ll build a culture that secures Seattle as place that not only births great start-ups, but also raises them.

Solutions & Approach

The Technology Alliance aims to create more connections between Washington companies and entrepreneurial activity, sparking innovation through creative partnerships, collaborations and investments. 

In 2017-18, we will

  1. Strengthen investing in the PNW - take a multi-pronged approach to growing the health of the entrepreneurial and research communities: growing and connecting the corporate venturing community interested in the PNW and reporting on approaches that other regions have successfully used including public and pooled funding mechanisms (Summer 2018). 

  2. Daylight the contribution of our research institutions to the PNW innovation economy - publish a report that uses metrics and examples to tell the impact story that the state's top four research institutions (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Pacific Northwest National Lab, the University of Washington, and Washington State University are having on the state's tech-driven economy. (Summer 2018)

If you are interested in getting involved as a partner, contributor or sponsor of this work, please contact us for more information.