The Issue, Our Vision & Approach

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 (at least) 10 Fortune 500 companies 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 2016-17, we will

  1. Research & report on corporate-entrepreneurial climate - conduct and share best practice research on the spectrum of ways that companies can benefit from and directly support research and entrepreneurial activity aligned with their bottom line

  2. Host forums on corporate-entrepreneurial engagement  bring together practitioners and potentials to learn, network and map out next steps for corporate venture-like activity

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