United States

Seattle #10

Founders appreciate the dynamic world-class tech ecosystem Seattle offers. We're generous leaders in AI, Cloud, IoT, Robotics, Big Data, Fintech, Biotech, VR/XR, and more for you to connect with.

Brett Greene
CEO and Founder of New Tech Northwest
Top 10 Global Ecosystem: Performance
#2 North American Ecosystem: Knowledge
Top 5 North American Ecosystem: Performance

Highlights

The home town of Amazon and Microsoft was well situated to weather the coronavirus crisis with one of the highest proportions of tech workers in the U.S. No wonder investors have been pouring money into Seattle’s vibrant startup ecosystem. Over the last two years the area’s venture capital firms have raised more than $1 billion for their next round of early stage funds including Madrona VII ($300 million), West River Group ($150 million), Maveron VII ($180 million), Frazier Healthcare IX ($419 million), Voyager V ($100M), and Founders’ Co-op IV ($25M). Those new funds add to existing funds, including Ignition VI ($200 million), Tola Capital II ($300 million), Arch Venture Partners ($400 million). Seattle startups brought in $3.2 billion in venture capital through the first three quarters of 2020, according to Pitchbook, putting the city on track to easily break its previous high of $3.6 billion in 2019. “Mega-deals” of over $100 million are also on pace to set a record this year, with 167 deals already completed in Q1. Angel and seed deals hit a Q1 record for deal count. Seattle is also home to highly successful accelerators, including Amazon’s Alexa Accelerator, a program that connects entrepreneurs building voice-first products to the resources of Amazon’s Alexa team. The local Techstars accelerator is also the most successful city in the program’s history in terms of dollars raised by graduates, which include three unicorns: Zipline ($1.2 billion), Outreach ($1.1 billion), and Remitly ($1 billion).

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$3 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$548 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$49 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$13.68 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$1200 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$480 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$4.5 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$3 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$105 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

AI, Big Data & Analytics

The University of Washington, a national leader in the field of machine learning and Big Data, has helped nurture these subsectors in the Seattle area with creative programs including its Washington Fund, an early-stage venture fund that aims to invest in promising startups spinning out of local research institutions, and New Embark facility. Several startups have spun out of the university’s Computer Science department. Local machine learning startup OctoML raised a $28 million Series B in March of this year.

Life Sciences

Success in a particular sector tends to breed further success in the sector, with Seattle’s life sciences companies being a prime example of this virtuous cycle. After Juno Therapeutics, a developer of novel immunotherapies, was sold to Calgene for $9 billion just five years after it spun out of the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, it’s co-founders reinvested some of that payday in engineered cell startup Sana Biotechnology, which recently raised over $700 million.

Reasons to move your startup to Seattle

Talent

More than 130 research centers are now located in Seattle, and more than 50 percent of all new leases in the city last year were for technology companies. At the time of this writing there were more than 19,000 engineering job openings on LinkedIn within the broader area. The tech talent pool in the ecosystem is clearly broad, deep, and growing.

University talent

The University of Washington is one of the nation’s premier research universities and home to 286 specialized research centers. The school receives more than $1 billion in total research grants and contracts each year, which means that more than 2 percent of all federal research funding currently goes to UW. In addition, the school has also benefited from private funding, including a gift of $40 million to the university’s distinguished School of Computer Science and Engineering by late Microsoft co-founder Pail Allen.

Accelerators, incubators

There are 25 startup accelerators, incubators and other programs supporting the next wave of founders in the Seattle area. These include traditional accelerator programs like Techstars, but also newer studio models, like PSL and Madrona Venture Labs, which recruit talent from big tech companies to join growing startups.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Partners

ARI
Alliance of Angels
Angel Resource Institute
Fledge
Lighter Capital
MS Accelerator
Microsoft Ventures
Microsoft for Startups
New Tech Northwest
SURF Incubator
Seattle Angel Conference
Seven Peaks Ventures
Startup Grind
Startup Seattle
Techstars

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.