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Taking A Closer Look Inside The Seattle Startup Scene

Seattle startup

The Seattle startup scene has always been vibrant. In fact, Seattle’s startup activity ranks among the world’s best and is an essential component of the city’s ecosystem. However, that doesn’t mean that Seattle hasn’t faced some issues regarding growth. While 2016 welcomed many new startups to Seattle and several lucrative financing deals, such as OfferUp’s $119 million round, Silicon Valley is holding the city back from reaching its full potential.

The truth is that so many Silicon Valley tech giants—Google, Apple, Facebook, Uber, Salesforce, Oculus, Twitter, and Palantir—have recently opened up engineering centers in the Seattle region that they’re sucking up the city’s entrepreneurial talent. When it comes straight down to it, if an engineer has to choose between a $100,000 salary at a new startup or a $200,000 salary to work at a large company like Google, they’re most likely going to choose Google. It’s a bigger paycheck for less risk.

Unfortunately, according to GeekWire co-founder, John Cook, “It’s taken a lot of the oxygen out of the room as it relates to the startup community.”

And the Seattle startup community isn’t just dealing with Silicon Valley firms taking top talent; the city is also home to Microsoft and Amazon, two tech giants and bedrocks on the tech community. The trouble is that both those companies have such a startup culture themselves, that employees are even less likely to leave to begin their own venture.

But there is good news. With such an influx of large corporations like Google and Facebook bringing their business to the area, there’s every possibility that the money will flow back into the city’s ecosystem and ultimately bolster the Seattle startup community. But it may take a change of culture and style in Seattle before it really makes a difference. “Seattle has long been critiqued for its general lack of investors, both from the angel side and VC.” And, in 2016, investment totals were down 42 percent compared to the previous year.

So, until Seattle becomes more welcoming to investors and the culture makes it more acceptable to launch a startup compared to working at a big company, the startup community won’t reach its full potential.

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About the Author

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Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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