Seattle Named Among Nation’s Most Innovative Cities
Innovation is key to doing business. It’s how new ideas and products are created; it’s how companies improve. In fact, regardless of the sector of geography, executives agree that “innovation today is a key driver of organic growth for all companies,” according to a PWC survey.
So, the question becomes, is there someplace that’s best for innovation? Based on a city ranking developed by Innovation Leader, a magazine and website focused on innovation in large companies, Seattle is the fifth most innovative city in North America.
The ranking developed by Innovation Leader took into account five factors when attempting to determine the top American cities for innovation. They looked at:
- Global 1000 companies with R&D labs or innovation centers.
- Trend setting tech companies with large ecosystems.
- The density of startups including accelerator programs, incubators and even work spaces.
- Top-tier research universities located in the area.
- Conferences, trade shows, and events that foster interactions between executives, entrepreneurs and researchers.
Thanks to Seattle’s tech scene, which includes such giants as Amazon and Microsoft, as well as other leading companies such as Starbucks, Staples, Nordstrom and Boeing, Seattle easily makes it onto the list. Some other key elements pointed out by the study included the presence of the University of Washington, which is home to one of the country’s top computer science departments as well as two accelerators—the Jones + Foster Accelerator Program and Techstars Seattle.
According to the study, Seattle also makes the list thanks to events and programs hosted by many companies in the area. “Starbucks often pilots new store formats and technologies inside its headquarters, and Nordstrom has a track record of being one of few high-end retailers with a long-term commitment to innovation,” explained the ranking. “Plus, there’s a Staples software development lab, Boeing R&D focused on manufacturing technologies, and the Cambia Grove, a healthcare collaboration space operated by Cambia Health Solutions.”
Toping Innovation Leader’s list were the cities of San Francisco/San Jose, Boston, New York and Los Angeles—the top four respectively. The last five cities to make the list included Atlanta, Washington D.C., Toronto, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Detroit.