welcometowash

Welcome to Washington: The most innovative state in the U.S.

Silicon Valley may get all of the buzz. But don’t underestimate the power of Seattle and its surrounding communities. A new analysis by Bloomberg indicates that Washington state — home to Amazon, Expedia and Microsoft — is the most innovative place in the country. California ranked second, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut and Oregon. There are… Read More

Nick Licata and Chris DeVore

Nick Licata vs. Chris DeVore: A debate over government support of startups in Seattle

Well, it’s not quite the “Rumble in the Jungle.” But Founder’s Co-op general partner Chris DeVore and Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata recently were brought together by the online news site Crosscut to debate the issues around the Startup Seattle Initiative. As you may recall, Licata attempted to torpedo the efforts to create a $151,000… Read More

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Social TV startup Wetpaint acquired by Viggle for $30M

Wetpaint, an 8-year-old Seattle startup led by entrepreneur Ben Elowitz, has been sold to New York-based Viggle for a purchase price of $30 million. Founded initially as a provider and network of wikis, Wetpaint pivoted over the years to create a destination for entertainment and celebrity news, attracting more than 12 million unique visitors per… Read More

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Commentary: What’s at stake in Seattle’s ride-sharing debate

Last Friday, a Seattle City Council committee met to discuss how to regulate ride-sharing services that have emerged in the last few years as alternatives to taxis and other for hire vehicle services.  Companies like Lyft, Sidecar and Uber/Uber-X are being targeted as “unregulated” services. This 57-page draft ordinance was the centerpiece of the Dec…. Read More

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Commentary: Here are the problems with Seattle’s Startup Initiative

Editor’s Note: Nick Licata is a Seattle City Councilmember. Recently, a Seattle Times editorial lauded the Seattle City Council for requiring clear goals, measurable outcomes, effectiveness and accountability standards for funding projects in our 2014 budget. For the most part, we accomplished that this year. But one exception struck me as failing to meet all of… Read More

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Here’s how city government can help startups, according to outgoing Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn

From the time outgoing Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn took office in 2010 until today, Seattle’s startup scene has continued to grow. In those four years, McGinn has tried to figure out how government can support entrepreneurs in the area. He brought together industry leaders for an interesting roundtable last year, and then launched a “Startup… Read More

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Funding for Gigabit Seattle fiber Internet project was in question from the start

A year ago this week, Gigabit Squared, a “digital economic development” company operating out of Cincinnati, Ohio, announced a deal with Seattle officials to bring ultra high-speed Internet service to homes and businesses here — taking advantage of unused capacity in the city’s 500 miles of fiber-optic cabling. Mayor Mike McGinn, gearing up for his re-election campaign… Read More

Photo via Kevin Lisota

Silicon Valley VC view: 5 reasons why Seattle will become a hub of business cloud services

I’ve recently read several articles about the difficulties that Seattle entrepreneurs face when building business-to-business companies.  While some might find this discouraging, I actually see this as a great opportunity. From my perspective in Silicon Valley, the Seattle region is right on the cusp of developing its own enterprise start-up ecosystem, particularly focused on business… Read More

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DocuSign is planning for an eventual IPO

Virtual signatures are big business, and one Seattle-based company is hoping that will propel them to a successful IPO. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital Dispatch blog, DocuSign is actively planning to go public, as it works to rapidly expand its business into new verticals. The company currently has 48… Read More

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Here’s how Seattle’s King County uses online public meetings to learn what citizens actually care about

Government officials often hold public meetings as a way to hear from citizens and find out what’s going on in the community. But with work, family, friends and other important obligations, it’s not easy for people to take time out of their day to attend these events. That’s why Seattle’s King County is using a… Read More

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Amazon’s giant biodomes win blessing of city design board

Amazon won approval from Seattle’s Design Review Board for a massive, three-part biodome on its planned campus north of downtown Seattle last night, after its architects convinced the panel that the ground levels of the unique structure would be engaging and inviting to the public passing by. New drawings submitted by NBBJ, Amazon’s architects, showed… Read More

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The geography of tech: Seattle’s oft-forgotten tech ecosystem

The October 21st story in The New York Times —  “Tech Wealth and Ideas Are Heading Into News” — includes Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos among “Silicon Valley and its various power brokers.” News flash: Amazon.com is not located in Silicon Valley. Nor is the company that pioneered PC software (Microsoft). Nor the company that invented desktop publishing… Read More

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Shares of Redbox parent jump after hedge fund discloses large stake, encourages sale

Shares of Outerwall, the Bellevue company best known for its Coinstar coin counting machines and Redbox movie rental kiosks, jumped more than 17 percent after the New York investment firm Jana Partners disclosed that it had become the company’s largest shareholder with a 13.5 percent stake. Shares of Outerwall are trading Monday morning around $60.50,… Read More

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Chart: The top U.S. cities for venture capital in Q3

Just yesterday, I heard from a Seattle entrepreneur who said he was moving his startup company to San Francisco. It’s not a surprise that the San Francisco Bay Area has an allure for startups, especially given the latest findings from PitchBook. The San Francisco Bay Area increased its share of venture capital financings during the… Read More

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Google picks 7 partners for new ‘Tech Hub’ initiative, snubs Seattle, NYC, Boston

Maybe Seattle’s startup community doesn’t really need Google’s help, or perhaps the search giant believes it is doing enough to spark innovation in the Northwest with its growing campuses in Kirkland and Fremont. Whatever the reason, Seattle was not on the initial list of Google’s new entrepreneurship initiative dubbed Google for Entrepreneurs. Instead, Google is partnering… Read More