It’s a very exciting time on the Eastside. Bellevue has embraced the future and you can see it reflected in the thriving downtown area, the blooming Spring District, approaching Eastlink light rail construction, and, our community’s growing diversity. As construction continues on these projects and the city expands its support services for businesses, Bellevue will become an even greater place to start and grow your business.
Bellevue has a diverse and well-educated population and great quality of life. Nearly 33% percent Bellevue’s population is foreign born and we have a highly educated and well-trained workforce. More than 60% of the population has a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and more than 60% work in business services and technology. Bellevue has welcoming neighborhoods, great schools, and a beautiful natural environment. This diverse population has created an ongoing synergy with the greater community that supports entrepreneurism, innovation, and development.
Thanks to those assets, Bellevue has built a global reputation as the city of choice for many of the world’s largest technology companies and many of our region’s strongest startups. As a result, the tech industry is the fastest growing in the city and attracts the best talent and companies from around the world. Bellevue’s technology sector is projected to add nearly 6,500 new businesses by the end of the decade. We invite you and your company to become part of our growing community.
Also joining our community is The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a pioneering partnership between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University with foundational support from Microsoft. The GIX curriculum’s emphasis is on the interplay between technology development, design, and entrepreneurship, which will prepare students to contribute solutions to a range of global challenges including mobile health, sustainable development, as well as continuing the advancement of cloud computing and the Internet of Things. The institution’s 3,000 learners will work in a project-based environment in partnership with local companies.
The Spring District exemplifies Bellevue’s future-focused vision. The Spring District is the home of GIX and will bring a dense, mixed-use innovation district to the heart of the Eastside. The future-ready community will consist of unique businesses, education spaces, and parks, including restoration of hidden portions of Kelsey Creek. This new area will be a green community and connect to the region through Eastlink and bike trails so residents, students, and workers can get around comfortably.
Transportation developments will improve Bellevue’s regional connectivity. Bellevue is working to cultivate a truly multi-modal transit network for the Central Puget Sound Region. When the dust settles in 2023, light rail, bike share, more bike lanes, and enhanced pedestrian options will better connect the Eastside to Seattle and also serve as a catalyst for continued economic growth throughout the region. You’ll be able to move from Bellevue to the U-District, Pioneer Square, and the Microsoft campus without getting in a car.
Downtown Bellevue is becoming our biggest neighborhood. The soaring cranes are helping create more places for you to innovate, hang out, and call “home.” In the future, you’ll be able to wander from the waterfront at Meydenbauer Bay Park along the new “Grand Connection” through downtown and onto the regional Eastside Rail Corridor on foot or by bike.
The sum of these parts is an economically diverse and culturally thriving Bellevue that will be a great place to start and grow a business now and long into the future. GeekWire’s Startup Day is one of many new business-focused initiatives for the city. We recently announced the expansion of Bellevue’s mediation program to help founders navigate the conflicts that often come with growing a business. In the coming months, you can expect to see more startup resources launching on the Eastside to help you learn, connect, and progress from solopreneur to global enterprise.
Is there a need in the startup community that isn’t being addressed? Let us know. Bellevue’s economic development program is based on user feedback; you talk, we listen. We believe this is the most important step in building an economy that is accessible to everyone. Our conversations help us better understand your unique needs and how we can help you achieve your business goals.
To learn more about Bellevue and how to bring your business here visit the city’s Economic Development website.