What do you imagine when you think of Seattle? Lush Evergreen Forests? Frasier? (the series was never filmed there, by the way). Seattle seems a somewhat understated city, peaceful with that laid back feel. Behind the peace of this city lays a Startup finding boom like nowhere else in the US. Seattle is fast becoming home to some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in America, if not the world. Why is this?
Why Seattle for a new business?
It is nothing new that Seattle has been a great place for fostering successful new and innovative businesses. In 2010, an almost mythical success factor surrounding the growth of new companies was being spoken about. One of the main reasons that many people believed Seattle was a thriving business growth hub was the sheer amount of talent in town.
Talent is ultimately what takes an idea, or even dreaming of an idea, and turns it into a million-dollar-plus business.
The balance of governance and passion
Seattle simply seems to have things right with progressive local governance understanding the importance of new business. The city, port, and surrounding area have become fertile ground for any business to start up and be encouraged and nurtured to succeed.
There is a culture of small business, and how business should be done, that is shared, a kind of coffee culture if you like. This melting pot of economic activity and positivity, even in a pandemic, has seen millions of dollars raised week in and week out.
The influence of Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley has been the birthplace of many hugely successful businesses in the last few decades. Seattle, it seems, has been watching closely and learning.
While tech companies do form part of the growing economic valley in the Emerald City, other non-tech or less tech are being inspired by the success of those further south. Looking at business models and fundraising structures that have seen silicon valley become what it is and then applying passion and expertise is part of the success story.
Non-Stop Funding for New Business
A quick search on the Internet for business funding in Seattle reveals a deluge of amazing new businesses, products, and ideas that seem to be constant. Nothing has prevented investors from putting considerable sums of money into some of the most innovative and even mundane companies and ideas.
A pandemic can’t stop it, and while 2020 has been challenging for many, small business in Seattle seems almost immune.
How Much Investment In Seattle Startups?
Seattle is booming! In 2019 investment in new business broke all records, up a staggering 20% from the year before, with a massive $3.59 Billion. While this pales in comparison to Silicon Valley and New, it is nonetheless a significant sum and a very positive sign. 2020 may have seen a slight slow down, but Q3 saw over $1 billion invested alone.
Seattle may not rank as the leading investment hub, but it is very much an area of sustained investment. For this reason alone, Seattle stands out.
Improving Customer Service
Seattle is the home of forward-looking entrepreneurs looking to solve real problems that many companies are experiencing. AnswerIQ is a Seattle based tech company founded in 2017 by Pradeep Rathinam and Prashant Luthra that helps automate customer service through AI.
Having raised $5 million from a single investor, AnsswerIQ is an example of the simple yet creative companies Seattle is becoming renowned for. As mentioned, Seattle has a wealth of skills, and AnswerIQ uses those skills to great effect.
The Science of Coffee
Q.What happens when you bring a barista, a food scientist, and a biochemist together?
A. Atomo Coffee
Large scale coffee farming has a multitude of problems. In a quest for the perfect cup of coffee, Atomo Coffee set out on a coffee mission to create a molecular alternative to coffee.
Founded in 2019, the company is the perfect example of what Seattle is all about and, through a Kickstarter campaign, raised $2 million. Now, having raised over $11 million, founder Andy Kleitsch has created a superb coffee bean that is more sustainable to produce.
Seattle is bringing some of the most diverse startups to the attention of the world. The melting pot of ideas, some more crackpot than others, that are being turned into successful companies, is the real wonder of the city. Anything goes, from the perfect cup of coffee to the AI-powered communication systems, and investors are spoilt for choice.
The real meat alternative
As if technology and the perfect cup of coffee were not enough to prove the diversity of new ideas coming out of Seattle, Rebellyous adds to the mix.
With a global rise in ethical eating and vegan foods, Rebbellyous was founded in 2017 to find the perfect meat alternative. Under the leadership of Christie Lagally, Rebellyous raised $11 million and is implementing systems and equipment to produce high-quality meat alternatives on a commercial scale. If you want to find innovation, Seattle is clearly the place to look.
Seattle: No Holding Back
There are a host of Seattle startups soaking up the delights of success from securing funding to turn dreams into reality. The pool of new companies and ideas continues to fill, and funding continues to flow.
With a handful of mega-investments, a dozen or so $100 million-plus investments, and hundreds of million-dollar agreements, Seattle is a hotbed of investment activity. No investment, it seems, is too small, and provided the city continues to produce the skills needed for entrepreneurial success, things look set to continue.
Seattle: Inspiration for Startups Anywhere
Whether you are in Seattle or not, there is no time like the present to pursue the different lines of funding out there. Some companies can secure their funding, and others choose to bootstrap; others are lucky enough to have a good network of angel investors or other wealthy people.
Fundz is a powerful and comprehensive startup database with real-time information on companies that have recently secured funding. It is a powerful tool and helps third-parties, for whatever reason, find contact details.