In its most recent edition, Delta Sky Magazine highlights Seattle, featuring interviews with Gov. Christine Gregoire, Ben Gibbard, Howard Schultz, Melinda Gates, and more. Spotlighting various neighborhood districts within Seattle, the magazine offers a great inside look into the life of a Seattleite, popular tourist attractions, and our competitive industry sectors. Kiplinger has named Seattle one of the 10 best cities of the decade. With Seattle being home to some of the most influential companies—Microsoft, Costco, Amazon, Starbucks— and our regions knack for turning the impossible into possible, the city is at the cutting edge of innovation.
Jeff Marcell, president and CEO of enterpriseSeattle has commented “Seattle businesses aren’t simply leaders in their respective fields. They are game changers known for transforming their industries completely.” Starbucks is an example of this and is one of Seattle’s most iconic companies. Starting in 1971 as just a store in Pike Place Market selling coffee, tea, and spices, today it is internationally known with 17,000 retail stores in 55 countries.
With Seattle having an equal distance between Asia and Europe, Seattle businesses are at the epicenter of opportunity. Having nine-hour flight times to Tokyo and London and marine ports closer to Asia than any other major ports in the United States, Washington is the largest exporter per capita in the country. Not to mention one in every three jobs in Seattle is tied to international trade.
Seattle has a highly educated work force that is a large draw for business. More than half of all adults in Seattle have at least a bachelor’s degree (nearly twice the national average). The University of Washington is a magnet for higher learning, with campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The University receives more federal funding than any other public university in the country. Nearly 75 percent of its graduates remain in state after graduation and the school is Washington’s third-largest employer in the state with an economic impact of $9.1 billion. More than 260 companies have come to life through its students and faculty or from UW research.
The Seattle area has been called the continent’s most influential high-tech sector after Silicon Valley, with the second highest concentration of computer programmers and engineers, and information technology that supports more than 100,000 jobs. Facebook, Intel, Oracle and Google all have offices here along with more than 150 interactive and gaming technology companies that are within a 30 mile radius. Both Rhapsody and Concur are Seattle region natives. However, Microsoft is the biggest contributor to the state’s economic growth, accounting for more than 32 percent of total employment gain. “Consumers are demanding that new technologies, whether devices are services, work together in a seamless way,” says Microsoft spokesperson Mark Murray. More than 650,000 companies partner with Microsoft to build applications on Microsoft platforms and to create solutions for business customers using Microsoft software.
With three of the eight scientists to crack the human genome code living in Seattle, the city has become one of the best places in the world to receive healthcare. Much of this would not have been possible without the founding of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its contribution of over $26 billion in grant commitments since 1994.