Seattle ranks No. 11 of 25 U.S. cities on how prepared they are for the ”technological revolution” sweeping across every industry, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study says.
Seattle has strong, established technology companies but needs to work on its supportive culture for budding entrepreneurs, a new study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday.
Seattle ranks No. 11 of 25 U.S. cities on how prepared they are for the ”technological revolution” sweeping across every industry, from health care to education to manufacturing.
The “Innovation That Matters” study, conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation along with business groups 1776 and Free Enterprise, surveyed corporations, institutions, universities, entrepreneurs and governments in 25 cities.
City rankings of tech preparedness
2. San Francisco Bay Area
4. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
5. San Diego
6. Austin, Texas
7. Los Angeles
9. Washington, D.C.
10. New York
17. Salt Lake City
24. Kansas City
25. New Orleans
Source: “Innovation That Matters” study
“One of the key take-aways we found is that cities that dominated in legacy industries in the 20th century may not be the ones that dominate in the 21st,” said Donna Harris, co-founder and co-CEO of 1776.
Harris compared the booming tech trend to the shift from agriculture to the Industrial Revolution. Cities doing particularly well are ones that bring together startups with large corporations, government leaders and research institutions, she said.
Boston ranks No. 1 on the list, followed by San Francisco, which was docked points because of its high cost of living and lack of a community that regularly works together.
“Yes, we have incredible anchor-tenant companies; we are so lucky,” said Chris DeVore, managing director of TechStars Seattle and partner at venture fund Founders Co-op. “In terms of how much that has translated into a robust, sustainable startup ecosystem, the short answer is not as much as you think.”
Seattle is known for being one of the best cities at attracting technical workers, though many join large companies rather than start their own businesses, DeVore said.
Startups are certainly booming in the city, though many believe the scene could be growing even faster with the support of more financial backers and other institutional help.
DeVore, who helped launch entrepreneurial hub Startup Hall in the University District, pointed to the rise of co-working spaces as a good sign.
“Let’s not pat ourselves on the back too much for having really great companies in Seattle,” he said. “Let’s build dozens of Amazons here.”
Harris, the 1775 co-founder, said that besides the need for cities to bring together existing institutions with budding startups, government leaders need to recognize some laws are out of date.
In Seattle, the work has already started. U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, who represents parts of King, Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties, met with business leaders at University of Washington earlier this week to hear about issues to be addressed at a legislative level.
DelBene is working with other House Democrats on Innovation Agenda 2.0, a push that will compile a list of initiatives that could be addressed in law.
Monday’s meeting spanned many issues and industries, DelBene said, including recruiting, diversity within the tech industry and how to best educate people for the growing tech industry.
The Innovation Agenda team aims for a list of objectives by the end of 2016.