Mastering the digital world.

W ashington State’s reputation as a global hub for information and communication technology (ICT) is well deserved. It is the birthplace of such legendary businesses as Microsoft, Amazon, F5 Networks, Zillow and Expedia and home to engineering offices for Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, Salesforce, BestBuy, Alibaba and eBay.

All told, there are more than 12,000 ICT companies in Washington State, from the industry’s biggest names to small startups banking on the next big thing. More than 220,000 people are employed in technology-related jobs in the state, including game developers, programmers and software engineers. Talent is drawn to the region by our entrepreneurial spirit, culture of collaboration and the chance to be on the ground floor of bleeding edge innovation and experimentation in mobile, gaming, blockchain, augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

New ideas are readily embraced in Washington, shared not only within the ICT industry but across other sectors as well, spilling over into aerospace, life science, maritime, clean technology and advanced manufacturing. Radical new approaches are readily applied to age-old problems, spurring leapfrog advances across the board that redefine entire markets and, on occasion, become cultural icons.

We’re not just playing games here…

We’re designing them too, along with game platforms such as Steam and, of course, the X-Box. More than 23,000 employees are working on the next generation of games in Washington, tapping into the state’s expertise in cloud computing, virtual and augmented reality, big data and AI.

Washington’s gaming ecosystem supports more than nearly 300 companies today, from Valve, Nintendo and Microsoft to Popcap, Bungie and Big Fish. Together, these companies command nearly a fifth of the world’s direct revenue in gaming, roughly $20 billion. Add in our historic passion for traditional gaming, such as Magic, Pictionary and Cranium, and you can see why Washington State is such a dominant player in the traditional and digital gaming spaces.

A critical blend of creativity, collaboration and innovation.

Washington’s ecosystem of innovation and invention is fed by venture capitalists, angels, incubators and workspaces, supported by cutting-edge R&D from our universities, colleges and national laboratory – one of only 10 in the United States – and fueled by a robust networking infrastructure and a passion for developing the most amazing products and services imaginable. It’s not unusual to find bold new startups opening right across the street from the founder’s former employer, creating a blend of cultures and new business models that keep the industry fresh and ever changing.

Urban or suburban, you’re connected to the world in Washington State. Nearly 95% of the state’s population is connected to 100 Mbps or better. And if you’re an urban dweller, you can live and work in the same neighborhood. The greater Puget Sound region is booming with lots of new commercial and living spaces, many just steps away from world-class restaurants, clubs, public spaces, shopping and theaters.

Compared to other technology centers in the U.S., Washington State is an excellent value for businesses large and small. Even in a booming economy, the cost of doing business and attracting top-tier talent is lower than it is in California and the state doesn’t have a corporate or personal income tax. When it comes to best places to make a living based on income taxes, cost of living, employment and workplace environment, Washington is consistently recently ranked #1.

A technological revolution.

As an ICT company doing business in Washington, you’ll be in very good company. The state is the leading economy in cloud computing, big data, blockchain and AI. There’s plenty of room for newcomers, whether you’re a one-person startup bent on reinventing online entertainment or a large firm overseas that wants to tap into our world-renowned talent pol and culture of collaboration.

To ensure a steady supply of skilled workers, businesses work closely with educators to align curriculum to emerging industry needs. STEM education has grown by nearly 20% since 2001 and 60.5% in 2017. Eighty percent of these students stay in Washington after graduation.

Connect with one of our ICT experts.

Businesses in the state have been instrumental in putting a cell phone in your one hand and latte in the other, ushered in the age of personal computing, and redefined what it means to go to the “store.”

If you’re looking for a dynamic, can-do culture of creativity where top-tier talent can step right in and turn out amazing products and services that redefine the world, Washington is waiting for you. Whether you’re a one-person startup bent on reinventing online entertainment or a multinational firm that wants to expand or invest in the U.S., our business experts in Washington State’s Department of Commerce are here to help. We’ll be happy to help you take the next steps, answer all your questions and lend you our expertise so you can gain the competitive edge.

Call us at (206) 256-6100 or email one of our business experts below to learn more about our thriving information and communication technology sector and how Washington is leading the way in finding innovative solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.

Steven Maheshwary, Director of Economic Development, Information & Communication Technology – Phone: (206) 256-6118

Evan Wendlandt, ICT Business Development Manager, Business Development Team – Phone: (206) 256-6142

Julie Monahan, ICT Development Manager, Export Assistance Team – Phone: (206) 256-6147

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