Mastering the digital world.
Washington 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, Cray, F5 Networks, Zillow and Expedia and home to engineering offices for Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, Salesforce, BestBuy, Alibaba and eBay.
All told, there are 14,000 ICT companies in Washington State, from the industry’s biggest names to small startups banking on the next big thing. Nearly 200,000 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 computing, software, hardware, big data, the cloud and gaming.
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 artificial intelligence.
Washington’s gaming ecosystem supports more than 420 companies today, from 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. For instance, real estate and wages are lower than California’s tech central 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, unemployment 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 and a world leader in artificial intelligence innovation. 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 top-tier pool of talent and culture of collaboration.
To ensure a steady supply of skilled workers, businesses work closely with educators to align curriculum to emerging industry needs. Since 2001, STEM education has grown by nearly 20% and 80% of these students stay in Washington after graduation.
Workforce Training Resources
- Directory of Community and Technical College Information and Computing Technology Programs
- University of Washington, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
- DigiPen Institute of Technology
- Seattle University, College of Computer Science and Engineering
- Washington State University, The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Bellevue Community College, Digital Media Arts Program
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.
Dr. Joseph Williams, Director of Economic Development for the ICT Sector – Phone: (206) 256-6118
Evan Wendlandt, ICT Business Development Manager, Business Development Team – Phone: (206) 256-6142
Robert Fiddick, ICT Development Manager, Export Assistance Team – Phone: (206) 256-6141