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Seattle is truly a GREAT place to build a startup, but most of the early-stage entrepreneurs we speak to are not aware of the local resources that are available to help them.

With applications for the Seattle Founder Institute coming to a close, we are excited to re-release the updated Seattle Startup Ecosystem Canvas, which is currently in V2 below! It was developed by the Seattle Founder Institute and local leaders Aswin Pranam, Raghav Nair, and Robert Le. Many Founder Institute Mentors also contributed. 

More input is needed, so please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document, and it will be considered for the next update!

Seattle Ecosystem Canvas


Below you can also find a text synopsis of the infographic:


Startup Stages 

There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.

1. Idea Stage

This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.

A. Inspire

    • Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters)
      1. 425Bbusiness
      2. GeekWire
      3. Seattle Tech Calendar
      4. Seattle Tech Startups (STS)
      5. Seattle Angel
      6. Startup Seattle
      7. StartupDigest
      9. Techflash/ PSBJ
      10. xConomy
    • Inspirational Events: Open, inclusive, beginner startup events (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups)
      1. House of Genius - Seattle Chapter
      2. Ignite Seattle
      3. Lean Startup
      4. NewTech Eastside
      5. NewTech Seattle
      6. Power Chicks International
      7. Seattle Startup Week
      8. Startup Weekend Seattle

B. Educate

    • Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspirate)
      1. Geekwire Startup Day
      2. Seattle Startup Mentoring & Networking
      3. Startup Founder 101
      4. Startup Grind
      5. Startup Tech Seattle
      6. TiE
    • Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development. (Ex. bootcamps and comprehensive training programs)
      1. Founder Institute
      2. General Assembly
      3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
      4. Lean Startup Machine
      5. MIT Enterprise Forum of the Northwest
      6. TacomaAngel Network
      7. Tech Diversified

C. Validate

    • Team Formation: Resources for teaming up. (i.e. events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching)
      1. CEOtoCEO Breakfast Forum Series
      2. CoFoundersLab
      3. Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) - Seattle Chapter
      4. First Look Forum
      5. Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance (SCSA)
      6. Startup Poker
    • Build First Product: Hackathons & resources to build. (i.e. hackathons and other builder-focused events and resources)
      1. Angel Hack
      2. Beer && Code
      3. Code Day
      4. TechShop

2. Launch Stage

In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.

A. Start

    • Establish: Law firms & banks for startups
      1. DWT
      2. inVigor Law Group PLLC
      3. Perkins Coie
      4. Silicon Valley Bank
      5. Summit Law
      6. Slinde Nelson Stanford
      7. Wilson Sonsini
    • Workspace: Co-working and flexible workspaces (note: “official” office space goes in 3.1.a. Infrastructure)
      1. Ballard Labs
      2. dev/local
      3. Eastside Incubator
      4. extraSlice
      5. Galvanize
      6. ImpactHUB
      7. Interbay Lofts
      8. Jigsaw Renaissance
      9. Office Nomads
      10. Orange Studios
      11. The Pioneer Collective
      12. Startup Hall
      13. SURF Incubator/ DICE Cabana
      14. The Makers Space
      15. The Mill
      16. ThinkSpace
      17. WeWork
      18. WS Office Junction

B. Develop

    • Formalize: Accounting, development and HR for early-stage startups.
      1. Accounting Solutions Partners
      2. Applied HR Strategies
      3. Barbelo Group HR and Staffing
      4. Brunswick St. Recruiting
      5. Rooster Park Software Development
      6. Seattle Web Design
      7. Urban Influence Design
    • Prepare for Seed: Incubators and advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources for startup teams)
      1. Atlast Accelerator
      2. Ivy Softworks
      3. Microsoft Ventures
      4. McKinstry Innovation Center
      5. Reactor
      6. StartupNext Seattle
      7. TechBA
      8. Village88

C. Launch

    • Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
      1. Fledge
      2. Outline Ventures Group
      3. Madrona Venture Labs
      4. Techstars
    • Pitch & Demo: Show local startups for investment (i.e. demo days for companies seeking seed investment)
      1. Puget Sound Venture Club
      2. Geekwire Summit
      3. First Look Forum
      4. Seattle Angels

3. Growth Stage

Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.

A. Recognition

    • Investor Networking:  Connect professional investors with founders. (i.e. events or groups that facilitate connections with professional investors)
      1. Community Capital Development - King County
      2. Connect Northwest
      3. Disruptrs
      4. Geekwire Awards
      5. Keiretsu Forum Seattle/Northwest Chapter
      6. NW Energy Angels
      7. Seattle Angel Conference
      8. SVP Seattle
      9. Technology Alliance
      10. Washington Technology Industry Association
    • Major Media: Mainstream local business press. (i.e. major local or regional publications that frequently champion local businesses)
      1. The Seattle Times
      2. Seattle Weekly

B. Funding

    • Angels / Micro-VCs: Seed-stage investors
      1. Alliance of Angels
      2. Element 8
      3. Founders Co-op
      4. Keiretsu – Seattle
      5. Seattle Angel Fund
      6. 9 Mile Labs
      7. Seraph Capital Forum
      8. TiE Angel Group Seattle (TAGS)
      9. The Abilities Fund
      10. Washington Access Fund
      11. WINGS
      12. ZINO Society
    • Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond
      1. Cascadia Capital
      2. Divergent Ventures
      3. Ignition Partners
      4. Founders Co-op
      5. Madrona Venture Group
      6. Maveron
      7. Montlake Capital
      8. Second Avenue Partners
      9. Social Venture Partners
      10. Voyager Capital
      11. WRF Capital

C. Growth

    • Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
      1. AHT Insurance
      2. ALLtech
      3. Applied HR Strategies, Inc.
      4. Baker Technical Staffing
      5. Barbelo Group
      6. Bring IT Inc.
      7. BrunswikSt.
      8. Fuel Talent
      9. Halo Partners LLC
      10. HRnovations
      11. Parker, Smith & Feek, Inc.
      12. PLC Insurance, LLC
      13. Swift HR Solutions, Inc.
      14. VCFO
    • Expansion: Growth accelerators/consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
      1. Affirma Consulting
      2. Bader Martin PS | CPAs + Business Advisors
      3. Culture Foundry
      4. Fresh Consulting
      5. PricingWire
      6. Stripes39

4. Success Stories

Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.

  1. Amazon
  2. Apptio
  3. Big Fish Games
  4. Booktrope
  5. Buddy TV
  6. Cheezburger
  7. Dreambox
  8. EveryMove
  9. GameHouse
  10. Gist
  11. Intelius
  12. Julep
  13. Microsoft
  14. Moz
  15. OfferUp
  16. Ontela/ Photobucket
  17. PayScale
  18. PetHub
  19. PopCap
  20. Porch
  21. RealNetworks
  22. Redfin (More info)
  23. Rhapsody
  24. Simply Measured
  25. Socrata
  26. Tableau
  27. TalentWise
  28. Urban Airship
  29. Wavii
  30. Wildtangent
  31. Zulily
  32. Zillow



To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

1. Evangelists

Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.  (i.e. Local leaders who have taken a leadership position, speak at a lot of startup events, mentor all the programs, etc)

  1. Bob Crimmins
  2. Chaks Appalabathula
  3. Chaya Jadhav
  4. Chris DeVore
  5. Dan Shapiro
  6. Dave Parker
  7. Diane Njam
  8. Gary Rubens
  9. Glenn Kelman
  10. Gillian Muessig
  11. Heather Redman
  12. Janis Machala
  13. Jaren Schwartz
  14. Joe Walin
  15. John Cook
  16. John Sechrest
  17. Josh Holmes
  18. Josh Maher
  19. Karen Rosenzweig
  20. Katie Chase
  21. Kevin Croy
  22. Marc Nager
  23. Marcelo Calbucci
  24. Maria Dykstra
  25. Mark Hancock
  26. Martina Welke
  27. Matt Dyor
  28. Mukund Mohan
  29. Peter Chee
  30. Pradeep UN
  31. Rand Fishkin
  32. Ravi Gadde
  33. Rebecca Lovell
  34. Rudy Garde
  35. Saibaba Talluri
  36. Sanjay Puri
  37. Sarah Bird
  38. Scott Berkun
  39. Shauna Causey
  40. Srikanth Kasam
  41. Tamara Adlin
  42. T.A. McCann
  43. Yi-Jian Ngo
  44. Yoli Chisholm

2. Government

Public organizations that facilitate local economic development

  1. Bellevue Chamber of Commerce
  2. Community Capital Development
  3. Economic Development Council- Seattle & King County
  4. Innovate Washington
  5. Northwest Tech Alliance
  6. Small Business Development Centers
  7. Startzone Northwest
  8. WBBA
  9. West Sound Technology Association (WSTA)
  10. WTIA

3. Talent

Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.

  • Local Universities (universities with prominent technical or business programs)
    1. City University of Seattle’s Technology Institute
    2. Seattle Pacific University
    3. Seattle University
    4. University of Washington
  • Local Employers (Major technical employers, like Microsoft or Google or large local companies, with large local offices)
    1. Amazon
    2. ArenaNet
    3. Apptio
    4. Big Fish Games
    5. Boeing
    7. Concur
    8. Cray
    10. eBay
    11. EMC Isilon
    12. eNotes
    13. F5 Networks
    14. Facebook
    15. Google
    16. Groupon
    17. Intellius
    18. Microsoft
    19. Moz
    20. Nordstrom
    21. Oracle
    22. RealNetworks
    23. Salesforce
    24. Starbucks
    25. Sucker Punch Productions
    26. Tableau Software
    27. thePlatform 

The Startup Ecosystem Canvas project seeks to provide local entrepreneurs with a clear list of resources for every stage of their startup journey, and outline a basic framework for communities to map their ecosystem. 

Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and if you have any comments on this canvas, please contribute to this collaborative Google document

Are you looking to build a startup in Seattle? Then apply to the Seattle Founder Institute today!

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