Seattle – We’re Movin’ On Up!

June 30, 2014

When I moved up to Seattle from Southern California, part of what attracted me to this area was the opportunity to work in a tech savvy city that was on the verge of great things. After all, where’s the challenge working in a city like San Francisco that’s already been there, done that?

Last week’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremony reminded me once again of all the reasons I moved here and am proud to call the Pacific Northwest home. For starters, the winner’s circle represented a who’s who of brands I use all the time including Talking Rain and Zulily. We also saw a healthy turnout of CEOs on the nominees list including ExtraHop Networks co-founders Jesse Rothstein and Raja Mukerj, and the CEO of buuteeq, Forest Key. But perhaps the most touching moment for me came during the acceptance speech from Monty Montoya, CEO of a company I had never heard of called, SightLife. EY[1]They are a global non-profit dedicated to eliminating corneal blindness. Montoya’s heartfelt gratitude to his wife and family, and show of support from his table of teammates screams “winner” to me on multiple levels.

Like most other big city events, the ceremony had all the trademark characteristics of a star-studded gala including a dazzling New Year’s Eve style ballroom and Pharrell’s “Happy” song filling the room. The folks at our local EY office did an excellent job, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year and which other superstar CEOs will be up for the honor in our region.

From where I sit, I think Seattle has earned its stripes as a tech hotbed and we are only getting started. For others, like Quentin Hardy, the jury’s still out. In his recent NYT article Seattle, the New Center of a Tech Boom he states, “It’s too early to say if this concentration of big engineering talent is sustainable over the long haul and whether it will evolve into a flywheel of innovation like Silicon Valley. “ But, one thing everyone can agree upon is that the appetite for technology is unlike it’s ever been. And, the kinship between Seattle and Silicon Valley signals good times ahead for consumers and the tech community alike.

Frances

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