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Innovation in the States: Washington

Mark Marich

Washington, home to Microsoft, Amazon and numerous other technology firms, has always had a strong foundation for innovation and entrepreneurship. Yet, like most areas of the country, Washington now faces a severe economic crisis and can no longer continue with business as usual.

A new study from the Washington Economic Development Commission contends that the state needs to develop a new innovation ecosystem built around critical investments in talent, entrepreneurship, and smart infrastructure. The report, The Washington Innovation Economy: New Economic Strategy for Prosperity, places particular emphasis on new initiatives that help new firms cross "the valley of death," when early stage companies lack resources to refine their business models and break into new markets. The report recommends that Washington's government leaders get more aggressive in seeking Federal funds (e.g. in the Small Business Innovation Research program), expand funding for the state's current Innovation Partnership Zone program, and expand the STARS program, a statewide initiative to recruit eminent (and entrepreneurial) scholars to Washington universities.
 
Report: The Washington Innovation Economy: New Economic Strategy for Prosperity by the Washington Economic Development Commission

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