Focus industries

Seattle focuses strategically on the development and implementation of strategies and action plans to promote growth in the following key industry sectors.

Aerospace / Commercial Space

Ever since Bill Boeing founded the Boeing Company in 1916, the Seattle region has been home to the most important aerospace cluster in the country.  The industry employs 125,000 people in the Seattle area and is responsible for making Washington State the largest goods exporter in the U.S.  Today, newer companies such as Blue Origin, Planetary Resources, and Vulcan Aerospace are building on this aerospace legacy by creating new opportunities in commercial space exploration.

Clean technology

Clean technology is an umbrella term encompassing the investment asset class, technology, and business sectors which include clean energy, environmental, and sustainable products and services. Seattle is a leader in clean tech inventions in transportation, advanced green materials, and energy efficiency.

Information & Communication Technology              

Industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia in addition to the over 100 engineering centers located in greater Seattle are key to attracting global talent, creating wealth, and spinning off entrepreneurs.  Seattle is a world leader in e-commerce, cloud computing, enterprise software, gaming, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. 

Life Sciences / Global Health

Seattle is an established leader in immunotherapy, with anchors that include Juno Therapeutics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the University of Washington. The Gates Foundation and PATH have led the charge on global health, making it one of the region's key intellectual global exports. Much of this activity takes place in South Lake Union, where R&D in engineering and life sciences is nearly 14 times more concentrated than the national average.


The maritime sector is a distinct segment of Seattle's industrial economy and includes businesses engaged in fishing, water transportation, shipbuilding and repair, marine goods and services, seafood processing, cold storage, and marine construction.  Seattle's maritime sector provides important economic diversification, includes many stable, multi-generational companies that provide family-wage jobs, and maintains a long-standing competitive advantage for the city.

Technology Start-ups

Ranked by Mattermark as the nation's third fastest growing startup community based on investment, Seattle has a higher concentration of engineering talent than San Francisco (coupled with a lower cost of living). In addition to talent and capital, Seattle boasts critical infrastructure and resources including co-working spaces, a committed community of mentors, incubators and accelerators to help founders launch and grow their startups.  

The Startup Seattle website helps entrepreneurs navigate this sea of resources and connections.