Seattle is one of the biggest tech hubs in the United States, and the city is known for its major industry players. Seattle is a bustling hub of innovation that spreads throughout the city. From major corporations to small startups, Seattle is home to many people who want to change the world through tech.
There are thousands of people in Seattle’s tech scene who continue to make their mark on the city, but who’s driving the innovation? What names should know, and who should follow on social media? We’ve got the breakdown of the best tech influencers to follow in Seattle, so you’ll stay in the loop and never miss a powerful networking opportunity.
Seattle’s Tech Industry
Before we introduce the top tech influencers of Seattle, we need to take a step back and take a closer look at the regional tech scene. Rainy days and the Space Needle probably come to mind when you think of Seattle. However, the city also hosts one of the most significant local tech industry hubs in the Pacific Northwest.
Microsoft is one of the biggest players in Seattle’s tech industry, and it helped transform the town into the booming metropolis it is today. After the arrival of Microsoft, many other massive companies settled in the region, including Amazon, Boeing, Walmart, Expedia Group, and more.
Seattle is a tech worker’s playground with many opportunities available for those who call the city home. From beautiful landscapes and snow-covered mountains to the bustling arts community, there is something for everyone in Seattle. The current salary required for one person to live comfortably in Seattle is around $72,000 per year. This number is considerably low for the tech industry when you take into account the fact that many tech jobs pay well above 6 figures.
A City That Ignores Industry Lines.
Seattle’s tech scene has grown far beyond the confines of just one industry. The trend isn’t necessarily new in the industry, but it’s particularly present in Seattle. Major tech hubs across the world are experiencing a shift in industries. In short, tech isn’t an industry anymore. Tech continues to encompass other industries at lightning speed and works to connect across industry lines in some pretty amazing ways.
Workers in Seattle see industry mergers in finance, medicine, and even the coffee business! Seattle has long been a hub of technical innovation, and these industry mergers are just another way to prove that the city’s economy is booming and shows no plans of slowing down!
Seattle’s Tech Influencers
After gaining some insight on the current state of Seattle’s bustling tech scene, we can now take a look at the most influential people in the area. Keep in mind that these are only a few of the many people who have helped shape Seattle’s tech scene into what it is today. Let’s get to the breakdown of the top tech influencers to follow in Seattle!
1. Rich Barton
Founder of Zillow, Expedia Group, and Glassdoor
Rich Barton is an entrepreneur and investor that has drastically improved Seattle’s tech scene and economy with the introduction of his many businesses. Barton founded Expedia Group inside Microsoft back in 1996 at only 26 years old. In 2007, he went on to form the major employment site Glassdoor. Barton is currently the co-founder and CEO of Zillow Group and is also an active member of many company boards, including Netflix, RealSelf, Artsy, and Qurate Media Group. He is also an active angel investor and venture partner at Benchmark.
Employee at Microsoft and Twitter Influencer
Jennifer Gentleman is currently a Senior Community Manager at Microsoft. With over 11 years of experience at the company, Gentleman has played a major part in the company’s involvement in the Seattle area. Her twitter account is also popular and has 27,000 followers. With unique insights into life at Microsoft and the tech industry in Seattle, Gentleman is definitely a Seattle tech influencer to know about!
3. Todd Bishop
Editor and Co-Founder of Geekwire
As the editor and co-founder of Geekwire, Todd Bishop is dedicated to providing accurate and timely info on the latest tech happenings of Seattle. The tech media company follows breaking tech news in the Seattle area and beyond. Bishop is credited with helping thousands of people stay up to date on the latest in the technology scene of Seattle.
Partner at Madrona Venture Labs
Shawna Causey has been an integral part of Seattle’s tech scene for some time. From her first job working for the Seattle Mariners at only 15 years old, Causey has worked her way up to Partner at Madrona Venture Labs, making some pretty pivotal stops along the way. Causey has a long track record of work throughout the Seattle area and has remained a key player in the city’s tech scene. In addition to working at Madrona Venture Labs, Causey is also on the Board of Directors for Seattle’s NPR radio station.
CEO of Syndio
Maria Colacurcio has been at the forefront of enacting real change in the workforce of Seattle for a long time. As the CEO of Syndio, Colacurcio is dedicated to eradicating pay disparities in the workplace. Syndio currently works to merge technology and workplace personnel in an attempt to eradicate pay disparities at all levels. The company has major clients such as Match Group and Slack. Before Syndio, Colacurcio worked for a variety of Seattle native companies, including Microsoft and Starbucks.
6. Joe Duffy
Founder and CEO of Pulumi
Joe Duffy is the founder and CEO of Pulumi, a cloud engineering platform that works to build, deploy, and manage modern cloud apps. The platform lets users code directly to the cloud to save time and build application security. Before founding Pulumi, Duffy worked at Microsoft for 12 years, where he led technical teams of over 200 people.
Founder and CEO of Female Founders Alliance
As the founder and CEO of Female Founders Alliance, Leslie Feinzaig dedicated herself to helping women unlock startup funding. Female Founders Alliance is a private network of women in leadership that dedicate themselves to helping each other succeed. Prior to starting the Female Founders Alliance, Feinzaig founded Venture Kits, a game company that helps children develop leadership skills through play. Feinzaig is currently on the board of directors for the Washington Technology Industry Association.
CEO and Founder with Multiple Exits
Kristen Hamilton is yet another major player in the Seattle tech scene who hails from Microsoft. Hamilton enjoyed two terms at the company, where she became a Senior Product Planner and later the Global Director Educator of Strategy and Marketing. Hamilton is the founder of multiple startups, including Onvia ( an online retailer) and Koru ( a company that uses machine learning and AI to measure employee performance. Hamilton has also served on the board of directors for Top Hat, ADURO, the Washington Technology Industry Association, Livemocha, and many more.
What’s the Takeaway?
Seattle’s coding scene is moving at lightning speed and shows no signs of slowing down. In the digital age, where media is at the forefront of our lives, the term “influencer” has grown to mean many things. These tech influencers, and many more, are the reason why the industry is booming in the way that it is. Innovation happens when people care. Tech influencers help connect complex technical concepts to real people on an emotional level. Being able to see the connection between tech and our daily lives makes all the difference.
The tech industry is continually changing. With the inclusion of social media comes a kind of transparency that isn’t always available in other industries. Getting complex concepts to the mainstream is a must for continued growth in the tech industry. If you’re in the Seattle area or considering relocation, it’s highly beneficial to learn about the industry pioneers of your area. Even if you’re not familiar with the Seattle area, keeping up to date with the latest trends in technology can make or break your career. It’s always important to stay up to date on the ever-changing news of the tech industry.