With the tremendous growth of software and Internet companies in the South Sound, the Washington Software Alliance will be launching a South Sound chapter.
The demand for a new chapter arose from industry interest, as many prominent software and dotcom executives approached the WSA. Since that time, industry execs have been working hard in conjunction with the Software Alliance for the upcoming launch on August 17th.
The South Sound chapter will not be an entirely separate entity, but rather provide programs for people that don’t drive to Seattle for special interest and dinner meetings. Tacoma members will remain part of the WSA’s business alliance resources and insurance pool.
“What you’ll see in Tacoma after the launch will be dinner meetings once a month, and then trying to address special interest groups based on whose coming to the dinner meetings,” says Lori Seabright, Marketing Communications Manager for the WSA.
According to Steve Forbes CEO of Y3K, and a founding member of the South Sound Chapter, there are a number of reasons for the growth of software and Internet companies in the region.
“When you compare talent, there’s a lot of talent in the Puget Sound region. But a lot of that talent doesn’t want to spend 3 or 4 hours per day commuting,” says Forbes. “When you think about someone spending that much time in their car when they could be being productive, you have to think about the agitation that brings.”
In addition, Forbes notes: “The rents have just breached $50 a square foot in Seattle, and it’s not far behind in Bellevue. At our new building, with all of the tenant improvements we’re at $24 a square foot. That’s a sizable difference.”
There are currently 51 member companies that have signed up, and officials at WSA are confident that this number will grow rapidly.
The launch party will take place on the 17th of August at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
Besides the Seattle chapter, Spokane and the Tri-Cities also have WSA Chapters currently in operation. There are plans to further expand with an Olympic Peninsula chapter in the near future.