Dear Friends and Partners,
As we approach the end of another remarkable year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve embarked on together and express my gratitude for your invaluable support. 2023 has been a year of significant accomplishments and growth for Greater Seattle Partners (GSP). Our team’s dedication and innovation continue to advance our region’s economic development efforts to build a more resilient and inclusive economy, and I am proud to share a few key highlights and milestones from the past year:
Uncommon Thinkers Welcome
Anyone from Greater Seattle knows that we don’t do things like everybody else, and that is at the heart of our new regional brand, Uncommon Thinkers Welcome. Launched this year in partnership with 22 participating companies and partners, it celebrates and amplifies our unique history of unconventional thinking, and the trailblazers that are changing the world for the better. Since launching this award-winning campaign, Uncommon Thinkers Welcome continues to be driven by new ideas, and we are pleased to share with you, in our final enewsletter of the year, 6 new incredible stories of “Uncommon Thinkers” in partnership with GeekWire.
GSP hosted senior-level executives from nearly 30 companies based in Asia, Europe, and North America as part of SelectUSA this past spring. The Seattle SelectUSA Spinoff led to several companies choosing to locate to the Seattle region including India-based climate tech company Earth Care Equipments, Chargepoly, a French company that makes fast-charging infrastructure for electric-vehicle fleets, and Jobley, a Japanese medtech company. GSP will host another Spinoff in spring of 2024, and international companies interested in investing in Greater Seattle are invited to apply to attend.
Hosting of APEC
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) chose to host its Digital Month in Seattle this year under the banner of “Building a Digital Pacific for All.” Clearly, Seattle is recognized as one of the world’s most vibrant tech hubs, pioneering new innovations to advance the digital economy and provide greater access to underserved individuals and small businesses. It was an honor to work alongside APEC, National Center for APEC, and State Department to host unforgettable events at the Amazon Spheres, Chihuly Garden & Glass, Climate Pledge Arena, Gates Foundation, Paramount Theater, Port of Seattle, and many others. In addition, there were more than 250 individual meetings hosted by 15 departments and agencies in Seattle as we welcomed senior government officials from 21 member economies over the course of almost four weeks.
Greater Seattle Export Accelerator
It was an honor to win not one but two separate cash prizes from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to launch and grow our new Greater Seattle Export Accelerator (GSEA) program. An outstanding lineup of 20 innovative companies in Snohomish, King and Pierce County received complimentary advanced export training, export advising services, and access to international trade opportunities from local, state, and federal international trade and export service providers. It was really exciting to see our region come together to support our small businesses and help them get the resources they need to grow and prosper.
Whether you are a local company looking for information about our region, or an outside company or institution considering greater Seattle for your next location, GSP helps you navigate this process. In 2023, we worked very closely with our economic development partners, commercial brokers and site selectors to take stock of our regional assets to ensure you have the information and tools you need. Next year we will continue to bolster our site readiness and inventory of sites and buildings.
While GSP was deeply immersed in these activities regionally, we were often traveling on Boeing planes to expand and deepen ties with international prospects and partners. This year we engaged in missions and tradeshows to Iceland, France, Korea, and Norway, as well as welcomed 48 inbound delegations representing 70 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.
None of these achievements would have been possible without the leadership on our Executive Council and Board, our amazing staff, and the world-class organizations that invest in us. It is their hard work, passion and commitment that continues to drive our success.
Looking ahead to 2024, I remain optimistic about the opportunities that lie before us. We will continue to build on these programs and initiatives with a focus on elevating economic development, attracting and developing world-class talent, and creating a thriving and equitable economy as a best-in-class regional economic development organization.
Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
Brian Surratt, President & CEO, Greater Seattle Partners