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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

From finding the perfect Seattle coworking space to figuring out who can best explain how to patent an idea in Seattle, there’s no doubt that starting a business in Seattle can be quite a challenge.

That’s why we created this comprehensive guide so that all startup companies in Seattle know exactly where to start, as well as what their next steps are before filing for a patent (or two).

So without further ado, here are the top 20 essential resources for entrepreneurs and inventors in Seattle.


University of Washington (UW)

Since 2015, the University of Washington is considered the most innovative public university in the world. Not only is it home to the Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science and Engineering, in 2015 alone, but the university also reported that it had 44 innovations, four start-up companies, 65 patents filed and 18 patents issued.

Constantly encouraging students to, ”go on to illuminate possibilities and drive change throughout the country and all over the world”, the UW is regarded as an ideal place for students to start turning their business dreams into a reality.

According to current UW President, Ana Mari Cauce, in a 2018 article titled, UW Ranked Among Top 5 Most Innovative Universities in the World By Reuters, ” Innovation at the University of Washington is driven by a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and a deep-seated public service mission,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.

“This mission is at the heart of our work to educate, improve health and well-being, and create a more prosperous and equitable future. We are proud that the UW continues to earn recognition as the leading public university for advancing knowledge and discovery, and that we’re doing so through our unique form of inclusive innovation.”

Seattle University (Seattle U)

Founded in 1891, Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university known for students helping students make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Other than that it is home to the Jones Progress Award, a business accelerator for Seattle U students, it is consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.

It is also included in The Princeton Review‘s Best Colleges guide and will (eventually) be the home of the newly built Center for Science and Innovation.

As of January 11th, 2019, Microsoft committed $3 million to Seattle University in order to support the Center for Science and Innovation, Programming in Ethics and Technology.

Small Business Administration Groups

SCORE Greater Seattle

Founded in 1964, SCORE is a non-profit organization geared to help small businesses succeed by offering free counseling and networking opportunities.

It is powered by the U.S. Small Business Administration and has 364 chapters throughout the United States and its territories, with over 13,000 volunteers nationwide.

In addition to providing resources, templates, and tools to entrepreneurs, SCORE also runs local workshops and events throughout the country in order to help small business owners connect those that will help them to start, grow, and maintain their businesses. SCORE even provides online workshops to businesses. These workshops are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Seattle District Office

Developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Seattle District Office offers Financial assistance for new or existing businesses. It also offers free general business counseling to small businesses of all types courtesy of SCORE. They also give special loans to businesses involved in international trade.  It even offers assistance to minority and women-owned businesses.

For those who were once a part of the U.S. military and want to start a business, U.S. veterans can receive business counseling and information about SBA guaranteed loans courtesy of the Seattle District Office.

Inventor Groups

Seattle Bold Inventors Group

Led by none other than Bold Patents itself, Seattle Bold Inventors Group is a free meetup group where businesses can learn more about the latest in patent law (recent law changes, court cases, etc), the patent process and how to get a patent!

You can even practice your pitching skills there and team up with other entrepreneurs and inventors if you want to.

As of now, the group has over 300 members and is run by Bold Patent’s founder, J.D. Houvener, and his assistant organizer, Mai H.

ACG Seattle

Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth(ACG) serves to drive middle-market growth.

It is well-known for its annual Northwest Middle Market Growth Conference, which is a premier networking and business development event in the Northwest.

It is also well-known for giving members exclusive access to top financial data through the PitchBook Platform.

As of now, the ACG has 57 chapters in North America and Europe and is home to ACG InterGrowth, ACG’s cornerstone networking event, as well as the world’s largest dealmakers conference.

Entrepreneur Groups

Seattle Startup

Seattle Startup (otherwise known as the Seattle Entrepreneurship Club or SEC) is an entrepreneur group whose mission is to, “network the high-level professionals and entrepreneurs around Seattle, build a communication and collaboration platform for startup business, venture capital, and professionals, and support different parties’ pursuit of success, so as to encourage the startup activities and enrich the entrepreneurship culture in the Seattle community and beyond.”

In this group, members have partnerships with organizations from different areas and fields in both China and North America.

In addition to being a very good place to practice your Chinese language skills, Seattle Entrepreneurship Club is a great place to partner with other entrepreneurs from around the world.

Startup Tech Seattle

Other than being a good place for members to learn more about the Seattle tech entrepreneurship community, the Startup Tech Seattle group is a great group for those looking to practice their pitches and meet future coworkers.

In addition to speaking events featuring innovators and leaders, the group also offers workshops and hackathons related to the fundamentals of product, marketing, customer success, and so on.

As of now, the group has over 700 members and is led by organizer Riley P.

Networking Events

Young Professionals of Seattle Networking Events

Established in 2011, the Young Professionals of Seattle (YPOS) group strives to, “provide a platform where locals can connect with other young professionals and thaw the rumored “Seattle Freeze” ” by running network events.

As of now, it is the largest young professionals community on the west coast.

They even have a really cool Facebook page for those who want to stay up-to-date on all of their current events and meetups.

Mentorship Program(s)

Consulting and Business Development Center Programs – Foster School of Business, University of Washington

Founded in 1995, the Center’s programs are non-profit programs geared to help MBA students get the experience needed to tackle on the challenges that the business world today has to offer.

Combining academic rigor with business relevance, the programs help businesses of all backgrounds succeed in today’s competitive market by offering programs such as the six-week business intensive Business Certificate Program.

As of now, it is considered the #1 School for MBA Job Placement according to Businessweek.

Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) Programs

From its supportive  Small Business Development team to its hardworking Workforce Development team, the Office of Economic Development strives to make Seattle the most innovative and equitable city through the usage of their programs.

In 2016, The Seattle region was designated a TechHire community, which aims to help underemployed adults get the opportunities that they need to work and flourish in the tech world  by aligning them with training providers like Ada Developers Academy, a software development training for women and Unloop, which aims to help people who have been incarcerated succeed in technological careers.


Microsoft Accelerator Seattle

Launched in 2014, Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Seattle funds and supports startups (especially technology-based startups) mature into “enterprise-ready companies.”

In addition to offering a 4-6-month tailor-made program for later-stage startups looking to go beyond the development of their product(s), the accelerator also provides startups support with…

  • CEO coaching
  • Team culture development
  • Recruiting talent
  • Creating distribution channels with global Fortune 500s
  • Learning how to work with big corporates
  • And MORE!



Ranked the #1 U.S. Accelerator by MIT’s U.S Seed Accelerator Rankings since 2015, AngelPad is a seed-stage accelerator program that has launched more than 140 companies since 2010.

Every 6 months, AngelPad works with about 15 teams.

During that time, AngelPad works with these groups on everything from discovering who their actual customers are to figuring out how they should refine their business marketing strategies. They also help these companies with fundraising.

Tech Incubators

CoMotion Labs

Located at the University of Washington, CoMotion Labs strives to help business leaders, artists, innovators, and other startup members get the help that they need to make their business dreams a reality.

In addition to providing plenty of office space for UW students, CoMotion Labs also offers plenty of meeting rooms, as well as chemistry, biology, engineering, augmented and virtual reality labs. This way, they could help students, “removes barriers and increase connections.”

Madrona Venture Labs

Owned by the Madrona Venture Group, Madrona Venture Labs is a “startup studio” designed to help businesses build connections with the 20 top VCs and investors in the nation.

Because it is a highly competitive incubator, this incubator is not designed for those who want to start a business at their own pace.

This incubator is especially well-known for its Open Pitch nights, which are, “like Open Mic Nights…but for Ideas!”

Seed Funding  


Alliance of Angels

Founded in 1997, Alliance of Angels is the largest and most active group of angel investors in the Pacific Northwest.

Each year, it invests $10M+ into 20+ startups. It also provides business mentorship to these startups.

As of now, they have provided the majority of their funding to information technology companies such as Cardtapp and Foodee.


Founded in 2010, WINGS is a non-profit angel network that supports the medical technology community by providing seed and early-stage funding.

Since then, WINGS has evaluated hundreds of medical technology companies from around the region and has invested over $11 million in 27 companies to date.

As of now, WINGS has provided funding to companies including Monitor Mask and LaunchPad Medical LLC.

Shared Co-Working Spaces

Image Source: Top 17 Seattle Co-Working Spaces

From Office Nomads to Black Dot, investors and entrepreneurs can choose from a multitude of unique shared coworking spaces.

For more information, please read our article, Top 17 Seattle Co-working Spaces.

In the article, we provide an in-depth explanation of all the different types of co-working spaces available in Seattle!


Seattle Public Library

Since 1891, the Seattle Public Library has helped businesses build the skills that they need to succeed by offering free online classes and access to local business news and databases for market and industry research.

It founded, and until July 2008 administered, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL).

In 2018, the library hosted the NSF’s STEM for All Video Showcase to Highlight Innovation in STEM Education.

For those looking for good business programs, the library currently offers two entrepreneur workshops: Beyond Google: Free Market Research At Your Library and Your Business – Start Smart.

Seattle Patent Attorneys

Named one of “the 10 top cities of innovation” according to Bizjournal,  The Emerald City itself is home to many large tech corporations and accelerators.

We understand the difficulties of growing your ideas and business in such a competitive market such as Seattle.

That is why we exist; to help our clients through the legal processes of intellectual property.

Click here to learn more about the #1 patent firm in Seattle!

Known for serving the bold and the brave nationwide, Bold Patents has been helping its clients get the patents that they need in order to make their business ideas (and inventions) a reality.

Because they focus only on patents, they are able to find the lawyer(s) that best fit a certain company’s needs. Do you have an idea for an app? We can patent an app idea. Do you have a medical device? Our medical device patent attorneys will get on it right away!

Side note: By the way, if you would like some information on meeting with a patent attorney, then please check out our previous article, 10 Tips for Investors: Meeting with a Patent Attorney.

So what are you waiting for? Book a free consultation today!

In Conclusion

There you have it, everyone! A multitude of all the different resources available to inventors and entrepreneurs as listed above and below.

1.  Universities                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • University of Washington – The #1 most innovative public university in the world
  • Seattle University –  A Jesuit Catholic university known for students helping students start their own businesses

2. Small Business Administration Groups

  • SCORE Seattle – A non-profit organization geared to provide business owners free consultation
  • Seattle District Office Group – A group funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide businesses with free consultation and funding

3. Inventor Groups

  • Seattle Bold Inventor’s Group – An inventor’s group led by none other than Bold Patents itself
  • ACG Seattle – A group well-known for its annual Northwest Middle Market Growth Conference

4. Entrepreneur Groups

  • Seattle Startup – A group that  teaches others how to build strong, long-lasting relationships with Chinese entrepreneurs
  • Startup Tech Seattle – A group well-known for introducing entrepreneurs to the tech community

5. Networking Event(s)

  • Young Professionals of Seattle (YPOS) events – A fresh group of entrepreneurs and inventors on a mission to stop the infamous “Seattle freeze”

6. Mentorship Programs

  • Consulting and Business Development Center Programs – Combining academics with real-life business scenarios to help students of all different backgrounds succeed
  • Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) Programs – Working to help make Seattle the “most innovative and equitable city” in America

7. Accelerators

  • Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Seattle – Designed to help startups (especially technology-based startups) mature into “enterprise-ready companies”
  • AngelPad – The #1 U.S. Accelerator by MIT’s U.S Seed Accelerator Rankings since 2015

8. Tech Incubators

  • CoMotion Labs – A proud incubator of the University of Washington
  • Madrone Venture Labs – A “startup studio” designed to help businesses build connections with the 20 top VCs and investors in the nation

9. Seed Funding

  • Alliance of Angels – The largest and most active group of angel investors in the Pacific Northwest
  • WINGS – “The Medical Technology Angels”

10. Shared Co-Working Spaces

  • Co-working spaces in Seattle – Please read the article, Top 17 Seattle Coworking Spaces

11. Library/ Libraries

  • Seattle Public Library – A great place to get free business resources

12. Patent Attorneys / Lawyers

  • Bold Patents – Your future go-to place for protecting your invention for years to come

In the meantime, what other resources would you recommend to your fellow entrepreneurs and inventors in Seattle? Please let us know in the comments below!


About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at