Startup in Seattle – Exploring some key players in the Northwest

Too often we associate Silicon Valley with the bubbling hotbed of startups that it is. However, while it may not have a popular new TV show on HBO, Seattle has always been the place for tech startups to get going. In fact, from 1990 to 2010, the Emerald City had the largest change in high-tech startup density than any other city in the U.S., according to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Whether you’re a consumer looking for a way to improve your life or a backend developer looking for a new tool to add to your kit, Seattle startups offer a little for everyone.

Here is our roundup of some of the city’s biggest players along with what employees said about them on

Koru – Going from college straight into a new job isn’t the case for 55 percent of graduates. Luckily, this company bridges the gap between entry-level positions and the young, driven talent that belong in those companies. Since launching in 2013, Koru has managed to get 85 percent of college grads into jobs. Employees have not yet reviewed this company, but I think the praise of GeekWire, The New York Times and Forbes gives it enough credit.

DocuSign – Doing away with all the hassles of signing documents, this company offers an efficient and convenient alternative to offering your John Hancock. Employees here rave about how excited they are to be working at such a fast growing company with a great product, but are finding the work-life balance difficult at times.

Chef – Automate and optimize your company’s IT infrastructure like Nordstrom, Facebook and Etsy. Cut down on the time it takes to build your applications or new features by letting Chef cook it up in no time so you can get it into your consumers’ hands. Aside from a few expected hiccups from working at a fairly fresh startup (began in 2009), employees rave about the fun and open-minded environment.

Redfin – This company proves you can take the salesperson out of the real estate agent. Combining home buying and technology, Redfin rewards their agents based on their customer satisfaction instead of the number of houses sold. The agent’s drive is still a crucial trait to have as an employee here, according to reviews. Work-life balance continues to be a struggle, but lunch three times a week is always a plus in my book.

Kymeta – Taking satellite broadband on the run, this company was founded in 2011, and has already received raves from CNBC and MIT for being one of the most disruptive tech companies around. If you’re a tech enthusiast looking to make a big move, and don’t mind being part of the few growing pains that comes along with a startup, employees mostly rave about their excitement to be here.

I know the struggle of being a recent college grad in this day, and it’s not fun. With a company like Koru helping folks out, I wouldn’t just use this service, I wouldn’t mind working there to help people get jobs.

Would you be able to handle a startup? If so, which one?