Join a highly-educated community with internationally-recognized tech companies.
We are innovation focused
A Hub for Tech Innovation
Home to a myriad of tech startups and success stories, Whatcom County is the launch pad for internationally-recognized tech companies, like opens in a new windowAlpha Technologies, opens in a new windowSilfab Solar, opens in a new windowCorvus Energy, and opens in a new windowFaithlife. With four higher-educational institutions, a bustling downtown, and an incredible quality of life, Whatcom County is the ideal place to start, grow, or relocate your tech company.
Creative, Collaborative Environment
Whatcom County offers a truly collaborative approach to innovation. Makerspaces, like opens in a new windowThe Foundry bring innovators together—allowing them to use their skills as a team and explore new ideas. Likewise, coworking spaces, like opens in a new windowInvent Coworking bring freelancers and founders together, so they can connect and learn from one another. Our creative and welcoming community allows new ideas to thrive.
Whatcom County boasts four post-secondary educational institutions that offer an array of technology and technology adjacent programs, degrees, certificates, and skills training programs, includes opens in a new windowWestern Washington University, opens in a new windowWhatcom Community College, opens in a new windowBellingham Technical College, and opens in a new windowNorthwest Indian College. Plus, just 90 miles south of us is the opens in a new windowUniversity of Washington, which was ranked as the sixth best computer science program in the country in 2022 by opens in a new windowUS News; Seattle is also the #2 “Technology Hiring Hot Spot” in the country.
Whatcom Community College is at the forefront of cybersecurity education. The college is 1 of only 4 national Advanced Technology Education Centers, ensuring our area’s leadership in workforce and business development in this critical field.
FOUR post-secondary schools
Year-Round Tech Workshops and Events
The opens in a new windowNorthwest Resource Innovation Center (NWIRC), opens in a new windowTechnology Alliance Group (TAG), along with local coworking spaces and colleges, keep the calendar filled with tech events all year long.
From makerspace workshops on 3D printing, to opens in a new window TAG’s recurring tech and networking events, to the opens in a new windowNWIRC’s Data Workshop for Businesses, to the Startup Weekend Challenge—which gives innovators 54 hours to develop and pitch their ideas to investors—there are plenty of opportunities to learn from current tech professionals, recruit talent, and show-off your ideas.
Access to Capital
Loans, grants, and investors are all available within Whatcom County. The opens in a new windowBellingham Angel Group has been funding new ideas for more than a decade, while the Port of Bellingham, Ignite Northwest, Washington Access Fund, and others all provide local funding opportunities specifically for tech companies. Search our opens in a new windowFinancing page to learn more.
Located Between Two Huge Metropolitan Areas
Doing business in Whatcom County is win-win: you get to live in one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world, while still having access to two huge metropolitan cities—Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC. While Whatcom County gets to maintain its safe and tight-knit environment, you get to benefit from having 7 million customers within a 90-mile radius.
Supportive Community for K-12 Education
Bellingham just passed a new technology levy to enrich access to technology in K-12 education. Bellingham is now on route to becoming a 1:1 district with strong community support. With world renowned educators, and innovative pedagogy, Bellingham is a great place to raise ambitious, tech-savvy children.
YOUR TECH SUPPORT TEAM
Michael Gan Technology Alliance Group (TAG)
Get connected with the local tech community, attend networking events and educational programs, and recruit the talent you need. TAG is the go-to organization for current and future tech companies.
Northwest Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC)
The NWIRC works with early-stage entrepreneurs and inventors to bring their ideas to life. Through the creation of personalized strategies, the NWIRC process prepares them with the tools and resources to navigate common pitfalls.
CJ SEITZ WWU Small Business Development Center
The SBDC is your go-to team for small business help. They’ll connect you with a Certified Business Advisor, who will help you create a business plan, develop financial forecasts, obtain financing, handle human resources, and more.