Washington state creating most high-tech firms

The state of Washington leads the nation in the creation rate of new high-tech companies, according to a report released last week by the Washington Technology Center.

The report, "The Index of Innovation and Technology for Washington State," found the rate of new company creation in the state is more than 20 percent higher than in California, the next state on the list. The expansion of these new companies also resulted in Washington leading the country in the growth of technology employment by startup firms.

The state legislature established Washington Technology Center in 1983 to spur economic growth and help technology companies create more jobs.

"The data emphasizes the need to support small technology companies since they have been the engine for growth and diversification in Washington's high-tech industries," Lee Cheatham, WTC executive director and co-author of the report, said in a release.

The index also found that Washington ranks third behind California and Texas in export value of products; that the state ranks 21st in the number of science/technology degrees granted; and that the rate of job creation in Washington's startup companies is the sixth highest in the nation.

The report is the first of its kind for the state and includes comparative data from more than 30 sources that will serve as a benchmark for assessing Washington's progress in a technology-based economy.

The report can be found online at www.watechcenter.org.

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