Top 10 Coolest Startup Spaces in Pioneer Square for 2012

All technology companies in Seattle have to compete for talented workers.  Aside from the opportunity to create something important and building financial security, talented workers also consider the environment they will be spending their long hours when selecting the company they want to work for.  Below are some office space features that startup companies seek out when searching for the creative environment that attracts talent:

  • High ceilings with exposed beams and HVAC ductwork
  • Exposed brick
  • Interesting design features (paint colors, glass walls, hardwood or polished concrete floors, etc.)
  • Open space for workstations.  Workstations are trending towards increasing collaboration meaning low or no cube walls
  • Lots of conference rooms (ie: breakout rooms, war rooms, phone rooms, etc.)
  • Natural light into the space (with the ability to provide darkness for long hours staring at the computer screen)
  • Suite amenities (lunch room, lounge, views, decks, ping pong, beer pong, foosball, darts, pool table, poker table, video gaming area, nerf guns, kegerator, bar, etc.)
  • Building amenities (showers, bike lockers, fast internet, etc.)
  • Nearby amenities (bus access, parking, restaurants, coffee, etc.)

Pioneer Square is the office space submarket in Seattle that has the highest concentration of buildings with the features above.  Many creative companies will also consider Freemont, Ballard, South Lake Union, Pike Place Market and a handful of buildings in the CBD when searching for cool space.  However, when it comes to cool and affordable spaces for startups, almost all roads lead to Pioneer Square.  For these reasons, we have limited the search for the top 10 coolest startup spaces to the Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Below are the 2012 winners of the Top 10 Coolest Startup Spaces in Pioneer Square.  These companies have been ranked based on the ‘coolness’ of their creative environment (ie: the features listed above):

#1 Payscale

Reedo Building – 542 1st Avenue South

#2 Blink Interactive

Waterfront Place – 1011 Western Avenue

#3 Imperium Renewables

Provident Building – 568 1st Ave South

(materials used)

#4 Climate Corporation

F.X. McRory’s Building – 419 Occidental Avenue South

(Disclosure: this company is a client of Flinn Ferguson)

#5 Morse Best Innovation

Colman Building – 811 1st Avenue

(Disclosure: this company is a client of Flinn Ferguson)

#6 SURF Incubator

Exchange Building – 821 2nd Avenue

#7 Quote Wizard

Interurban Building – 157 Yesler Way

#8 Flowplay

Prudential Building – 114 Alaskan Way South

#9 Identitymine

1201 Western Building – 1201 Western Avenue

(Disclosure: this company is a client of Flinn Ferguson)

#10 Symform

National Building – 1008 Western Ave

In developing the Top 10 Coolest Startup Spaces in Pioneer Square list we surveyed over 50 buildings and several hundred spaces.  We searched for spaces that accommodate less than 100 people (hence ‘startup’).  It should also be noted that not all of the companies we approached were comfortable having pictures taken of their space (although we did get pictures of over 100 companies).  Finally, some of the companies listed above have been around longer than a couple years so may not be considered a startup anymore.

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