Top High Tech Companies in Spokane
July 29, 2010 3 Comments
Greater Spokane, Inc, is the local Chamber of Commerce. Their job is to market the local area to prospective business start ups, businesses that are expanding or relocating to Spokane.
Important Update to this Post
GSI hasa list of Top High Tech Companies in Spokane, which is duplicated, below. When this was originally posted, from the GSI web site, the list had 50 companies on it, even though many were out of business, had moved, or were not even in Spokane. As of October 2011, GSI has updated the list. The original list of 50 companies has been cut down to just 20.
3 of those 20 are advertising firms, although they do use tech in online advertising and marketing, and 2 are system integrators. These are not “high tech” in a Seattle or a Silicon Valley sense. In case you were wondering.
15 is quite a decline from the long claimed (and not updated in almost a decade) of more than 150 high tech companies in Spokane.
Here is the original text posting and the list of companies and errors on that list
The list is unfortunately out of date.
The following 9 companies on their list are no longer in business in Spokane or they no longer exist under the name given on the list:
- Agilent (Closed Oct 2010)
- A Perfect Web
- Columbia Fiber Solutions
- Data Mosaics
- Getronics (Closed 2009)
- Ideal Semiconductors (Web site no longer exists)
- General Dynamics – Itronix (Closed Spokane operation in 2009)
- Vivato (Closed in 2005)
- ACW Solutions (no longer in Spokane)
About 25% of the companies on the list are no longer in business, not really tech firms, or not actually in the area.
(The above list inadvertently listed Isothermal Systems Research as closed. That was in error and occurred due to a confusing news report. ISR is very much in business although it has shrunk from its peak.)
There is no official definition of what defines a “high tech” company. By some definitions, a “high tech” company is one that designs and develops new technology. A company that uses technology developed elsewhere is probably not a high tech business – they are usually consumers of high tech products or systems integrators. Some, like the Cisco office in Spokane, are small sales offices, not high tech R&D or manufacturing.
Some do not consider “information technology”, which is distinct from computer science, to be “high tech”. For example, a systems integrator that installs and configures computer networks in an office would not be considered “high tech” but a software developer that employs staff with computer science degrees to design and implement computer software solutions would be “high tech”.
Others look at the percent of revenue spent on an organization’s research and development, while the OECD calculates a “research intensity” number for businesses. Those with a high R&D intensity tend to be high tech.
Several companies on the GSI “High Tech” list are questionable to designate as a “high tech” business:
- Ascentium – online advertising
- Avista Advantage – uses technology to provide online billing services
- BECU – it’s a credit union!
- ILF Media – media producer, especially video production
- Purcell Systems – primarily a sheet metal manufacturer that builds metal cabinets for use in cellular base stations and other applications. While some of their cabinets feature telemetry, presumably temperature or security measures, this would not be considered “high tech” in a Silicon Valley sense.
Two genuine high tech companies on the list are located quite distant from Spokane:
- InnovaTek – high tech business in the Tri Cities (150 miles away)
- Schweitzer Engineering Labs – high tech business building products for the electrical power industry, in Pullman, Wa (about 90 miles away)
SIRTI is not a high tech company – it is a government agency that works as a technology and business start up incubator. They are involved in providing assistance to many early stage businesses, especially focusing on technology and bioscience. They recently announced that their business incubation services are now being offered also in Seattle.
Liberty Lake Internet Exchange no longer exists – it was merged into the company Tierpoint, which does exist, and which provides some of the best Internet hosting services in the United States.
About 25% of the companies listed no longer exist, are not really high tech companies, or are are located a long way from Spokane.
Several additional companies ought to be listed but are missing from the list. Another local promotional group claims Spokane has “150 technology-based companies” – a number that has oddly remained constant since first being used in 2004, suggesting no growth since then or another badly out of date list.
At this time there is not an accurate list of high tech companies in Spokane and I probably won’t spend the time to find them.
Here’s the GSI list with their URLs – several of which go nowhere:
360 Services Group
Advanced Input Systems, moved out of Spokane to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Agilent Technologies – closed Spokane facility in 2010.
Anatek Labs, Inc.
Blue Water Technologies, Hayden, Idaho
The GSI link is wrong and goes to a company in the midwest – but the company is for real – here is the correct link:
Columbia Fiber Solutions
Cyan Worlds Inc., Mead, Wa (suburb of Spokane)
Gibby Media Group
Honeywell Electronic Materials
Inland Northwest Health Services
Isothermal Systems Research Inc.
General Dynamics – Itronix
Liberty Lake Internet Exchange
Schweitzer Engineering Labs
Time Warner Telecom
Vivato (out of business, URL sold to Portland, OR based business)
World Wide Packets