• Startup companies eyeing new Seattle neighborhood for operations


    SEATTLE -- Startup companies are turning to a new Seattle neighborhood to begin their operations.

    The University District is now widely seen as the next hub of local innovation. It is becoming more desirable than other Seattle neighborhoods like Fremont and South Lake Union because the real estate costs are lower and because of its proximity to students and professors at the University of Washington.

    "Proximity to the university is going to help enormously because they can remain connected when that's appropriate," UW President Michael Young said. "They'll have a lot of students there, good labor and bright ideas. I think it's a great opportunity."

    The University of Washington recently opened "Startup Hall," which offers workspace to anyone with a great idea, whether or not they're affiliated with UW. The university wants to facilitate anything that helps start-up companies get started, Young said.

    Other startups, though, will still hit the ground running in a basement or spare bedroom. Bill Mitchell is a former Microsoft executive who quit his job to create his dream device: the world's first fully automatic beer brewing appliance for the home, called Zymatic

    "You can always take up home brewing," Mitchell said. "You can always learn the craft, try to master the craft, but you'll end up spending a fortune on equipment and a large amount of time. So we think this is a good solution for anyone who wants to make fantastic beer."

    Instead of spending four-to-five weeks in a traditional home brew scenario, Mitchell's Zymatic can be ready in seven days with essentially just the push of a button. It costs about $1,700 and is about the size of a microwave.

    KIRO 7 will examine how Mitchell's startup and others are thriving in the Puget Sound region. 

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