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Seattle, WA
Best Places for Outdoor Enthusiasts

If you want to forge a career in tech and enjoy spending your leisure time frolicking in nature, then Seattle should be on your radar. The city topped Niche's 2016 Best Cities for Outdoor Activities in America, as well as The Telegraph's list of the Best US Cities for Outdoor Adventure. While major tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon call the city home, IT businesses of all sizes thrive in Seattle, fueled by its large pool of tech talent. In fact, according to a report by NPR, the most common occupation in Washington State is software developer. And as the startup community continues to grow, more folks are realizing they don't have to work for a major company to have a career in tech.

Seattle offers plentiful resources and fellow entrepreneurs you can turn to for advice and support, including StartupSeattle. It's also a TechHire city, which means it's committed to training people to fill the 1,800 software developer jobs posted each month. So if you're starting an IT business in Seattle, there's a pretty good chance you'll be able to find the talent you need.

"I came to Seattle to go to the University of Washington and sort of fell in love with the city and the combination of tech talent and interesting academics," says Gilad Berenstein, founder and CEO of Utrip, a website that helps travelers plan vacations. "When I was ready to start Utrip, I was already here and it was obvious that this is where I wanted to stay. I think that the standard of living in Seattle is incredibly high. It's a beautiful place, which is something a lot people in tech and small business really enjoy. And for a freelancer, it's really an ideal place to live because there are literally three coffee shops per block."

Ready to embrace flannel and make the move? We recommend checking out some of the resources and events at New Tech Northwest. They've also compiled an extensive list of networking events you may want to check out, like Appy Hour, Beers with Engineers, and many more.

Gilad Berenstein

How Gilad Berenstein is Making Vacations Better

In 2010, Gilad Berenstein spent untold hours researching and planning a vacation to Europe. He had an epiphany – there had to be a better way to plan the perfect trip. Upon his return, Berenstein made his vision a reality and founded Utrip. Utrip combines human expertise and artificial intelligence to help travelers plan unique, personal trips.

"The trip itself was wonderful, but we constantly felt like we had misinformation and holes in our itinerary," says Berenstein. "I remember thinking how hard personalization was. Identifying the Louvre and Eiffel Tower is quite easy, no one needs help with that, but identifying the really unique and local things that make every city and destination special is much more challenging. I realized that the vast majority of people did exactly what I did, go to websites and ask friends and family for recommendations, and that most of these people were not happy with the experience. I thought that maybe I could combine psychology decision making with machine learning artificial intelligence to make trip planning easy, enjoyable, and personal."