Tech in Alaska for Software Statups
Living and working in Alaska allows us the opportunity to examine the impact and connection of places long considered "remote". Places thought of as 'on the edge of the Earth' - like Alaska and the broader Arctic region - become less distant through understanding the complexity of the landscape and its inhabitants from multiple perspectives.
As a gateway to the Arctic, Alaska is part of a global North that is pivotal to today's world. From many perspectives, the Arctic prophecizes new truths about the planet and global communities. Alaska's living cultures, the connections between people, land, animals, technology, and a shifting climate are at the core of how we can better understand the North's many possible futures.
Over the next decade, we believe tech workers will further explore the connection and boundaries between the traditional world and the modern world. Alongside the changing perspectives on the natural world and virtual ones, come more experimentations with work and life, with focus on the quality of one's life. Our accelerator embraces this openness to a changing future. We hope that the co-founders of the companies we invest in will leverage this exciting opportunity to create the future.
Working Remotely and Connected
Here in the Great White North there is a vibrant community of remote workers and telecommuters. Alaska has had high availability of gigabit internet in its three largest cities for a while now, and rural communities are quickly catching up. Increased internet speeds (both upload and download) enable remote workers to collaborate with teams outside of Alaska by providing seamless experiences with integral tools like video conferencing. Working remotely can provide increased focus while minimizing (and in some cases eliminating) lengthy commutes to and from an office. Our neighbor to the south, Washington State, maintained its prominent ninth-place position this year with an average commute time of 27.9 minutes. Evergreen State's metro areas in the Puget Sound account for the high average. Read how commute times rose in Seattle and across the US.
In the lower 48 states, workers are traveling even longer to attain the job or home life they want, but the daily stress may outweigh the gains. Scientific American describes how cmmuting takes its toll. Many workers who commit to a longer commute probably underestimate the human costs. For many reasons, commuting sucks the life out of you. Slate’s Annie Lowrey so aptly described the daily trudge to work: "If you are commuting, you are not spending quality time with your loved ones. You are not exercising, doing challenging work, having sex, petting your dog, or playing with your kids (or your Wii). You are not doing any of the things that make human beings happy."
In Alaska, there are greater opportunities to live and work with little to no commutes. This is believed to directly correlate with an increased quality of life.
Embracing Tech Workers
While working remotely and connected remains a relatively new concept for most Alaskan communities, several have recognized their potential and have started to share their stories. The town of Ketchikan has eagerly developed opportunities to encourage the influx of tech workers. The state capital of Juneau has also taken initiative to attract more diversified community members. Read and explore their stories below.
We hope to help more cities, towns, and communities develop and present their own unique stories about why they might be the best place for people to live remotely and be connected to their work. Nonetheless, we believe many of you will easily fall in love with Alaska and everything it has to offer, and in turn - help build and diversify the amazing communities here.
Valdez: Stay & Work, Remote & Connected
Geeks in Valdez is a basecamp for software engineers and other creative professionals to experience working remotely yet connected. Here work and life are seamlessly integrated. The basecamp is nestled at the foothills of the Chugach Mountains on Robe Lake. The property in Valdez boasts beautiful modern accommodations and unique workspaces with gigabit fiber internet connectivity that increases productivity.
Break away from the typical work routine and try something new. Join software engineers, entrepreneurs and other creative professionals who believe passion has no boundaries. Stay and work, remote yet connected from Valdez, Alaska.
Ketchikan: Live Connected
The city of Ketchikan represents a unique opportunity to live a connected lifestyle for remote workers and other tech-based entrepreneurs. Living in Ketchikan means living connected: to stunning natural beauty; to lightning-speed internet; to low-cost renewable energy; to unique arts and cultural experiences; and to excellent medical and educational facilities.
Residents of Ketchikan enjoy an affordable and unparalleled quality of life with diverse economic opportunities and amazing cultural diversity in one of the world’s most beautiful settings for outdoor recreation.
The Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce has prepared this enlightening comparison of Living Connected in Ketchikan vs. Seattle.
Juneau: A Great Place to Live and Work
You can work remotely, so why not do it from America’s most wildly beautiful community? Relocate to Juneau, Alaska and experience total connectivity.
Whether you are looking for employment or interested in trying out remotely working elsewhere while living in Juneau, this Southeast Alaska city has something for you. Juneau is the central transportation hub in the region, giving you easy access to the great wilderness and the small town lifestyle.