Situated snuggly along the I-5 corridor just south of Seattle and east of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the city of Tukwila is a basin of attraction for people with big ideas and even bigger dreams. Large manufacturing facilities and spacious warehouses fill gaps between restaurants, movie theaters, and small local businesses, offering ample opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to bring their first proof of concept to life or for the longstanding business owner who wishes to shift operations to a more welcoming and bustling area. Due in large part to the technology boom of the nineties and a long, storied history of aerospace advancements, Tukwila is known across the region as a hub for innovation. Now, look at some exciting businesses shaking things up on the southside.
In need of a new Orbitron? It may sound like a gizmo you would find in Doc’s garage from “Back to the Future,” but the Orbitron is 100% real and 100% game-changing. The brilliant minds over at Avalanche Energy are currently hard at work trying to make massive breakthroughs in fusion technology to bring this little microreactor to life and eventually to market. Inspired by a passion to help combat the climate crisis and move humanity toward a new energy future, the founders of Avalanche Energy chose Tukwila for their startup because of its prime location, availability of warehouse space, and being surrounded by other incredible minds in similar forward-thinking industries. Take a closer look at Avalanche’s work to make fusion energy possible.
Right now, there are hundreds of small satellites flying in low Earth orbit with thousands planned to join them by the end of the decade. Even more fascinating, some of those satellites got their start over in a little corner of Tukwila. LeoStella is a state-of-the-art small satellite manufacturing company, redefining how high-quality Earth observation constellations are built. Focusing primarily on satellite constellations, the team is leading the way in reducing development costs and time to bring a fully operational product online in just three to four months—about half the amount of time as other companies in the industry. Over the past five years, the company has delivered 19 small satellites to LEO with many more planned for near future. The space they occupy in Tukwila is rather unconventional for their type of work. Originally designed for standard office use, LeoStella renovated their space to include an ISO class 8 cleanroom/production floor for assembling the satellites. Take a closer look at this impressive operation that shoots for the stars.
Seattle Chocolate Company:
You know the packaging, you know the flavors, but did you know that Seattle Chocolate Company is located in Tukwila? It’s true! One of the most iconic names in chocolate can be found in a candy-colored building just south of town. It’s the stuff of dreams to have a neighborhood chocolate factory. As part of a larger rebrand in the mid-2000s, Seattle Chocolate Company moved operations to Tukwila where it has been raising the chocolate bar ever since. Owner, Jean Thompson claims that purchasing the building that would become the factory’s new home in Tukwila “was the single best investment I ever made.” With help from her daughter Ellie, Jean is setting an example for the entire industry by producing ethically sourced chocolate in their carbon-neutral Tukwila facility. Take a closer look at the amazing chocolatey concoctions they dream up.
And that’s just a small taste of the many incredible businesses operating out of Tukwila. Go anywhere around town and you’ll find pockets of innovation brimming with talented minds working together to bring new creative ideas to life.
We love celebrating these businesses and the people behind the work. We even made a video to prove it! Be on the lookout for the launch of Tukwila Makes Anything Possible—a video highlighting the three companies above and how they contribute to the larger fabric of innovation here in Tukwila.