Why Alibaba and Best Buy set up shop in Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Source: The State of Washington
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Editor's note: This commentary was written before the release of the Top States 2015 data. The governor did not have knowledge of the rankings or the comprehensive data.

What do Alibaba, Apple, Best Buy, Google, HBO, Oracle and Twitter have in common? They are all on the long list of information technology leaders that have established engineering offices here in Washington state, the "Cloud Computing Capital" and one of America's top states for business. Nearly every major name in the industry is here to tap our deep creative talent pool and do business in a cluster of tech innovation known the world over.

In addition to renowned R&D resources and a vibrant economic climate, nowhere else will you find a ready workforce with the depth and breadth of advanced skills necessary to tackle nascent opportunities in multiple industry sectors. One in three workers have post-secondary degrees and strong public-private partnerships between colleges, universities and industry ensure a steady stream of highly qualified workers.

As software and automation play an ever larger role in the things we use every day, Washington is an epicenter for this new economy.

Read MoreAmerica's Top States for Business 2015

Boeing builds 95 percent of its commercial airplanes in Washington, and the next generation 737MAX and 777X aircraft, including the largest composite wing ever constructed, are homed here.

Amazon and Costco continue to re–envision and re-invent e–commerce and retail. Juno Therapeutics, the most successful biotech IPO of the past 10 years, started here and will manufacture its revolutionary human T–cell cancer treatments here. International brand icons Microsoft, Starbucks, Weyerhaeuser, Nordstrom, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others are firmly rooted in Washington.

What is it they know? From precision agriculture and food processing to carbon fiber and clean fuels; medical devices and immunotherapies to video games and super yachts; smart goods to the smart grid, Washington State is a place where innovation and invention thrive.

Tim Miley | Moment | Getty Images

Ours is a tradition of game–changing growth generations in the making. Over the years, our ideas have revolutionized medicine, from the portable heart defibrillator and Medic One emergency response system to bone marrow transplantation. Washington companies create the tools and equipment to form, mold, cut, cure and finish composite structures, from custom-designed prosthetics used by athletes to highly complex winglet structures which add fuel efficiency to aircraft.

Our people and our research institutions are improving the lives of people throughout the world. Our public universities are consistently ranked at the top for receiving federal research grants, and we are home to one of 10 national laboratories.

Read MoreGovernors sell states as top for business

This innovation ecosystem is supported by a network of angel investors, home-grown and international venture capitalists and a robust business infrastructure for developing amazing products and services.

Start-ups blossom near native corporate giants, creating a blend of cultures and new business models that keep industries dynamic.

As a state, we enthusiastically partner public resources with the private sector on out–of–the–box ideas such as community–sourced capital fundraising campaigns, employer-driven education and workforce training programs, and a retirement savings plan marketplace for small businesses.

Washington state is a place where new ideas are not only valued, but embraced. Maybe that's why we are consistently ranked as one of the top places to start a business and for entrepreneurs to nurture and grow their ideas. Partnerships are a natural way of life here. Successful businesses don't live in isolation, but work in close collaboration, discovering synergies with others that often result in quantum leaps in the marketplace.

Why is Washington a top state for business? Just ask the world-class companies and their employees who love to live, work and play here.

—By Washington Gov. Jay Inslee