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Originally published October 11, 2013 at 1:09 PM | Page modified October 11, 2013 at 9:16 PM

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It’s raining innovation at MOHAI’s new Bezos Center

The Amazon founder chats about innovation during a preview of the new innovation center that bears his name.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Amazon founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos isn’t sure why Seattle has produced so many innovators.

“It’s undebatable that when you look at innovation in Seattle per capita, it’s off the charts,” Bezos said Friday in remarks at a preview of the Bezos Center for Innovation at the Museum of History & Industry, which opens to the public on Saturday.

“We joke that maybe it’s the rain. But maybe it is the rain,” which keeps people inside, where they have more time to think and innovate, Bezos said. He gave MOHAI $10 million to fund the center, the largest gift in the museum’s 59-year history.

Bezos was joined by his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee at the preview of the 4,000-square-foot center on the museum’s main level.

The museum, on the South Lake Union waterfront at 860 Terry Ave. N., features nearly 4 million artifacts and historic photographs. The innovation center, which debuts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, features multimedia and interactive exhibits that salute Seattle innovators big and small.

It includes a Patent Tree loaded with inventions from Seattle. The center will sponsor an annual community innovation competition. And it will offer insights from innovators in lectures, workshops and displays that predict the next big ideas. First topic: Seattle’s video game industry.

Jay Greene: 206-464-2231 or Twitter: iamjaygreene

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