Santa Cruz Tech Beat

Santa Cruz Tech Ecosystem

Stretching Silicon Valley to the Beach

KAZU’s Rowan Moore Gerety reports on the Santa Cruz tech scene, including work ethics, Central Coast Angels, Looker, and more. Read or listen to the full KAZU broadcast.

“Every morning, more than 20,000 people leave Santa Cruz county and commute to work in Silicon Valley. Even with a large research university and seaside real estate, it’s hard for Santa Cruz to compete with the Valley’s pull on engineers and entrepreneurs. But with a $700 billion industry headquartered over the hill, there’s a lot to be gained from local efforts to stretch Silicon Valley to the beach.”

Members of the Santa Cruz co-working space, Nextspace, popular with local techies. (Rowan Moore Gerety)


Looker’s Frank Bien says Looker has been able to woo commuters to stay in Santa Cruz, and attract talent from Silicon Valley too. “Whether it’s a work life balance, the ocean, surfing, or whatever it is, right? There’s enough attraction to get people to come down here.”
Santa Cruz is unique. And in a competitive hiring environment, Bien says Silicon Valley’s density can be a disadvantage. When he worked in Sunnyvale, he says, “You’d have better  candidate flow, maybe, but you wouldn’t get any of em. Everybody had an offer from Facebook or google, or wherever it was they were going.”

Bud Colligan, Central Coast Angels, says “there’s a 1000 angels over the hill. That’s not somewhere where we’re gonna have a dramatic impact. Here, we could have a dramatic impact.”

Read or listen to the full KAZU broadcast.


Sara Isenberg publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.

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