Santa Cruz Tech Beat

Santa Cruz Tech Ecosystem

Santa Cruz TECH scene makes the national news on NPR Marketplace (and more)

by Sara Isenberg
Publisher, Santa Cruz Tech Beat

There are two things to know about Santa Cruz TECH in the news today (March 27, 2014)…

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

1.  Our local tech scene is featured in NPR Marketplace’s national broadcast today:
Sick of the commute, Santa Cruz tries own tech hub.

2. There’s a great article in today’s Good Times Santa Cruz:
Approaching Critical Mass — Is 2014 the year Santa Cruz lands on the tech map?

Let’s take a deeper look.

First: Our local tech scene is featured in an NPR Marketplace national broadcast:
Sick of the commute, Santa Cruz tries own tech hub.

This story was broadcast locally on KAZU last week in Stretching Silicon Valley to the Beach.

From the broadcast:

… But the local tech ecosystem is growing.

Close to 100 people showed up to a recent weeknight tech meet-up downtown, sponsored by the Santa Cruz Office of Economic Development. “Five years ago, we really had to beg to get people here,” says Doug Erickson, a regular on the Santa Cruz tech scene.

Afterwards, commuters fill out a survey designed to find out what it would take to make them stay in Santa Cruz. “What percentage of your current compensation would a Santa cruz opportunity have to come up with to get you to forgo your commute?” one question asks.

The man behind the survey is venture capitalist Bud Colligan. He’s lived in Santa Cruz for 18 years, but he didn’t always invest here. In December, Colligan started a group called the Central Coast Angels with 20 Silicon Valley veterans who live in Santa Cruz.

“It’s people from Google, Symantec, Apple, Palm,” Colligan says. “At our first meeting, we had a discussion, of, well, ‘Should we also do angel investments over the hill?’ And my response was, ‘You know, there’s a thousand angels over the hill. That’s not somewhere where we’re gonna have a dramatic impact.’ Here, we could have a dramatic impact.”

Listen to or read the full broadcast here.

Second: There’s a great article in today’s Good Times Santa Cruz:
Approaching Critical Mass — Is 2014 the year Santa Cruz lands on the tech map?

From the article:

“What we really felt when we came down here is that we could leverage the natural benefits of Santa Cruz to attract top talent, and that is what we have been able to do.” — Frank Bien, Looker


“Equally important to money will be the guidance and mentorship that experienced executives and investors can provide to Central Coast start-ups.”  — Bud Colligan, Central Coast Angels


“The phenomenal success of Nextspace and Cruzioworks, the companies growing out of these spaces like Looker and MakersFactory, startups coming out of NextSpace like Five3  Genomics, a forward-thinking local government, UCSC and the other scientific facilities in the region that are bringing national attention, dollars, and brainpower to the area—all coupled with our geographical location—make it an almost perfect storm, ready for an explosion of tech growth.” — James Hackett, Cruzio

There’s plenty more about all things TECH in the Good Time’s article by local freelance journalist, Aric Sleeper. Read the full article here.


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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