Is Pasco County the “Silicon Valley of the 1950s”?

April 13, 2012

Source: NPR.org

It all started with lots of land covered with farms and orchards.  No, we're not talking about Pasco County, we're talking about Silicon Valley. Due to the buzz about Facebook going public, NPR released a story about how Silicon Valley came to be. We can’t help but look at the history of Silicon Valley and notice the similarities of that California region on the verge of greatness and Pasco County here in Tampa Bay.  Pasco County like Silicon Valley has thousands of entitled acres and instead of vineyards, Pasco has plenty of orange groves, kumquats too! Like Pasco they had the land, now all they needed were brilliant people. According to NPR’s recent story on the creation of Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley needed four ingredients to begin, first it needed brilliant scientists.  It started in 1956 when William Shockley won the nobel peace prize for his co-invention of a transistor. Since birds of a feather flock together, Shockley soon attracted more brilliant scientists to Silicon Valley. Over the last few years we have seen brilliant engineers, scientists and the like make the move to Pasco County. Take a look at Power Quality International (PQI) who makes transformers that reduce the power system, load losses, and improve efficiency for engineers. They have a long list of “firsts to invent” and are revolutionizing the transformer industry. Next to Pasco comes Tim Tangredi of Dais Analytic with "industry-changing" nanotechnology applications that address the growth of global water and energy demand. It put the Pasco-based company in the #2 position on the Top 12 energy companies to watch in 2012 in Forbes Magazine. Brilliance… we’ve got brilliance. The second ingredient for Silicon Valley was a spirit of entrepreneuship. Pasco County is on a trek of entrepreneurship. It started when all of the local non-profits got together in a collaborative effort to create a strong referral network for entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business – the Pasco Enterprise Network. Our PEN Partners provide consulting, counseling, education, and technical assistance in a variety of areas and subjects for those looking to start their own business or grow their small business. To add to that, Pasco EDC began their own microloan fund this year to help entrepreneurs and emerging small businesses who can’t get traditional financing. It provides an alternative for those who may have a really great idea and the experience to put it in action, but lack the funding. The spirit of entrepreneurship in Pasco County is at an all-time high! Could we be raising the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg here in Pasco County? You betcha… only time will tell! Source: A Rare Mix Created Silicon Valley's Startup Culture, NPR.org, 04/04/12

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Jennifer Lachtara
Jennifer Lachtara
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