I love living in Silicon Valley…I love its weather and incredible diversity, and most of all, I love its rhythm. Can’t you just feel the technology pulse of this place? Startups are launched daily, with almost a third of all venture deals in the entire U.S. last year funded right here. Popular new social networking and mobile applications include everything from sharing your passion or hobby using Pinterest, to having your friends share travel insights for your upcoming trip using Gogobot. So who will be Silicon Valley’s next Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or eBay? Impossible to know, there’s so much innovation buzz always going on here. It’s in your iPod, coming through your wireless device, your 4th generation this and your 3D that…we share our lives, photos, favorite music and videos… the technology found here and the connectedness vibe here enables us to work at home in our virtual office and keep tabs on our family and friends…we text, surf, web conference, chat, like, yelp…we multi-task and blend family, work and play. We login to life here.
And Silicon Valley technology companies are doing more than just connecting us, they are revolutionizing industries. Life sciences, health tech and bio tech startups abound here, like 23andMe. They provide an easy way for people to have their genetic profile assessed for potential disease risk, as well as providing ancestry information based on the heritage of their genes. More importantly, a vast repository of genetics info is being gathered relating to diseases like Parkinsons, in the hopes of finding genetic factors that may cause or possibly even help treat the disease.
Silicon Valley companies are also creating Industry-Education partnerships, an example being IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education). IISME links some of Silicon Valley’s foremost companies with teachers to provide paid summer fellowships involving state-of-the-art technology and science. Teachers gain tremendous professional development, students gain leading edge knowledge that teachers bring back to their classroom and companies such as Intel, Cisco, Lockheed Martin Space System and Genentech, gain a more scientifically adept workforce in the future. Education tech startups are developing new ways for teachers and students to connect and collaborate using more experiential learning models and interactivity tools.
Virtual reality applications, artificial intelligence and robots are being developed here, too. Apple’s intelligent personal assistant, Siri, was initially a startup spun off from Silicon Valley’s SRI International, a nonprofit research and R&D institute. And the technology advancements here include green/clean innovation in water and waste recycling, Tesla Motors’ electric vehicles and a thriving solar industry including SolarCity, MiaSole’and ArrayPower (who is building miniature solar cells to dramatically reduce cost and improve efficiencies). We live in a hotbed of new technologies and applications that help us multi-task and keep connected, and that improve the quality of our family’s lives, our community and even the world. Silicon Valley…just plug me in.