Tech in Motion OC successfully hosted their first Made in OC: Tech Talk, a panel discussion which featured executives from successfully established Orange County companies – Boeing, Telogis, Numecent and Local Corp.
Reporter Chris Casacchia, of the Orange County Business Journal, moderated the conversation for the evening, which covered topics such as: the ups and downs of maintaining a successful tech company in Orange County, the advantages to working in Orange County as opposed to other tech hubs in California, opinions on the current startup scene in Orange County, and the future of each speaker’s industry.
“I think there’s a very good breadth of talent here,” said Art Hitomi, Chief Technology Officer of Numecent in regards to the pros and cons of starting up in Orange County. “To talk about the downsides I think admittedly, with my company, I had to go out of the country to get funding. Although, there are definitely people in the bay area who are moving down to this area. They are moving because they see a huge opportunity here.”
“I’ve never had a hard time finding good people here in Orange County,” agreed Joe Lindsay, VP of Technology at Local Corp. Lindsay, having been a part of businesses in both Northern and Southern California said the culture and career paths of people in technology are different. “I’ve found that the type of engineers I want to hire, it’s easier for me to find them down [in Southern California] than up there. Here, software developers are applying software to businesses rather than core technology.”
When asked about the legacy industries in Orange County and how they’ve benefited the tech industry as a whole or the local community, Manuel Beltran, Chief Software Architect at Boeing, had great remarks about how Boeing has been actively involved.
“If you recall, even the facility I’m in was McDonnell Douglas and was bought out by Boeing,” he said. “Rockwell was bought out by Boeing and Conexant is a Rockwell company. So what happens is, when these larger companies invest in the community, you give smaller companies opportunities. We try to do the best in our local communities and school systems. We try to bring interest and stimulate that resource pool and I’d like to see more of that done with the startup community.”
With the ever-advancing world of tech, Casacchia asked the panelists what they’re excited about in regards to the current and prospective tech scene.
“I think what’s really exciting is that the cost of entry into a new business is very low,” Tim Taylor, Chief Client Success Officer at Telogis said. “When I started my career, to start a business you needed four loans. Now you just need your iPad and Starbucks WiFi. I don’t think there’s a better time to have a business, than right now.”
Before the discussion kicked off, the night began with a networking session where members came together to meet with new and familiar faces. The event was made possible by sponsors Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners.
Don’t forget to join Orange County’s meetup to be at the next event!