Silicon Valley

Salinas Start-Up Accelerator To Merge Ag and Tech, South of Silicon Valley

The city known as America’s salad bowl is trying to put itself at the centre of an emerging ag-tech industry.
Salinas has hired John Hartnett, with the investment firm SVG Partners, to launch the “Steinbeck Innovation Cluster” — a non-profit in down-town Salinas. The point is to recruit money and talent from Silicon Valley to the Central Valley, home to an $8 billion agriculture industry.
Hartnett hopes local companies like Taylor Farms, Driscoll’s and Ocean Mist Farms get to see how new technologies, like sensors and drones, can help change irrigation.
“Universities and entrepreneurs are creating technology that they want to push in the business,” Hartnett says. ”But if it’s not pulled by the major multibillion-dollar companies that are growing and producing food, it’s not going to happen. So, really, it’s taking what’s happening in the labs and putting it into the fields.”
While the national unemployment rate has hovered around 8 percent in the last year, it’s been as high as 20 percent in Salinas. Mayor Joe Gunter says new computer classes that are part of this initiative are exposing his residents to the future economy.
“You walk into these classes with 25 or 30 young people,” Gunter says. “(At) 6, 7 years old, attention spans always not the best. You can hear a pin drop.
“They are into what they’re learning. And they’re teaching their parents.”
The accelerator for ag-tech projects is taking applications, and is scheduled to launch in the fall.

February 2013 Global Technology Leaders Summit 2013

My impressions. It was a fantastic forum for those who want to take part it what is the greatest Technology Centre in the world

Investment – Technology – Leadership

Day 2

The second and final part of the Summit was held at the Computer History museum 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd Mountain View 94043. A stunning museum on a stunning location Microsoft just round the corner Facebook and google just down the road in the middle of which we found a Starbucks just to sit in the sun and gather our thought before the proceedings start. On entering the museum I really began to feel my age there where bits of kit I grew up with ZX spectrum’s Commodore pets. they had a PDP restoration project blimey my first contact with a serious computer was a PDP 11 at Radan Computational in Bath UK 

May be I need a restoration project i am certainly worn out after the last few days however Day 2

It started out with the famous two doing the double act even better today Ant and Dec would have been proud. To more serious notes the introduced Craig Barrett Chairperson ITLG Former Chairperson & CEO of Intel to talk about “An Amazing Global Expansion Journey.” Intel

He spoke of the massive journey that Intel took with all the disruptive technology that was introduced through the years. The link above will take you through some of that journey.


During the course of the afternoon we went through the doing business in china Tax considerations Big data and cloud computing Arthur Cox and Legal considerations. Everything you would conceivable wish to know if you are going global.

One interesting panel discussion was Global Investment Panel, Investment . Technology . Leadership.

The panel consisted of

I gleamed another insight as to how the minds of the Californians think local indigenous Californians or blow ins from every part of the world. It is a truly multi cultural part of the world and apart from having to prove your age all seems on the surface to work.

However cracks are around for instance the Internet is far superior in Ireland access through wi fi and packages you can buy are way in advance of the Valley. Staffing costs are expensive in the valley also knowledge base it doesn’t matter where you are in the world you can access it through the internet. This was being said by the panel not me. This is where the diaspora issue raised its head as you can see the panel is truly multi cultural. Ireland isn’t the only country suffering with financial downturn and are looking to the diaspora to help.

So I think we have to look to the suggestions the the thought leaders and maybe look for the ways in which we can integrate and get San Jose and the ITLG SVG Partners  to transform themselves from the gate way to Silicon Valley and the gate way to America  to the Global foundation of technology expansion. Which would expand Silicon Valley to make use of the knowledge in situ rather than have it move around the world.

The Last Panel was the most interesting to me. It was the Women in Leadership Panel.

una foxUNA FOX

Una Fox Introductory speaker VP of Technology Disney Founder of what I think will become a world wide organisation. Spoke about a thorny subject in which the old guard males would seek to keep in place and that is A woman’s place is in the home not at a boardroom table. Its scary to think that I know people that still think in those terms.  They stifles the progress through the ranks of any person is bad because if a boss is determined enough to stop a women climbing the ranks what other bad decisions will they make through the life time of that business.

  • Emily Chang Anchor at Bloomberg
  • Marcia Cross Actress and Supporter “Because I am a girl” Global Campaign
  • Jennifer Kenny CIO SRI International
  • Claire Lee Strategic Partnership Microsoft Start-ups.
  • Susan O’Day SVP & Chief Information Officer at Disney
  • Nanea Reeves COO Machinima


If I can end off on a quick thought process that with my years and experience of the chauvinistic world through to part of my early experience of supporting computers which were predominately used by women an the support team around me was 100% women taught me how to behave. My grandmother was a suffragette she fought for the right literally. Its time foe you guys to say stop get out of the way I am going to do it.   The boardroom is equally yours take you rightful place if necessary fight for it.

Finalist in the pitch competition



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