EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) –- A Eugene company has instituted a new nickname in an effort to showcase Eugene-Springfield's strong and growing high-tech presence.
The is widely known as the home of the Oregon Ducks, The Simpsons, TrackTown USA and the birthplace of legendary Nike corporation.
But what about the "Silicon Shire"?
That's the new nickname the Eugene-based web design and development company Concentric Sky has come up with for the region. Along with the nickname, Concentric Sky has also launched a website, www.siliconshire.org, that serves as a directory for Eugene-Springfield's technology companies.
So far, the site lists around one hundred hardware and software technology companies as well as gaming, bio-tech, technology services, digital creative services and other high-tech companies in the two-city area.
Concentric Sky's VP of Technology, Cale Bruckner came up with the concept. Bruckner said he's seen too many tech-sector grads from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University leave the area after getting their degrees, as they assume there are no local tech jobs. Bruckner hopes the creation of a tech-sector directory for Eugene-Springfield may lead to more people knowing what's here, greater interest in the region and a brighter future for job seekers - and Oregon's economy.
“It's great to have companies like Disney Interactive and Zynga here in town. I think both of those shops have more than 50 people now and they're growing,” said Bruckner.
Zynga came to Eugene through the recent buy-out of Buzz Monkey Software. It is now one of the largest game makers in the world, known for Internet-based games like FarmVille and CityVille.
Meanwhile, Disney Interactive owns Playdom Studios in Eugene, which also focuses on web games.
“I think a lot of people look at Eugene, the second largest city in Oregon, and wonder where the jobs are here. And if you take a few minutes to look at the Silicon Shire directory, I think it makes it apparent,” Bruckner stated.
The Silicon Shire on-line listings are free of charge and also free to use. Concentric Sky said it is planning on running the website on its own for a while. The company is footing the bill for the site, saying it's in the company's best interest to make sure everyone knows that Eugene-Springfield is a growing high-tech hub and a desirable place to live.
As for the name Silicon Shire, Bruckner says he was inspired by the book The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein's famous precursor to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, published in 1937. Comparing the setting in the fantasy novel to that of Eugene-Springfield's rolling green landscape, Bruckner said he came up with the idea while on approach to the Eugene airport.
While the site is focused on technology, Concentric Sky's developers are paying homage to the local beer industry as well with a recent upgrade adding microbreweries listings to the on-line directory.
For more information, visit www.siliconshire.org.