The new economy centers around companies that have access to high-speed internet, talent, and a community that provides opportunities for economic and social growth. The tech sector in Santa Cruz enjoys access to these vital elements and is driven by the ability to work anywhere, anytime. Our city attracts tech professionals who want to live and work in a place that values their talents and provides options for connection outside the workplace and companies that support their employees' needs.
Our proximity to Silicon Valley creates opportunities for investment and inspiration, yet we maintain our unique Silicon Beach aesthetic.
Our tech community is well integrated and Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup participants gather monthly to celebrate successes and discuss new developments.
Launched in 2008 and supported by over 2,000 members, the group ranks as the 8th largest New Tech Meetup in the nation. Our strong tech ecosystem fosters startups like Looker, and supports Fortune 500 companies like Plantronics through a network of coworking spaces, an independent ISP, a #1 research university that produces local talent, and a strong pool of inventive entrepreneurs who build companies that have a local and global impact.
Notable tech companies like Netflix, Texas Instruments, SCO (Santa Cruz Operation), Seagate, and Borland are among the tech companies that started in the Santa Cruz region. Founded in 1963, Plantronics made the first headset used in outer space, and made history when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and uttered the legendary words: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" through a Plantronics headset that went on to be worn by astronauts during the NASA shuttle missions. Today, Plantronics continues to be a leader in the audio communications and wearable industries. This anchor company continues to pave the way for Santa Cruz startups.
In 2008, NextSpace Coworking opened in Downtown Santa Cruz and created a collaborative community that revolutionized the nature of work. In 2010, long-established independent ISP Cruzio opened their own coworking space, CruzioWorks. These spaces changed the game in the way tech companies and entrepreneurs work and connect.
As a result, Santa Cruz is a hub for freelancers, startups, as well as small to medium-sized companies who take advantage of the lower overhead and invaluable collaborative experience provided by coworking spaces.
Entrepreneurs from those spaces have built successful companies in Downtown and in other areas in the Santa Cruz region. Fast growing startup Looker demonstrated its commitment to the community by moving into the top floor of the Rittenhouse Building in the heart of Downtown, joining established tech companies like ProductOps and FullPower Technologies. The future of our tech sector looks bright as interest continues to grow in relocating or launching in an environment that many traditional tech hubs can’t offer.
Gigabit Broadband Internet
New Tech Meetup Members
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In Depth: Tejal Sood, Bayside Hotel Group
Last summer we had an opportunity to interview local hotelier, Tejal Sood. She and her family have been in the lodging and tourism industry here in Santa Cruz for decades, and they are up to some great things!
The presence of creative and artisanal goods has promoted a range of retail offerings from boutique outfitters to world-renowned international brands.
Each year over 1 million tourists visit Santa Cruz to take in the beaches, visit our world famous boardwalk, explore the mountains, and kick back at the numerous breweries and restaurants unique to our Central Coast city.