Our website is now using McAfee security technology to protect you from identity theft, credit card fraud,spam and malicious software. Even if you’ve never heard the term “technology cluster” before, you are most likely already familiar with the most influential cluster in the United States: Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is a famous demonstration of the cluster effect: a few companies specializing in computer hardware and software were founded in close proximity to each other. Technology clusters, also referred to as industry or innovation clusters, are an important part of organizing and understanding the economic activity in a region. A regional technology cluster represents a geographic concentration of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field. Although we often thing of them in terms of “high tech” software or computing, the term “technology cluster” can refer to any group of companies working on the leading edge of their field and competing using the most sophisticated tools available. A successful cluster needs to reach a critical mass of interconnected companies, entrepreneurs, and expertise in a particular field before it can begin attracting outside talent and investment.
Almost every successful technology cluster has access to a local university that can provide research, workforce training, and resources to support the needs of the growing clusters. The entrepreneurial community must be active and involved in supporting the growth of new startups in the region.

Local events like Startup Weekend Eugene, SmartUps, and the ID8 Incubator Program help train entrepreneurs.
Arguably both the simplest and most difficult to achieve, the entire community must begin to recognize its strengths and areas where it can compete on a global market. As we look ahead to the new year, it is time for us to begin considering areas of opportunity in Eugene. About RAIN EugeneRAIN Eugene is a network connecting entrepreneurs, investors and mentors to grow the innovation ecosystem in Oregon's Willamette Valley. About UsWe bring together resources from local governments, upper education institutions & state organizations to support the generation of innovative startup companies in the South Willamette Valley.
If you’re familiar with the Oregon startup scene, the influence of Silicon Valley is fairly obvious: Portland’s “Silicon Forest” and Eugene’s “Silicon Shire” are clear attempts to mimic the success of that region of the country.
Independent entrepreneurs founded the area, and, through their work, it grew it the economic force it is today. Common components include a variety of small or startup companies, a few mid-sized firms, one or two large companies, and often research universities and other governmental organizations. Reaching this critical mass takes time: entrepreneurs must understand the advantages of choosing your region over national clusters (Silicon Valley and New York City) and over other regional clusters (Portland or Seattle).

In Eugene, we are fortunate to have both the University of Oregon and the Lane Community College system as resources to support technical and entrepreneurial education in our community.
Part of this activity should include events geared towards entrepreneurial education to help build resident entrepreneurial expertise. Other important community events, including networking sessions, informal meetups, and events like the recent HP Hackathon and the Eugene Indie Game Conference help entrepreneurs connect with each other and develop new collaborations. Just like evaluating your company’s business model, the region must start to identify and refine its value proposition to the rest of the country.
Soon, investment capital followed, which quickly attracted new companies and then more talent to the area. Most importantly, this funding must come from angel networks and investors within the community before outside firms will start to consider investing in local companies. How can we build organized clusters that will attract new entrepreneurs and investments to the region?

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