Wilson, who himself comes from the software industry, was thrilled to call himself a “geek” among the packed ballroom, filled with software developers and aficionados. He described his own excitement at having the growing event move from its former location near LAX to Pasadena. The event will draw more than 3500 Linux fans to the convention center over this weekend.
Wilson co-founded “Innovate Pasadena,” a cooperative effort between local tech companies and the city, which he described as “creating a vibrant tech eco-system.”
“If you’re really nerdy like me,” he laughed, “we’re trying to make this our home, so that’s our focus,” he told the crowd.
“Scale 14X” is a combination workshop, classroom, learning process, tech fair, and networking opportunity for developers who specialize in creating software for the Linux operating system, a system which operates wholly separately from Mac or Windows, under the idea that software should be free and open to everyone, whether developer or just a consumer. Nearly every popular software has an equivalent in Linux, though the system is still primarily for developers and experts. So far.
Wilson, who has founded and invested in a fistful of software companies, told the group that he sees himself as the primary advocate for technology on the council. He also took the opportunity to “brag” about the city to the group, many of whom were new to the city. He specifically mentioned Caltech, “just up the street,” and its Mars Rover program and 30 Nobel Prize winners, among a host of discoveries and innovations.
In addition, said Wilson, “The majority of cars on the road today were created by Art Center College of Design hands!”
DNA Sequencers were also developed in Pasadena, said Wilson, as well as “pay and search advertising” which has been key yo Google’s massive economic success. Earthlink and E-Harmony also originally began in Pasadena, as well as Spokeo, which was founded in the Bay Area, also now makes it home in Pasadena.
Wilson also touted Idea Lab, which was founded in Pasadena in 1996 as the first tech incubators, a place where new startups could be nurtured and allowed to grow and blossom. Since its creation, IdeaLab has created 125 tech companies, with 40 IPOs and acquisitions, including Picasa, Internet Brands, SellBrite, ESolar, and codeSpark.
Concluding his welcome, Wilson said, “I think our mission here in the City of Pasadena and for innovators on the whole, is around community-building and sharing and sharing our ideas and activities.”
With that, more than 3500 developers got right to work on a Saturday morning in Pasadena, Southern California’s fastest growing tech hub.