The 2019 Eugene Tech Tour was billed as an opportunity for locals to get a peek at what their hometown video game, software, hardware and science companies are working on
Eugene tech companies opened their doors to tourists in their own town Thursday during an annual showing of local businesses.
The 2019 Eugene Tech Tour was billed as an opportunity for locals to get a peek at what their hometown video game, software, hardware and science companies are working on, and for those companies to attract attention and talent for their businesses.
Thursday’s event was the largest open house of technology companies in Oregon, according to host Matt Sayre, a representative of the Oregon Technology Association. Around 50 businesses participated in the tour and hundreds of people appeared downtown to attend.
“It’s a day to celebrate, to recognize how fast tech is growing and to make sure that growth is inclusive,” Sayre said.
Crowds gathered for a tour kick-off in Kesey Square where they mingled to music before an address by Sayre and Eugene’s mayor.
“Thank you all for being here, for caring about what happens next, for bringing your skills, your creativity, your energy to our community,” Mayor Lucy Vinis said. “You make us strong. You make us great. I’m delighted to see you out here.”
With their $10 admission tourists got a map leading them out from Kesey Square to the homebases of many local tech companies, where they were invited inside for snacks and a party atmosphere. At video game studio Pipeworks, they even had an opportunity for play.
“We just want them to see that we’re here, that we’re growing and that we have our opportunities in play for everyone here in Eugene,” said Pipeworks Studio Design Director Hal Milton. “We’ve been an institution here in Eugene for 20 years now, and we think we’ve been one of the best kept secrets. We like opening our doors and letting people know the secret is out.”
The tour allowed the businesses to promote themselves to job seekers. Sayre said there are at least 200 open tech jobs in Eugene.
“Sure, there’s software developers. But there’s creative design opportunities, there’s opportunities for project managers, there’s opportunities for accountants. Pretty much every occupation you can think of you can find at a local tech company,” Sayre said.
I’m at the @techoregon 2019 Eugene Tech Tour. A group of local tech companies have opened their doors so folks can get a look at what their working on and maybe even find future places of employment. pic.twitter.com/psho1vKTcU
— adam duvernay (@DuvernayOR) October 4, 2019
Connor Truax, a junior at South Eugene High School, bounced around the tour to get a sense of what jobs might be available for him.
“I’m very interested in tech stuff. I’ve been coding and working with computers since I was very young,” Truax said.
He said a visit to cyber security firm Continū made the downtown trip worthwhile.
“I just find it really interesting how you can protect from cyber security attacks,” Truax said.
Timothy Ericsson made the circuit hoping to drum up business for 12Security, a small security company he hoped would find partners among those who’d opened their doors Thursday evening.
“I’m just trying to schmooze and talk to some people about the company,” Ericsson said. “We’re a young startup company that’s just a couple of dudes. We’re based out of Texas and Oregon and we’re just looking to expand and get some new clients.”
Follow Adam Duvernay on Twitter @DuvernayOR or email email@example.com.