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Eugene's Techies Get Together

Rachael McDonald

Members of Eugene's Silicone Shire gathered at the University of Oregon Tuesday to talk about opportunities in technology.

About 300 people who are part of, or interested in, Eugene's booming tech scene came to the App Industry Eugene Conference. Morgan Reed is CEO of The App Association, based out of Washington D.C.

Reed: "We're fortunate that Eugene is actually a hotbed of really clever, innovative technologies that are hitting the market."

One of those is SheerID, an app that helps verify people's status as college students or members of the military. It's used by companies that offer discounts or special benefits to students and military. Jake Weatherly says his company is based in Eugene because of the lifestyle.

Weatherly: "I can jump on an airplane and be in San Francisco and be at a meeting generally in a shorter amount of time than somebody who lives down in the bay takes to get downtown. Yet at the same time, here in Eugene, I've never sat in traffic. When I go hiking or biking somewhere with my children there are plenty of spots in the parking lot."

Weatherly says about half of their 25 employees are based in Eugene, the rest work remotely. Technology is essential to this setup. Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Peter DeFazio also spoke at the conference.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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