Last month, Pacific Coast Business Times presented our first stand-alone special report, "Who's Who in Banking & Finance." Now we're turning our attention to the major players in the Tri-Counties' high-technology sector with "Who's Who in High-Tech." We've profiled a selection of dynamic individuals in every high-technology and telecommunications business imaginable, though we're saving the "who's who" of our burgeoning biotechnology industry for next year's special report on health care.
Technology is playing an important and growing role in the tri-county economy. In the past year, high-tech businesses in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and the Ventura/Thousand Oaks end of the 101 Corridor have drawn attention from Salon online magazine, Wired magazine, The Industry Standard and the front page of the Los Angeles Times, to name just a few.
Special Reports Editor Tony Biasotti has tried to profile the most interesting and influential business people in the region. This includes a fair sampling of "rising stars" -- people of whom you may not have heard, but whose skills and vision could make them household names in the future. For others, recognition is nothing new. High-tech entrepreneurs from the Tri-Counties have been honored as among the best in Southern California for years, and we've included some of their stories as well.
We've aimed for a balance between the up-and-comers and the established names, and there may be some surprises on our list. Keep an eye on our technology coverage, including our monthly special reports, for some of the faces you will see in next year's "Who's Who."
Our "Who's Who" sections are our first stand-alone special reports, but they are not our only special projects. Each month we have a report devoted exclusively to technology, and we have been producing a series called "Power Cities" that looks at the major communities in the Tri-Counties on a monthly basis.
Dennis Cagan founded his first company 32 years ago, and since then he's been both an active entrepreneur and a nationally recognized expert on software, hardware and communications technology. His latest venture utilizes that experience to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs: in May of this year he founded the Santa Barbara Technology Incubator.
The incubator helps to fund, house and mentor startups, building businesses in the areas of Internet software and services, and computer and communications software and devices. Its investors include Silicon Valley Bank and Compaq Computer. Cagan has founded over a dozen companies, and has sat on the board of directors for over 30 companies and charities, including Software.com and Wavefront Technologies. Cagan, 55, graduated from UCLA with a degree in economics and later served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and children.
Rick Davis came to Ants.com in 1999 with over 20 years of experience in management of high-tech companies, including Kinko's, Claris Software and Apple Computer. Ants.com, an online freelance marketplace, is growing at around 1 percent per day, and now has over 70,000 members and over 70 categories of jobs. Based in Santa Barbara, Ants.com helps companies around the world outsource projects to the largest pool of qualified freelancers in the world.
Davis holds a bachelor's degree from UC Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.