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Could the Valley be the next Silicon Valley?

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A new technology company called Stremor said it's fully funded and ready to do business.

The company said it's focused on making new methodologies for online content. It's one of the growing number of businesses that decided to start in the Valley instead of California's Silicon Valley.

Stremor has a lot of company. A number of California companies have already relocated here.

"We've been drawing companies like Yelp, eBay, PayPal, out of the San Francisco Bay area," said Barry Broome of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Broome said companies are discovering that it's cheaper to live and do business in the Phoenix area. He said the Valley is looking more attractive to technology business.

"It's our ability to continue to create a great environment for small business formation," said Broome. "This kind of speaks to some of the work that the governor and the legislature's done to help keep the market free and open."

There's no doubt in Broome's mind that the Valley will soon replace Silicon Valley as the place for companies to locate.

"Arizona's leading the nation in small-business job growth," said Broome. "The greater Phoenix region is leading the nation in new company startups."

Broome said that Arizona needs to make sure that workers here are qualified for the jobs that come with those companies.

"The only thing we need to do more effectively to replace Silicon Valley is do a better job of intentionally planting the kind of science and technology infrastructure necessary to elevate us above and beyond Silicon Valley," said Broome.

Broome believes Phoenix could replace Silicon Valley within five years.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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