Successful Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Will Speak in Sheridan

February 15, 2012
Man smiling
Gene Watson

What happens when Wyoming's hard-working entrepreneurial spirit is combined with Silicon Valley's innovative technology industry? Find out at the e2e/StartWest meeting Wednesday, Feb. 29, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Sheridan Holiday Inn.

The University of Wyoming's Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) will sponsor a talk by Gene Watson, a longtime Wyoming resident and Silicon Valley pioneer. He will meet with current and future business owners.

Watson directs the Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative (WSSI), located at UW. The WSSI assists Wyoming businesses and individuals in accessing the funding opportunities provided by the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

He will discuss "Silicon Valley to Wyoming - A High-Tech Entrepreneur's Journey" and will share his knowledge of the high-tech business sector. Watson's insights will benefit all business owners and those thinking about starting a business.

"Gene Watson has spent many years as an entrepreneur, resulting in some great successes," says John Dick, WTBC assistant director. "He will tap into his vast business experience to share some insightful stories and valuable lessons he learned along the way."

Watson began work in the technology sector more than 45 years ago in what is now known as "Silicon Valley." He co-founded seven high-tech start-up ventures, including Spectra-Physics, the first commercial laser manufacturer, and Coherent, which now has more than 2,000 employees and annual sales exceeding $500 million. Three of his companies eventually became publicly traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges.

In 1994, Watson moved to Wyoming and co-founded DeltaNu in Laramie. He is now a consultant to UW's Office of Research and Economic Development.

e2e/StartWest is an educational networking program designed to improve the climate for start-up and growth of entrepreneurial companies. Five meetings are held per year for entrepreneurs to meet with other entrepreneurs and business service providers. Ideas are shared, plans are formulated and many partnerships are formed, Dick says.

For more information about the event or to RSVP, call Dick at (307) 766-6384 or visit

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