During the Wyoming Entrepreneurs event on Wednesday, January 26th at the Accomplice in Cheyenne, Microsoft launched the TechSpark Initiative.
Dennis Ellis, Microsoft Community Relations Manager, shared a story about when automobiles created a huge economic shift in the United States when they entered into the market as a replacement to the horse-drawn wagon. During this time in 1890 there were 14,000 companies who had a role in building wagons and caring for the horses. Then in 1920 there were less than 100 of these businesses remaining. This was a time when jobs were not lost just transitioned. Those who used to be in the industry related to wagons moved towards that of automobiles. When the transition happened in fact, more jobs were made because several industries emerged. The credit industry became more robust because of car loans. Additionally, the advertising industry emerged at a new level.
“This was a disruption that unlocked opportunity.” explained Ellis, “We are now in the 4th revolution. Now it is related to how technology has disrupts various industries. That is why Microsoft now is focused on having local involvement and engagement. That is why they hired me. They are focused on ‘getting local.’ And committed to making this transition a positive one for the community.”
The program that Ellis launched is TechSpark, “aimed at fostering greater economic opportunity and job creation through partnership with rural and smaller metropolitan communities.” It is comprised of 5 initiatives:
- Digital Transformation Initiatives
- Digital Skills and Computer Science Education
- Career Pathways
- Rural Broadband
- Support for Non-profits
To learn more about this program visit HERE.