WST17 was founded by engineering and management professionals located in Santa Cruz, CA – just over the hill from Silicon Valley. Santa Cruz has served as a destination for tourists seeking refuge in the sunshine and natural beauty of our coast and redwood forests. Today, Santa Cruz continues to draw about 4 million visitors each year for the natural environment and amusement from the Boardwalk and the Santa Cruz Wharf, but also for our unique farm-to-table cuisine, growing brewery scene, and boutique retail opportunities.
Santa Cruz has a long history in active sports and technology. O’Neill opened his surf shop selling the first full body wetsuit in 1952 and since then Santa Cruz has seen significant growth and innovation in the surf, skate, and mountain bike world. Giro, now owned by Easton-Bell, invented the modern bike helmet, the Giro Prolite, here in Santa Cruz in 1985. The first Crossfit gym and training program was created in Santa Cruz by Gymnast Greg Glassman in 1995 and the CrossFit brand was incorporated in 2012 and the sport has grown worldwide.
We’re also the home to Plantronics, which made the first headset used in outer space, and made history when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and uttered the legendary words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” through a Plantronics headset that went on to be worn by astronauts during the NASA shuttle missions. Today, Plantronics continues to be a leader in the Bluetooth audio communications and wearable industries.
Lastly, the University of California has a thriving campus of over 17,000 students located in Santa Cruz.