Dan Pulcrano is a successful journalist and publisher, a digital entrepreneur and a tireless promoter of San Jose and its culture. He is also the man behind C2SV: Create. Converge. Silicon Valley. C2SV is a four-day technology and music event that will take place Sept. 26-29 and feature artists like Iggy and the Stooges, along with luminaries from the world of technology such as the legendary founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell, and famed social media phenomenon Robert Scoble. In this exclusive interview, Dan Pulcrano shares his vision for this festival.
Q: Dan, what was the motivation for starting C2SV?
A: I felt that there was an opportunity to create a new platform for sharing ideas about technology, discovering new music, and, of course, having a lot of fun in the heart of Silicon Valley. Other cities have organized festivals of this type, but there was nothing like it in San Jose – and Silicon Valley is obviously a great place to bring together some of the brightest minds in technology. It’s also an opportunity for the valley’s hard working technical workforce to experience a festival of music and advanced ideas without travel, expense and crowds. Other festivals have become overwhelming. The last time I showed up in Austin, the hotels were full so I stayed 20 miles out of town after the room I’d rented—which looked pretty good in photos—didn’t have soap or toilet paper and plaster had fallen into the tub.
Q: How will this be different than other tech conferences held here?
A: There will be parties every night. We’re having a single-wristband music event at 12 club venues in Downtown San Jose. We’ve booked more than 70 bands—from local bands to national recording artists like The Lemonheads and The Limousines. It will be a chance to experience top bands in a smaller venue than you’d be able to see them otherwise. We are also staging a major concert with Iggy and the Stooges in St. James Park. It’s their only West Coast date and they’re going to be taking a break after this, so this is kind of a farewell gig for this era of the Stooges.
Q: Tell us a little about the speakers who will be featured at the conference.
A: This year’s line-up of speakers includes social media superstar Robert Scoble, “Breakpoint” author Jeff Stibel, new Yahoo! Chair Maynard Webb, video game inventor Nolan Bushnell and “Digital Vertigo” author Andrew Keen. Zuckerberg Media COO Bradley Lautenbach will share a talk about digital content creation that’s shaking up the entertainment industry. And, the CEOs of cutting edge companies like Quixey, Desti and Tempo AI will be on hand, as will leaders in the social transportation revolution: Sidecar, RelayRides, Flightcar and Zipcar.
Q: What about the musicians?
A: C2SV will showcase emerging and established acts in some of Silicon Valley’s best venues. We’re excited to feature Iggy and The Stooges as the headliners at St. James Park on September 28 because they were real innovators, something we value here in Silicon Valley. The Stooges’ guitarist, James Williamson, literally invented the chords that became punk rock, and Iggy was the performer who popularized the stage dive. James put down his guitar for 30 years and worked at AMD and Sony here in San Jose before rejoining the Stooges. He’ll be talking about his double life in a chat at the Convention Center earlier in the day. Thee Oh Sees and Bosnian Rainbows will also play in the park, and there will be dozens of musical performances throughout the weekend from bands like The Coup, Mondo Generator, Off! and Party Ben. Stumblebunny is flying out from the East Coast, and Santa Cruz’s Eliquate just joined the bill. The venues are all downtown San Jose, within walking distance of one another, and are accessible by VTA buses and lightrail, bicycle or pedicab.
Q: What are your hopes for this event?
A: I hope that people will be inspired and energized by the ideas that will be shared at the conference. I am personally excited about the VC Pitch Competition that we’ve organized for promising startups looking for funding. It would be wonderful to see an interesting new idea be launched at C2SV. I also think people will enjoy the level of entertainment that C2SV will bring to San Jose and enjoy dining here and walking around downtown. In the long run, I hope this is the beginning of an important annual event that will attract people from all over the world to celebrate innovation and art here. San Jose has a vibrant culture with many talented and interesting people from all sorts of disciplines – and it should be recognized as an important cultural destination. I am hoping that C2SV can play a role in helping evolve the San Jose brand.
Q: Liquid collaborated with you on the C2SV identity system, can you share your thoughts on the C2SV brand?
A: Over the years, I have worked with Alfredo Muccino and Liquid Agency on a number of projects and initiatives to promote San Jose. As significant businesses located in downtown San Jose, we share an interest in helping to build traction for our city, improving the environment for businesses here and injecting creative energy into the social environment. So, it was a natural to work with Alfredo to establish the C2SV brand. We created the name together, gave it meaning and a distinctive look. I really liked the way that Liquid helped articulate the concept through a visual language that represents both music and technology in a way that is fresh, interesting and a little unexpected. I was very pleased with the logo’s custom letterforms as well as the two-finger iconography. I believe it captures the spirit of the brand experience we are creating with C2SV – and it was designed to reflect the disruptive nature of technology innovation while also capturing the irreverent artistic edge of new music. The brand identity system has been very flexible, and we expect it will continue to evolve over the years.
Q: Anything else we should know about C2SV?
A: Yes, of course. Tickets are still available, and I invite people interested in where the world’s going to attend the event and help it be successful. We’ve created an opportunity to discuss the future of digital content creation and other innovations transforming our lives, from space travel to new energy systems – right here in San Jose. The technology conference is happening at the newly built wing of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The conference will feature sessions and keynotes on a provocative range of topics related to business disruption, convergence, and the relationship of society to technology. Tickets are available online at this link: http://c2sv.com/tickets. It’s a defining event for our area, and it’s going to be a blast.