Crowdsourcing Campaign To Bring Nikola Tesla Statue To Silicon Valley Kicks Off
Start-up veteran and former Wilson Sonsini attorney teams up with Palo Alto developer to inspire entrepreneurs to think creatively on issues of energy and wireless information vital to region and planet's future
PALO ALTO, Calif., May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- An online fundraising campaign to bring a statue of Nikola Tesla to Palo Alto, California was launched today on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter.com. Dorrian Porter, a 12 year start-up veteran and former attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, has teamed up with 91 year old local developer Harold Hohbach, the landlord of his last start-up business, to launch the project. "When people hear the name Tesla in the Silicon Valley, their next question tends to be, what model do you drive?" said Dorrian Porter. "The Tesla Statue is a gesture to tell the story of the technology entrepreneur who existed long before a company --- or even the Silicon Valley." Nikola Tesla is an inventor who immigrated to the United States in 1884, initially to work alongside Thomas Edison. That relationship didn't last, and Tesla is credited with the alternating current inventions that fueled the rise of electric company Westinghouse and made alternating current the standard of electricity we rely on today. Hohbach began his career at Westinghouse in 1946. Porter, who himself immigrated to the region in 1999 to join Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and left a year later to start his first company, says that Nikola Tesla typifies the choice between creativity and money faced every day by anyone working in the Silicon Valley. Tesla, a prolific inventor, is often cited for his inability to sustain wealth in his lifetime, but his life and work reveals personal satisfaction with a focus on the technology and not the money. "I've worked with great individuals in technology and finance in the Valley, but there is no doubt that money questions have a nasty habit of affecting creative decisions on huge areas of opportunity," says Porter. "Nikola Tesla's free thinking around wireless information transfer and energy are more relevant to the future of the Silicon Valley and the planet than they ever have been."