By Suzanne Russo, CEO, Pecan Street

I’m not the first person to say this, but if you’ve lived in or moved to Austin in the last 30 years, you probably need to thank Pike Powers. More than any singular person, Pike is the symbol of Austin’s transition from a sleepy college town to a global technopolis.

Pike passed away this week, and our staff, board and all the participants of our research send our condolences to his family. 

Pecan Street wouldn’t exist without him. Back in 2009, when Pecan Street was little more than an idea, Pike’s iconic history with MCC, Sematech and Samsung was the center point of our pitch.  We wanted to do for clean energy what Pike, Gov. Mark White and others did with semiconductors…make it synonymous with Austin.

Pike liked the idea and was among our loudest cheerleaders. When we opened our lab in the Mueller neighborhood in 2013, we named it after Pike – not just because of his support of our organization, but because we thought our work represented the next phase of Austin’s growth as a global leader.

It’s not an understatement to say that most of us who have found careers in Austin’s technology field – energy, software, hardware, you name it – are here because of the work that Pike led for decades.

Thank you, Pike. You’ll be remembered forever.