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More Than a Place, Silicon Valley Is a Culture



Monisha Perkash and her parents moved to the United States from Nepal.

She never imagined that one day she would be heading a company in California’s Silicon Valley. In fact, she once had plans to become a doctor.

Perkash is the chief executive officer of a new business, or start-up company, called Lumo Bodytech. It creates sensors people can wear while running, walking or working. These wearable sensors can judge a person’s posture and help prevent back pain or other injuries.

Silicon Valley stretches from San Francisco to San Jose in northern California. The area is home to many technology companies, such as Apple, Google and Facebook.

Yahoo, which recently made news for being sold to Verizon Communications, started at a small office building in Silicon Valley.

Perkash remembers her father once tried to find the area on a map. She says he called her and said “I can’t find the Silicon Valley anywhere!”

But Perkash says the Silicon Valley community is not just a location, it is also an attitude and a culture.

People who are interested in creating technology businesses move to the area. Once they are there, they find a culture that helps businesses find success.

People work together to help businesses grow.

Lumo Bodytech's app helps runners track their stride and speed to prevent injury.

Lumo Bodytech's app helps runners track their stride and speed to prevent injury.

Perkash says she and her partners started Lumo Bodytech so they could use technology to help improve people’s lives. Their system is called Lumo Life. One of the wearable sensors, called Lumo Lift, will shake when the user is slouching in a chair. Another sensor can be used to give runners feedback and send the information to a software program for mobile phones.

Andrew Chang is one of the start-up company’s founders, with Perkash and Charles Wang. Chang says a start-up’s small size helps it when making decisions and providing products.

“You can’t even compare the speed that you move at, the speed at which you make decisions … and so on, because there is a lot less bureaucracy.”

However, Wang says that fast-paced environment can also create problems. You have to learn quickly and respond to challenges every day.

“I’ve learned so many different things in the role that I’ve had here.”

Perkash says her business is proving to be a success. But what about her plan to be a doctor?

It seems her parents are happy as long as she’s successful.

“I want to make them proud and I want them to know that by giving us this opportunity to pursue anything we want, pursue our dreams, that I’m carrying that on. So in a lot of ways, it’s honoring them that I do what I do.”

I’m Dan Friedell.

Elizabeth Lee wrote this story for VOANews.com. Dan Friedell adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

What do you think about the start-up culture in Silicon Valley? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

attituden. a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior

posturen. the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing

slouchv. to walk, sit, or stand lazily with your head and shoulders bent forward

feedbackn. helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, etc.

pursuev. to try to get or do (something) over a period of time

challenge – n. a call to take part in a competition; a problem or issue

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