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Engineering A Turnaround

Engineering A TurnaroundAfterlosing his job in Silicon Valley, Tufts graduate Linc Jepson headedto Russia to start a company and found himself in the middle ofa growing technology hotbed. Zelenograd,Russia

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.25.04] While the quaint streets of Zelenogradmay be a long way from Silicon Valley, the two regions aren’tthat far apart, at least when it comes to technology. Just askLinc Jepson. After the Tufts graduate lost his job in California,he moved to Zelenograd to start his own company, and now findshimself in the middle of a growing technology hotbed not too differentfrom his former home.

“Ialways wanted to work abroad before I got married and settleddown,” Jepson – who earned degrees in electrical engineeringand international relations at Tufts – told the ElectronicEngineering Times. “I’m merging [the expertisefrom my] two degrees and am doing engineering work abroad. It’sthe most exciting thing I’ve ever done.”

Though anocean away from his old life, Russia has been close to Jepson’sheart for awhile. Since high school, the Tufts graduate has beenstudying the Russian language.

“Ithought it was so exotic,” he told the Times, describinghis first high school Russian course. “I jumped at the chance[to study it] and I was hooked.”

En routeto Russia, Jepson resumed his studies at a linguistic universityin Minsk, Belarus. Eight months later, he arrived in Zelenograd– a growing city just outside Moscow – and a yearlater he set up his new company 74ze, an engineering outsourcingfirm that now has offices in four cities around the world.

“[Jepsonsaid] it’s a peaceful place with trolley buses, stories,theaters and gyms,” reported the Times. Zelenograd’sname translates to “green city” and it’s coveredby large groves of trees.

And increasingly,it’s becoming a home to high-tech companies, big and small.

“Recently,Jepson said, a number of homegrown engineering operations havesprung up in the area, and companies such as Motorola and Samsunghave set down roots,” reported the Times. “Intelhas a large design center not far away, in Moscow, as does CadenceDesign Systems, Jepson noted.”

Zelenograd,by many accounts, is on the rise.

“Itwould be premature to compare it to Bangalore [In India],”Jepson told the Times, “but it’s kind ofa technology hotbed.”

And the Tuftsgraduate and his colleagues are in the thick of it, as their growingengineering outsourcing firm now handles jobs from around theworld.

Jepson hasn’truled out a return to the States, but he has no immediate plansto go back.

“Idon’t know if I would call it permanent,” he toldthe Times. “But for right now, it’s whatI’m doing and I’m loving it.”

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