Throwback Thursday: Digilent’s Beginnings, Gene Apperson’s Story

Upon his retirement from Microsoft in 1998, Gene Apperson and his family relocated to Pullman, Washington. After a few years, Gene decided to go back to school as an undergraduate in mechanical engineering. A professor, Bob Richards, soon asked Gene to switch to the Master’s program, even though most of his background was in electrical engineering. He ended up taking a VLSI design class from none other than Clint Cole. While Gene ended up asking Clint whether he would be able to do well in the class, they got to talking and decided to start a company together.

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Back to School and Looking Forward: A Letter from Clint Cole

After 15 years, we’re still hard at work building better tools for engineering education. We’re working more closely than ever with leading companies like Xilinx, Analog Devices, Texas Instruments, and Linear Technology, and our shared mission is the same — to create tools and technologies that give students access to the most relevant technologies. And I can honestly say that we’re all still loving our jobs! Since joining with National Instruments almost two years ago, we’ve gained access to a larger group of world-class engineers and improved our manufacturing processes, but we’ve maintained our laser-focus on producing the best, lowest-cost teaching and learning kits for engineers.

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