It's got wealth, great weather, and a nationally known hockey franchise. But unlike San Francisco, St Louis, or Paris, San Jose doesn't have an iconic symbol associated with it so a competition aims to change that.
"When we think of San Jose, sadly, we might think of the Shark Tank, but we probably think of Suburbia,” said Dan Orloff.
In the shadow of the Shark Tank, marketer Orloff says San Jose needs something more than the title of capital of Silicon Valley.
"Silicon Valley is where I work, San Jose is where I live,” he said. “Getting to a landmark that gets to the heart of who we are as a region is important."
So a contest was launched to bring an icon to San Jose. Something to define it. Like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
"I've always thought that it was a hole in our community that we don't have such a place," said Steve Borkenhagen, executive director of Urban Confluence Silicon Valley.
They have 963 submissions from 72 counties, a lot to choose from. From the techy, to the spacey, to the flat out weird -- each aim to give San Jose an identity boost.
"Any of us who have traveled know how important those things are, both for the economic development of the community, also for people's confidence in their own community and having a sense of optimism about who they are and where they live,” said Borkenhagen.
The plan is to eventually put the icon at San Jose Arena Green, where it will be seen not only from the ground, but from the air .
The next move will be on September 18, when the contestants will be whittled down to three, each one getting $150,000 for development.