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San Jose Economy Still Going Strong

  Business Insider has once again named San Jose the #1 economy of the top 40 metro areas in the US.

In 2016 (the most recent year data is available), GDP growth in the San Jose metro area grew at a faster clip than all other metros nationwide, increasing 6.9 percent year-over-year to over $236,000 per capita. 

Despite a slowdown in deals, venture capital  - a major indicator of new business activity -remained strong during the first half of 2018, with businesses headquartered in San Jose receiving approximately $400 million across 14 different transactions, on track to exceed more than $800 million in volume by the end of the year.  


For more information, contact Donovan Lazaro, Business Development Officer, OED.

Downtown San Jose Retail Strategy 

National trends influencing retail expansion are being factored into the City's planning for increased retail density in the downtown urban core. Blage Zelalich, OED Downtown Manager, presented an update along with key studies that are guiding OED's approach to a more vibrant urban core.

In her presentation to the City Council's Community and Economic Development Committee (CEDC), Zelalich  highlighted a fairly high level of development activity currently in San Jose, including applications for permits for upgrades and additions to residential properties, especially on the east side of town. In addition, the San Pedro Square area just celebrated the opening of MOMENT, four new retailer spaces built into the Market Street Parking garage, featuring a rotating selection of local entrepreneur retailers
Further development of the Downtown Retail Strategy includes meetings with stakeholders and a draft set of recommendations to be presented to CEDC in September, before going to the full Council.

The full presentation can be viewed online. 

For more information, contact Blage Zelalich, Downtown Manager, OED.

FlexFactor: Faith in San Jose's Future

Guest Blogpost by Emily McGrath, Deputy Director of Workforce Development, NextFlex 
Students pitching their project

This June,  NextFlex -an advanced manufacturing institute based in San Jose-completed the second year of FlexFactor, its flagship workforce development program.

A collaborative technology and entrepreneurship program, FlexFactor connects local K-12 students with organizations in higher education, industry, and government, to inform, inspire, attract, and recruit a 21 st  century workforce. 

This year alone, FlexFactor worked with more than 2,000 San Jose-area students and has begun to catch the attention of workforce
 organizations from around the country.

FlexFactor is designed to layer on top of an existing classroom and uses a subject-agnostic approach that allows it to work as well with English students as it does with a Robotics class. Through this method, the program engages with a diverse range of students, many of whom who had not previously considered STEM tracks. 

For more information, contact Donovan Lazaro, Business Development Officer, OED.

Innovative Urban Farming Takes Root in North San Jose
Phil Fok, Farmecology CEO
Step into the spacious headquarters of San Jose startup Farmecology, and the first thing you notice are the glowing racks. But at this startup, they're not filled with servers.

Instead, delicate microgreens - kale, arugula, and specialty lettuces - thrive under countless LED bulbs casting a purple glow. The 14,000-square-foot Farmecology space is equivalent, company executives say, to roughly 50 acres of traditional farmland. And it's a whole lot more efficient.

"It takes 70 gallons of water to grow one head of lettuce," cofounder and CEO Phil Fok said. "We can do the same in this environment with the equivalent of a tall Starbuck's cup of water. It's hyper-efficient."

His goal is nothing short of revolutionizing the way we grow and consume food. Think: urban farms closer to population centers, cutting out the freshness-killing and greenhouse-gas-producing long-haul transportation component of today's agriculture-industrial complex. With Farmecology's model, greens can be delivered to the end user within a few hours of harvest.

For more information, contact Donovan Lazaro, Business Development Officer, OED.

Hammer Theatre Center Reports on Progress Towards New Operational Model

In May, the City Council's Community and Economic Development Committee (CEDC) received a report on the status of this agreement just two and a half years into this three-year term. You can view the video of the presentation . Information on the previous and upcoming seasons' productions is available  online

Highlights of the report:
  • The model adopted by SJSU includes SJSU-created programming; SJSU sponsored programming; and community rentals of all or some spaces in the theater.
  • Significant physical repairs, improvements and upgrades have been jointly funded by the City and SCJU, totaling $2.4 million - now a state of the art venue.

For more information, contact Kerry Adams Hapner, Director of Cultural Affairs, OED

Vehicle tests being performed by connected car cyber security startup_ VisualThreat_ part of Prospect SV.
A Guest Blogpost by Ruth Cox, CEO, Prospect Silicon Valley

Prospect Silicon Valley, an innovation hub whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of clean technologies for smarter, more sustainable communities, has been instrumental in advancing startup companies in Silicon Valley and beyond. With a focus on the mobility, built environment, and energy sectors, 

ProspectSV delivers commercialization services to start-ups, which includes linking them to various resources necessary to effect commercial deployment of their solutions and providing valuable insight into the continually evolving cleantech industry. For the last 4 years the "client champions" on staff have worked one-on-one with these entrepreneurs to bring their sustainability solutions to the mainstream market.

ProspectSV's most recent success story stems from long-term client, ConnectMyEV, who just received their Series A funding. With guidance from ProspectSV, they were able to perfect their pitch to strategic investor, Stanley Ventures, which will be providing funds to accelerate the commercialization of their robotic EV charging technology. We can't wait to see how their conductive charging unit changes the future of the auto industry!

For more information, contact Elisabeth Handler, Public Information Manager, OED.

Mobility, Energy & Environment - Symposium at City Hall
Prospect Silicon Valley  hosted the Innovation & Impact 2018 Symposium at City Hall, with a full day of presentations, demonstrations and breakout sessions with a focus on the convergence and interdependence of emerging technologies in advanced mobility, energy and the built environment. 

An overarching concept that linked many topics addressed at the symposium was how these technologies, innovations and challenges bear on the development of Smart Cities.  San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was the kick-off speaker, and San Jose's Chief Innovation Officer, Shireen Santosham, spoke on the closing plenary: both emphasized the critical path and innovative thinking that cities must muster in order to be sustainable, equitable and efficient in meeting the needs of residents and businesses.

More information is available at Prospect SV, and you can view a video of an interview during the symposium with Ruth Cox, CEO of Prospect SV.

For more information, contact Elisabeth Handler, Public Information Manager, OED
these featured events.

Wekfest San Jose - San Jose Convention Center
Hatsune Miku Expo - City National Civic
Saigon Entertainment 26th Anniversary Concert 
- Center for the Performing Arts
Cesar Lozano - California Theatre
Music in the Park: Toots and the Maytals - 
Plaza de Cesar Chavez
CMT Rising Stars Presents: The Wiz - Montgomery Theater
7.13 - 7.21.18
CMT Mainstage Presents: West Side Story - Montgomery Theater
7.27 - 8.5.2018