JUNE 2017

The significance of San José's place as the third largest city in California was highlighted in a recent news story on California's ranking in terms of the world's economy. If California were a country, it would have the sixth largest economy in the world. The ranking is 1: US, 2: China, 3: Japan, 
4: Germany, 5: UK and 6: California.

California is the #1 productive state in the United States.  California's economy produces over $1 trillion more than the next most productive state, New York. However, it's not the most expensive to live in - according to CNBC's rankings, California has the fourth highest cost of living in the nation behind Hawaii, New York and Delaware.
Check out the full infographic or for more information, contact Chris Burton, Senior Business Development Manager, OED.


Attracted by easier traffic, freeway proximity and access to technology companies like Splunk!, Ireland-based Altify is leaving its location in San Francisco's Financial District for a spot in San José's vibrant 
Santana Row.

Federal Realty, the developer behind Santana Row, only recently opened the space to office users after renovating the old retail nook at the northwest corner of Winchester Boulevard and Olsen Drive. Altify, a sales software platform that is planning serious growth, moved its 10 employees into its new Bay Area location at 377 Santana Row in Suite 1195 in early May.
Other changes are also happening at Santana Row, a 42-acre curated retail hotpot. The development is home to about 2 million square feet of commercial and residential space, about 50 different retailers, 30 restaurants, a 215-room boutique hotel and more than 830 residential units. More details are available in the Business Journal article.
For more information, contact Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Business Development Officer, OED.

On May 16, the San José City Council approved a new program that will offer an alternative electricity provider designed to save money and reduce pollution.

 "While leaders in Washington continue to languish in a petroleum-fueled past, cities like San José will chart the path to a more sustainable future," said Mayor Sam Liccardo. "Through our CCE program, we will significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions and boost our renewable energy supply, while also providing cost-competitive electricity rates for our residents and businesses."

San José Community Energy, the city's CCE program, will begin next spring and will be one of eight California programs offering residents and businesses alternatives to purchasing electricity from traditional utilities, like Pacific Gas & Electric. Communities with CCEs have experienced environmental benefits and either cheaper or comparable rates for customers. 
"San J osé Clean Energy will offer more renewable energy choices for our San J osé community as well as reduce our carbon footprint and air pollution," San J osé Environmental Services Director Kerrie Romanow said. "It will also spur local green energy production and boost the San J osé economy."

According to a business plan drafted by a city-hired consultant, if all consumers chose an energy option with 10 percent more renewables than PG&E's, San J osé's greenhouse gas emissions would fall by up to 18 percent. That's the equivalent energy use of 56,000 cars or 28,000 homes.

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


A new blog post  in our continuing Manufacturing Series tells the story of Bentek. With modest beginnings in San José in 1985, Bentek now makes innovative and high-value products for the solar PV (photovoltaic) industry and provides world-class design and manufacturing services for industrial markets.
Mitch Schoch, President
and CEO of Bentek

Manufacturing combiners, recombiners, safety systems, cables,  harnesses, and accessories for a wide variety of photovoltaic projects, Bentek boasts 40%-50% of the U.S. market share for these areas.
Read how the company grew from a logistics and service company to become a leader in power distribution solutions in the latest post in our Manufacturing Series.
For more information, contact Tina Kapoor, Business Development Officer, OED.


Adding to San José's growing cluster of businesses in the autonomous car space, Intel Corp. is partnering with BMW to launch 40 "highly automated" cars by the end of this year. An event held in May at the Intel Autonomous Driving Garage highlighted Intel's role in managing the four terabytes of data that autonomous car sensors process every hour - data which is shared with other autonomous vehicles nearby to form a mobile real-time information network.
Intel showed off a BMW 740i with a Mobileye camera and Intel inside. BMW says it wants to put highly automated cars on the road by the year 2021.

Naveen Rao, vice president and general manager of the Intel Artificial Intelligence Products Group.
For more information, read the Business Journal story, or contact Donovan Lazaro, Business Development Officer, OED.  


San José's ThinFilm, a pioneer in printed electronics received an in-depth profile in the Mercury News recently.
ThinFilm, which just celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters in San José, is in the business of designing and producing potentially billions of low-cost chips using a process similar to ink-jet printing. The resulting smart labels can transmit data directly to the manufacturer of the product, aiding in inventory and production management, theft prevention and even marketing. The ThinFilm labels can include a near-field communications (NFC) function, for instance, allowing consumers to access a full video about the product via their smart phones.
The City of San José has been active in helping Thinfilm stay in San José, working with the company to secure the old Qualcomm facility in North San José for its expansion, and providing incentives and help with utility upgrades.  As Mayor Sam Liccardo said, "It's important for us to keep a critical mass of technology manufacturing here in San José."

For more information, read the article, or contact Donovan Lazaro, Business Development Officer, OED.


Three-year-old Datos IO is dedicated to helping businesses back up, protect and manage their data on-premise and across multiple cloud vendors. Positioned as a critical service for taking advantage of cloud-based data solutions, the company has attracted millions of dollars in investment from Cisco and NetApp.

Datos IO has been around for about three years but just released its first product last summer. It has won major customers since then, including Macy's, Home Depot, eBay and Barracuda Networks.
In a recent Business Journal article, CEO Tarun Thakur noted: "We only had five people when we moved in here and we are busting at the seams in our office now," Thakur said, adding that he would like to stay in North San Jose. "Our lease is expiring in the next nine months, so we really have to find a new home." And OED is hoping to make that happen!
For more information, contact Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Business Development Officer, OED.


In the epicenter of high tech, local food production could be the crucial ingredient for San Jose's economy to outperform the rest of the region, according to a recent panel held at City Hall by non-profit SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture Education)

SAGE is underwritten by the Knight Foundation, and City of San José Housing Department and Office of Economic Development. The report shows that food-related employment has grown by nearly 30 percent since 2005, double the average rate for all local business sectors.
The report, "San Jose Food Works: Food Systems Conditions & Strategies for a More Vibrant Resilient City," notes that food businesses account for a $2.8 billion share of the local economy and employ more than 37,000 people, from farm workers and food truck drivers to chefs to food distribution executives.
For more information, contact Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Business Development Officer.

OED Director Kim Walesh was recently quoted by a leading Irish business writer in a wide-ranging think-piece on the threats facing Silicon Valley from within and without. Walesh's quote: "It's about globally connected talent. It is clear that Silicon Valley has benefited from entrepreneurial people from around the US and the world, and by being open and welcoming of people from other places.
"San José is the most international city in the US and the world. Some 40 percent of people in San Jose were born in another country. One-third of the population is Asian, one-third Latino and one-third Anglo. Over 50 percent of the engineers and technologists and founders were born in another country."
The writer noted that in order to withstand the various threats to our local economy, San José needs to ":... embrace the unique magic it still has as a global magnet for talent."
For more information, contact Chris Burton, Senior Business Development Manager, OED.


The Mercury News reported on development in Downtown San José in May: "Transit-rich, adjacent to freeways and with parks, museums and theaters already in place, the approximately 250-square-block downtown core - with rents lower than San Francisco and more or less on par with Oakland - appears poised to become a new urban destination for millennials and the tech crowd.

"Five projects have lately broken ground and - to use the parlance of developers - are now "going vertical," bringing about 1,300 apartments and condos to the neighborhood. Beyond that, as many as 20 projects with about 6,000 units are in the pipeline, recently approved or under review by City Hall."
The pool at the Centerra tower, downtown San Jose
Residents relax by the pool at San José's new Centerra luxury tower.

New Downtown residents noted the advantages to being part of this emerging urban scene, not the least of which are relatively competitive rents and amenities in the new buildings.
Read the whole story, and for more information on Downtown, contact Blage Zelalich, Downtown Manager, OED.


The first annual Make Music San José, a participatory mix of free musical events, will make its debut on Wednesday, June 21, filling San José with 

Make Music San José is part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. This year, 52 U.S. cities will host Make Music performances across the country as part of the world's largest annual music event. 

To register a venue for volunteer music-making, or to learn where events are already planned, the event website goes live June 1. 

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

In the heart of downtown's historic district, Fountain Alley runs south of East Santa Clara Street between South First and South Second Streets. Set among light rail stations, nightlife, offices, restaurants and residences, the Alley has experienced urban problems and a bad reputation. Enter San Jose Downtown Association, San Jose State University and a raft of community organizations and individuals, dedicated to creating "functional street life" in this one-block passageway.

After months of brainstorming, meeting, planning and building, on May 15, the participants shared scale models of street life activators, including unique seating, planters, mobile solar hubs, lighting, micro-parks and performance spaces.

SJSU's CommUniverCity program, which seeks opportunities to engage the local community, reached out to SJDA Street Life Manager Jason Su to offer its students' information-gathering and creative design services, and to offer fresh perspective on Fountain Alley, said Dayana Salazar, CommUniverCity executive director. Industrial Design Professor Leslie Speer took the academic lead and Master of Urban Planning student Nicole Guzman served as project coordinator.  Su assembled downtown residents and artists to gather ideas and arranged the work space for students.
Other recent efforts resulting in a swell of positive momentum for Fountain Alley include a beautification and cleanup project by the San Jose Sharks Foundation in April and a temporary pop-up art gallery sponsored by Knight Foundation and 8-80 Cities.

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


For more information, call 408.535.8168, or contact Elisabeth Handler

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