ADVANCING BUSINESS
IN SILICON VALLEY

You have aspirations. We can help. It starts with the simplest of actions, a conversation.
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A CITY ON THE MOVE

COMPANIES WHO SAY ‘YES’ TO FREMONT

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New Startup Grind Chapter in Fremont

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East Bay entrepreneurs: The newest Startup Grind chapter in the Bay Area will host its first event in the fall in Fremont.  Sign up here.

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Redefining What it Means to be a Silicon Valley City

business-journal.pngA supplement printed on July 31, 2015 in the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The supplement provided an overview of Fremont’s the business ecosystem.

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“With the BART expansion well underway, we’re excited to breathe new life into Silicon Valley with a projected 30,000 new jobs in Fremont by 2040.”

—Kelly Kline, Fremont Economic Development Director

Fremont Startup Grind Digest: Andrew Ponec and Preetish Nijhawan



Shilpi Sharma
Director of Fremont Startup Grind

At the first Startup Grind event of the New Year on January 19th, Preetish Nijhawan, Managing Director of Cervin Ventures talked about his experiences as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Nijhawan shared many of his funny, painful, and interesting p…

At the first Startup Grind event of the New Year on January 19th, Preetish Nijhawan, Managing Director of Cervin Ventures talked about his experiences as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Nijhawan shared many of his funny, painful, and interesting personal stories about funding startups.

At the end, he provided three lessons that entrepreneurs across all industries can apply:

   1. Be wary of building a business where you have to educate the market

   2. Reduce your burn rate in order to maximize your flexibility

   3. Learn more from your failures then successes 

During the audience Q&A portion of the event, Nijhawan brought up a semi-controversial idea stating that not all startups must have (or should have) VC funding. He encouraged entrepreneurs to think about lifestyle oriented companies that allow for more autonomy without the stresses of public reporting, IPO paperwork, or corporate board management. Sorry you missed it?  No worries, there is another one coming up!

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Shilpi Sharma, Fremont Startup Grind Director and Preetish Nijhawan, Managing Director of Cervin Ventures

 

Join us on February 18th to talk with our youngest entrepreneur yet, Andrew Ponec, Cofounder of Dragonfly Systems, about renewable energy, Cleantech incubation, and startups.  Dragonfly System created small electronic devices to improve efficiency and reduce installation costs for large commercial and utility-scale solar power installations. Dragonfly Systems was acquired in 2014 by SunPower Corporation, a US-based solar company, and is currently ramping up the production of the Dragonfly devices. Ponec was also named to Forbes “30 under 30” list in 2014 for his work in solar energy, and is currently focusing on smart buildings, and affordable housing technologies. 

Get your tickets here.

It is never too early to mark your calendar for the next StartupGrind event!

On March 15, 2016, Fremont Grind will feature Aaron Carpenter, Chief Customer Officer at HubNami, a social media management startup.

You can follow Startup Grind Fremont on Twitter, @FremontGrind and Facebook at Startup Grind Fremont.

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Category: Startups

Nothing but Growth on the Horizon for Biomed Companies



Ray Stewart
Founder and Managing Principal of Bay Materials, LLC

To help kick-off the New Year, we recently sat down with Dr. Ray Stewart, founder and managing principal of Bay Materials, LLC, a leader in polymer R&D and product development, that serves companies within the medical device, orthodontic, food packaging, …

To help kick-off the New Year, we recently sat down with Dr. Ray Stewart, founder and managing principal of Bay Materials, LLC, a leader in polymer R&D and product development, that serves companies within the medical device, orthodontic, food packaging, and consumer-product industries, among others.

Here’s his take on where the biomed industry is headed, what Fremont has to offer to biomed companies, and his predictions for 2016.

City of Fremont: Some of our readers may not be familiar with Bay Materials. What would you say are the “need-to-knows”?

Ray Stewart: Bay Materials is a materials science-based polymer R&D and product development company providing contract R&D services to high-tech companies in the Bay Area and nationally. We specialize in helping clients rapidly and cost-effectively develop new products that contain a “polymer” or “plastics” component. Some examples include the highly specialized thermoplastic materials used to produce the Invisalign® brand of invisible orthodontic braces, temperature-triggered materials for products like “Pop-Up” cooking timers, medical polyurethanes for products like medical splints, optical coatings and encapsulates for products like LED light bulbs, and a wide range of other materials — many of which are items used in everyday life.

Fremont: Bay Materials recently relocated to Fremont, can you share any insights into the move?

RS: We relocated to Fremont in 2015 in order to consolidate operations into a custom-designed facility that would serve as the perfect space for us. Fremont has a great industrial base throughout the City and provides us with ready access to a wide range of specialty manufacturers and services providers — it’s all one big network.

Fremont: Are there any recent challenges you and other companies in this network have had to overcome?

RS: The biggest challenge we’ve seen the past few years is the change in funding sources for early-stage companies that are subject to FDA regulations and longer development cycles — something that’s typical in the biomed industry. To cope, companies are outsourcing efforts that are not as key to their near-term milestones so that they are able to run leaner.

Fremont: Do some of these challenges still hold true? What sort of growth has the industry experienced in the past year?

RS: With the Great Recession firmly behind us and the U.S. economy now improving at a steady rate, the biomed and related industries have started to once again grow at a rapid rate. We are seeing a corresponding growth in hiring, especially locally — right here in Fremont. We predict this trend will continue throughout 2016 and into the foreseeable future. The ability to hire locally is especially important, so local governments need to focus as much attention as possible on helping to meet that need.

Fremont: Besides support from local government, are there any factors that are pivotal to capitalizing on this expected growth?

RS: Facility startup, permitting, and the ability to start operations quickly are key factors. Looking out longer term, we expect that there will be a much larger need for trained and highly specialized employees who are locally based. The combination of long commute times and high housing prices is making staffing more difficult, so these are definitely considerations moving forward. 

 

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Richard Lucero: We're not doing enough to control misuse of guns



Richard Lucero
Chief of the Fremont Police Department

As the curators for the business blog, Takes From Silicon Valley East, we would like to depart from our usual focus on industry sectors, real estate activity, and metropolitan policy to hone in on an issue we all must consider, the impact of gun violence.…

As the curators for the business blog, Takes From Silicon Valley East, we would like to depart from our usual focus on industry sectors, real estate activity, and metropolitan policy to hone in on an issue we all must consider, the impact of gun violence.  It is personally important to each of us because the mounting losses are incomprehensible and damaging to our community fabric.  It is also important to us as economic development professionals as we seek to grow our cities in healthy and productive ways.  Fremont’s police chief has weighed in on the issue, outlining common sense solutions to tackling the problem.  We are sharing his opinion, published today in the San Jose Mercury News, to inspire a broader public dialogue, and shared responsibility in reversing this troubling trend.

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Photo: The U.S. Capitol Dome under restoration -  January 2016.  

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Category: Fremont General