ADVANCING BUSINESS
IN SILICON VALLEY

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A CITY ON THE MOVE

COMPANIES WHO SAY ‘YES’ TO FREMONT

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Fremont the "hot new address" for startups

san-jose-mercury-news-logo-small.pngSan Jose Mercury News technology writer Michelle Quinn recently highlighted both Fremont and Berkeley as the “hot new address” for tech startups.

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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



Kim Marshall
Economic Development Specialist

While Fremont’s historic districts each have a unique identity, what they have in common are successful, family-owned, small businesses adding to the districts’ economic vibrancy of the city. Recently, we spoke with three of small-business entrepreneur…

While Fremont’s historic districts each have a unique identity, what they have in common are successful, family-owned, small businesses adding to the districts’ economic vibrancy of the city.

Recently, we spoke with three of small-business entrepreneurs to hear their insights on what it takes to run a successful business.

Inkies Tattoo Studio Located in the Irvington District, owner, Robert Arquero works with a team of tattoo artists to provide skin art design services. When asked about the most important element of starting or running a successful business, Robert said it takes “great product, great service, and great environment.”

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Schmartboard Located in the Centerville District, Schmartboard’s Neal Greenberg, VP of Sales & Marketing, shared that they work with startups and multi-billion dollar corporations to design, fabricate, and assemble electronic circuits. Neal’s favorite marketing technique is to “entice potential customers to request a free sample (Schmartboard). Giving them a taste of something that solves a significant problem, with a reason to act now, is good marketing.”

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Iron Dog Antiques Located in the Niles District, owner Rae Steckler is passionate about the antique business.  According to Rae, “locally made, locally sourced, made in USA, upcyle, reuse, and recycle are the trends that my customers want.”  Keeping a pulse on these trends allows classic business concepts to stay fresh and current.

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In general, these entrepreneurs identify the following tips as keys to their success:

  • Prioritizing customer service
  • In depth knowledge of your product or industry.
  • Practice best-in-class content marketing strategies and plans including strong social media presence, ability to connect with potential customers 24/7, and word of mouth promotion.

Not only is starting a new business is daunting, but it’s also extremely rewarding. Our experts suggest speaking with other business owners in the industry in order to learn from them as best practice before setting out to start your own business. Then pay it forward by passing on your hard-earned knowledge to the next startup entrepreneur.

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Jennifer Chen
Economic Development Coordinator

After years of planning, Downtown Fremont is going vertical! On Friday, June 17, 2016, the City of Fremont celebrated the groundbreaking of Locale @ State Street, Downtown’s first mixed-use project, which was made possible through a public/private partner…

After years of planning, Downtown Fremont is going vertical! On Friday, June 17, 2016, the City of Fremont celebrated the groundbreaking of Locale @ State Street, Downtown’s first mixed-use project, which was made possible through a public/private partnership between the City of Fremont, TMG Partners, Sares Regis and SummerHill Homes.

The Locale @ State Street mixed-use project will span six acres and include 157 residential units, consisting of stacked flats and rowhomes. The community’s amenities will include outdoor spaces with barbecues, lush landscaping and seating areas for residents to gather, as well as a fitness studio and bike share program. The development will also include nearly 21,000 square feet of ground floor, street-front retail and restaurant space along Capitol Avenue.

The State Street groundbreaking ceremony was held on the new section of Capitol Avenue between Fremont Boulevard and State Street as residents and City staff alike gathered to witness history in the making. City Manager Fred Diaz kicked things off with a welcome speech, highlighting that since Fremont’s incorporation in 1956, the City has been seeking a central place to serve as its civic heart. Now, with construction on Locale @ State Street soon underway, we’re one step closer to giving Fremont residents the Downtown they’ve been waiting for.

Next, Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison and Katia Kamangar, executive vice president and managing director of SummerHill Homes, shared a few thoughts on how this project represents a giant leap forward for Fremont and its plans to build a strategically urban community. According to the Mayor, the City is envisioning a smart, sustainable Downtown, complete with electric vehicle charging stations, wide sidewalks for street side cafes, bike lanes, diagonal parking, solar-powered street lighting for outdoor events, and a whole lot more.

Ms. Kamanger noted that 20% of Summerhill’s portfolio is in Fremont, citing its strategic location and excellent schools.

After lots of cheers and applause, the celebrations continued into the evening with Fremont Street Eats, a gourmet food truck event produced by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and Food Truck Mafia.

The State Street groundbreaking is a catalytic occasion for the City of Fremont, and a continuation in the development of a Downtown that will serve as the City’s social heartbeat - where people can live, work and shop, all in one central place. 

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Category: Downtown



Kim Marshall
Economic Development Specialist

Last month, the Brookings Institution published a report written by Scott Andes titled How Firms Learn. In the report, Andes examined how companies innovate and what cities can do to foster greater innovation. He analyzed the manufacturing sector and th…

Last month, the Brookings Institution published a report written by Scott Andes titled How Firms Learn.  In the report, Andes examined how companies innovate and what cities can do to foster greater innovation.  He analyzed the manufacturing sector and the software industry, which accounts for a large portion of the technology-based economy.  The report provided some interesting data. For example, did you know that over two-thirds of America’s R&D companies are focused on manufacturing and software?

The report identifies three models of industry innovation:  

1. Classic – The traditional, “classic” model is dependent on scientific breakthroughs and scientific expertise for advancement.  Companies are reliant on large institutions such as national laboratories, universities, military, and private investors for research and development.  In this model, scientific advancement on the higher-level creates opportunities for commercialization of the technology.

2. Unconventional – In the more atypical “unconventional” model, companies are both consumers and producers, and work collaboratively. Innovation occurs through cooperation among suppliers, manufacturers, and customers for technology breakthroughs.  Although innovation happens independent of scientific breakthroughs, in the unconventional model, the innovations are “less linear and sequential” and are “more incremental and adaptive.”

3. Mixed - This model combines both classic and unconventional innovation to advance innovation. 

Fremont is home to a variety of industries, including advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and cleantech.  Many of the companies in Fremont are in the classic and mixed innovation models.  For example, Lycean and Applied Spectra are companies that have spun out of the federal labs and universities.  In the mixed innovation model, contract manufacturers such as AsteelFlash are actively using a design build process to actualize new R&D concepts.  Additionally, the proximity of software companies to manufacturers allows for organic, active cross-fertilization of ideas, resulting in novel hardware products.  For these reasons, Fremont represents the software and hardware convergence in Silicon Valley.

How can the City nurture further collaboration? In addition to the city’s rich network of suppliers, customers, and investors to support advanced manufacturers, Fremont is working with regional partners such as the Manufacturing Roundtable, Silicon Valley Manufacturing Engineers (SME98) and the Silicon Valley Chamber (REDI) to provide a social network for innovation.  Additionally, the city promotes StartupGrind, a monthly networking group for entrepreneurs, to connect and learn from each other.

Finally, innovation does not happen in isolation.  Clustering of innovative companies is essential for long-term growth.  Fremont’s Warm Springs Community plan ensures that the Innovation District is set up to succeed. 

Future models may continue to evolve, so Fremont is committed to an innovation agenda that will help it to change and grow at the pace of business.

 

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A mixed innovation model.

Source: Brookings.com 

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