We’re ringing in the New Year with a big win! Fremont recently claimed the 5th place spot on WalletHub’s list of top 10 cities for job seekers in 2015 (a significant improvement from last year when NerdWallet named Fremont the 10th best city for job seeke…
We’re ringing in the New Year with a big win! Fremont recently claimed the 5th place spot on WalletHub’s list of top 10 cities for job seekers in 2015 (a significant improvement from last year when NerdWallet named Fremont the 10th best city for job seekers in California).
WalletHub analyzed 150 of the most populated cities in the country across 16 key metrics, ranging from job opportunities to employment growth, and Fremont was a clear standout.
Along with being the fifth best city to find a job, Fremont also finished strong in the following job-hunt related categories:
For more information, please refer to the full WalletHub article here.
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Living Spaces. Ronbow. Home Elegance. These are just a few examples of Fremont’s burgeoning home design sector. As a new year often brings new ideas for home improvement projects, we’d like to spotlight several up-and-coming companies that are taking adva…
Living Spaces. Ronbow. Home Elegance. These are just a few examples of Fremont’s burgeoning home design sector. As a new year often brings new ideas for home improvement projects, we’d like to spotlight several up-and-coming companies that are taking advantage of Fremont’s growing residential density, strong logistics, and supply chain network. While there are many businesses that fall into this category, we’ve focused on six that have recently opened, or expanded in Fremont.
Living Spaces: A Southern California staple, Living Spaces is making its entry into the Bay Area market with a South Fremont store and warehouse. Boasting a large and stylish home furnishings inventory at affordable prices, Living Spaces offers same day delivery and “Shoppertainment” – theater-sized big screens viewed from a sea of recliners with some complimentary Starbucks coffee! The company also touts its robust green initiatives — both in materials recycling and building efficiency.
Ronbow: Redesigning your bathroom? Ronbow may likely produce your next sink or vanity. With sleek, modern designs, Fremont-based Ronbow designs and manufactures its own products, giving them the capability to offer “impeccable quality and relevant design.” Furniture is manufactured with quality hardwoods from sustainable forests.
Antique Revival: This furniture wholesaler brings a refreshing twist to home decor with both new and vintage pieces. Combining a unique worldly element with modern living, its ever-growing line of products range from simple planters to elegant cabinets. With a rustic aesthetic, many pieces are inspired by Asian and French design. You can check out their products on Amazon, Overstock and Wayfair.
Home Elegance: A furniture wholesaler with a more formal aesthetic, Home Elegance has been steadily expanding its presence in Fremont since its inception in 1984. While customers cannot purchase directly, dealers and local retailers, both domestic and international, carry quality pieces at a value-oriented price.
Bella Casa: The new 6,500 square foot showroom on Albrae Street offers top European design and craftsmanship at affordable prices. Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and accessory pieces are on display, and new home furnishings from top U.S. and worldwide manufacturers are brought in weekly.
Pivot Interiors: For those of you who live at your office, Pivot qualifies as home décor! Founded in Silicon Valley, Pivot is the largest Herman Miller dealer in the U.S. It has provided solutions for hundreds of companies seeking effective workplace environments. Its new Fremont facility will serve the entire Bay Area.
So as you contemplate the next iteration of your living space, whether that be at home or at the office, we hope you have the opportunity to cross paths with Fremont’s special niche in the furnishings industry.
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Now that we’ve heard from our Industry Cluster experts about predictions for Manufacturing, Cleantech, Life Sciences and the Maker Movement, the next obvious question is how to leverage this information to facilitate regional industry growth in 2015. Mayo…
Now that we’ve heard from our Industry Cluster experts about predictions for Manufacturing, Cleantech, Life Sciences and the Maker Movement, the next obvious question is how to leverage this information to facilitate regional industry growth in 2015. Mayor Bill Harrison provided us with four major themes that will guide Fremont’s approach to strengthening our local Innovation Economy.
1. Upping our Innovation Game.
Last year was big for Fremont’s Innovation District. We launched its branding. We approved a community plan to establish the land uses and zoning that will lead to the mixed-use, transit-based employment hub that we envision. And, we started on infrastructure projects that will create the right environment to attract innovators. Now, we are in search for all things that will make this truly innovative — entrepreneurs, incubation space, artists, free thinkers, and most importantly, You!
For Fremont, 2015 is all about upping our innovation game and inviting everyone to play. It’s not often you have 800 acres of opportunity in the Bay Area, and we are determined to make the most of it.
2. It’s About Ecosystems.
Fremont is transforming itself from an auto-centric suburb to a strategically urban oasis. But, we can’t do it on our own. We want to engage with all sectors — from Education and Health Care, to Bankers and Bakers. The future of our city needs to engage and resonate not only with those who are here, but those who may want to build their future dreams in Fremont. Cities are most comfortable working in the bricks and mortar world, but we need to move beyond urban planning in order to breathe life into our new urban streetscape. We are ready and excited to take on that challenge.
3. Love Thy Neighbor.
Fremont is not an island. We are part of a wonderfully complicated web of innovation that rings the Bay, and we are stronger because of that network. San Jose and Oakland have new leadership with the elections of Sam Liccardo and Libby Schaff. Combined with Fremont and San Francisco, the Bay Area’s four largest cities have an unprecedented opportunity to lead by example in forging a new partnership to accelerate innovation growth, and to conquer issues such as housing and transportation that cross city boundaries. But most importantly, it’s time we let the world know that the Bay Area, fueled by Silicon Valley, is not only sustainable, but is competitive and willing to roll up its sleeves and work together to nurture business at all stages of the life cycle.
4. If They Come, We Will Build It.
Forget about building it first. In Fremont, we are turning this axiom on its head. While Fremont’s Downtown is officially under construction, we aren’t waiting for all phases to unfold before we begin making this our central gathering spot. From pop-up gallery space to food trucks, Downtown Fremont is “on the map.” We anticipate using this same approach in Warm Springs. When the Warm Springs BART station opens in December, much of the larger development projects will still be in the planning/pre-construction phase. But count on us to not wait to surprise and delight users of the transit hub with visual indictors of innovation, whimsy, and entrepreneurial activity.
And with that teaser, we invite you to follow our progress as the year unfolds. Here’s to the expert opinions (may they all come true!) and to our City’s unbridled enthusiasm in being a partner for success.
This is the time of year where the crystal ball gets a real workout. Everyone is trying to get a handle on what to expect for the year ahead, including us. We have reached out to our go-to experts in the sectors and industries that matter to us: Manufactu…
This is the time of year where the crystal ball gets a real workout. Everyone is trying to get a handle on what to expect for the year ahead, including us. We have reached out to our go-to experts in the sectors and industries that matter to us: Manufacturing, Cleantech, Life Sciences and Hardware for a glimpse into the future. Their responses indicate a strong year ahead.
1. Manufacturing Space is Hot and Getting Hotter.
Greg Matter from Jones Lang LaSalle predicts continued growth in this industry and a corresponding need for manufacturing space. “As regionalization, IP protection, and customization continue to be key factors in developing a responsive supply chain strategy, manufacturing is here to stay. In 2015, the Bay Area will continue to see robust growth in manufacturing investment. We’ll see the big names in tech expanding locally, and their contractors and suppliers will flourish too. This expansion will result in greater demand for skilled labor and modern industrial real estate.”
2. Cleantech Turns the Corner.
Christine Herzog from the Smart Grid Dictionary confirms that the Cleantech Industry is finding its footing and is poised for record growth. “Cleantech will soon be thoroughly embedded in the U.S. economy. People are connecting the dots and recognizing that cleantech improves energy, as well as economic and environmental security. California’s ongoing drought shows how one facet of environmental security — available potable water — has profound economic and energy impacts. Nationwide, federal and state initiatives are propelling investment dollars into clean technologies and projects that improve energy production from renewable and other non-carbon sources and reduce energy and water consumption.” You can read more about the Cleantech Comeback here. And, we will be rolling out a series of posts early this year that delve more into these sub-topics.
3. Life Sciences Becomes a Stealth Leader in the East Bay:
You probably didn’t know that Fremont is a Bay Area leader in health care equipment and medical device manufacturing companies, but thanks to extensive research by Gregory Theyel of the East Bay Biomedical Manufacturing Network, we now have a detailed understanding of the breadth and depth of the biomedical industry in the Bay Area. Theyel says there are a number reasons contributing to Fremont’s strength as a leading location. “There is a reciprocating effect to competitors being close to each other enabling the movement of employees and ideas between companies. And the support function of companies from related industries, such as electronics, provides needed components and services, not to mention high-quality laboratory and production space.” We are planning a blog series to focus more on the biomedical industry.
4. Maker Movement on the Rise:
Thanks to social networking and crowd funding, anyone can start a business. Add the ease of sharing technology and the significant decline in the cost of tools such as 3D printers, and we are starting to see a new generation of “makers.” Karen Burns, co-founder of the East Bay Manufacturing Group and partner at Sensiba San Filippo, says the convergence of techies and DIYers is only in its infancy. “It has the power to change the behavior of Americans away from being strict consumers and into makers. And, where better to “make stuff” than right here in the Bay Area where technology and innovation were born? Even better is when you have room to spread your wings in places such as the new Innovation District in Warm Springs in Fremont.”
So what does this mean for Fremont? Find out later this week when we ask our fearless leader, Mayor Bill Harrison to talk about how the City can facilitate industry growth in 2015 and beyond.Read less x
The City of Fremont is starting off 2015 with a bang! We’re excited to share that our commitment to cleantech has enabled the City of Fremont to advance to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that challeng…
The City of Fremont is starting off 2015 with a bang! We’re excited to share that our commitment to cleantech has enabled the City of Fremont to advance to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that challenges Fremont, along with other small- and medium-sized communities to develop and implement creative, sustainable, and replicable strategies to save energy.
Over the next two years, the City of Fremont will work together with PG&E, local government officials, residents, energy efficiency experts, and others to put our energy-saving plan into action. We hope to deliver financial benefits to our residents and, ultimately, ensure the long-term sustainability of our community. Most importantly, our goal is to motivate changed behaviors, and change the way people think about energy efficiency —so that we can all do our part to secure our nation’s energy future.
In competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, the City of Fremont will focus on the following initiatives:
We’re anxious to get underway in the competition and we hope to make you proud as we elevate the City of Fremont to become a national leader of energy efficiency efforts in America.
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Q&A with Vipul Gore, President and CEO of Gridscape Solutions Happy 2015! As we head into the New Year, we’ll be kicking off a new blog series to share the stories, inspiration and challenges of cleantech visionaries in Fremont. We’ll also showcase s…
Q&A with Vipul Gore, President and CEO of Gridscape Solutions
Happy 2015! As we head into the New Year, we’ll be kicking off a new blog series to share the stories, inspiration and challenges of cleantech visionaries in Fremont. We’ll also showcase some of the Bay Area’s most knowledgeable industry experts.
We first sat down with Vipul Gore, President and CEO of Gridscape Solutions, a leading greentech and smart energy company that provides low-risk, low-cost smart energy solutions to utilities, manufacturers and other enterprises.
Read on to learn more about the cleantech industry and Vipul’s vision for its future.
Q: Out of all the industries you could have picked for your career, why did you choose cleantech?
I like that, at the end of each day, I can go to bed knowing that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life – whether it’s helping people make their lives more sustainable or saving them some money in terms of energy efficiency. A career in cleantech is what helps me sleep at night.
Q: How does the City of Fremont help boost your business?
The City has provided numerous resources that have helped grow our business. We’ve partnered on a few government grant projects, and last year, the California Energy Commission awarded us a grant of $305,352 to build and install 14 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations within the Bayside Business Park in Warm Springs, Fremont. It’s refreshing to work with a City that doesn’t just say they take an active interest in cleantech – they actually “walk the walk.”
Q: How’s the future of cleantech looking within the Bay Area?
I’d say it’s extremely promising. The Bay Area boasts one of the country’s leading markets for plug-in electric vehicles. This area is taking the lead with deployment of cleantech and smart energy initiatives. We have the highest number of electric cars and enterprises, and Silicon Valley companies are driving those initiatives.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges that cleantech companies face on a daily basis?
The biggest one is probably lack of awareness. I think people are open and receptive to what cleantech has to offer – they’re just not aware of what kinds of cleantech options are out there. The City of Fremont is a big mover and shaker when it comes to spreading awareness of the importance of this industry – and that’s something that other cities could take to heart.
Another challenge is that cleantech solutions are still extremely expensive. We need to start cultivating ideas for low-cost products too.
Q: If you could only offer one piece of advice to those just starting out in the cleantech industry, what would it be?
Perspective. Some people tend to get too caught up in all the technical details, but you also need to remember the bigger picture. In the end, the most important thing is to make sure that your product or solution is going to have a real impact on real people. That’s how you truly gauge the success of your product.
Q: What can we expect in 2015 for the cleantech industry?
Having been part of the cleantech industry for the last five years, I can tell you that we’ve seen significant progress this past year. 2015 and 2016 will be great years for growth in terms of innovation, adoption rates and a mounting awareness for what we’re trying to accomplish. The foundation for cleantech has been established for a bright and prosperous future.
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The pitter-patter of much-needed rain amidst the busyness of last-minute shopping, children squealing with delight, and holiday greetings between friends and family. As we prepare to slow down a bit for the holiday season (for some much well-earned respit…
The pitter-patter of much-needed rain amidst the busyness of last-minute shopping, children squealing with delight, and holiday greetings between friends and family. As we prepare to slow down a bit for the holiday season (for some much well-earned respite before the start of 2015), we want to take a minute to share a few highlights from the past year.
In 2014, the Fremont City Council approved the Warm Springs Innovation District plan; Warren Avenue re-opened to through traffic; Thermo Fisher celebrated the opening of its niche diagnostics facility; and Overton Moore added 700,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and logistics facilities. With the bulldozing of a three-story office building, Downtown Fremont is in full-swing with the extension of Capitol Avenue — connecting Fremont Boulevard with Paseo Padre. The Block at Pacific Commons welcomed Dick’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and other retailers in time for the holiday season and the Super Bowl in January. And these are a few of the highlights! As we said, it’s been a busy, productive, and tasty year.
Building a vibrant community is not possible without the continued investment, partnership, and involvement from the private sector, non-profits, transit agencies, and all levels of government. We appreciate the collective hard work, support, and enthusiasm for the Fremont community over the past year.
In 2015, we look forward to continued collaboration, growth, and development projects that reflect Fremont’s vision to be a dynamic, vibrant, and sustainable city filled with opportunities for residents to live, work, and play.
As always, we invite you talk to us about your business plans in 2015 and beyond. Happy Holidays!
With Good Tidings,
The Fremont Economic Development Team
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When Lindsey Gilpin recently posted her article, “10 Reasons Why Cleantech Made a Comeback in 2014,” on Tech Republic, it was tough for us not to say, “I told you so!” Through the ups and (more recent deep dives) downs, Fremont has steadfastly pursued a r…
When Lindsey Gilpin recently posted her article, “10 Reasons Why Cleantech Made a Comeback in 2014,” on Tech Republic, it was tough for us not to say, “I told you so!” Through the ups and (more recent deep dives) downs, Fremont has steadfastly pursued a robust strategy around attracting and supporting clean technology companies, citing that these industries collectively make up our highest prospect for growth. And sure enough, several of the reasons Gilpin lists in her piece are on full display here. We think it is worth reflecting on the topics where Fremont was in the headlines during 2014.
Falling Prices in Solar Market
Despite its tumultuous path, solar has maintained a strong presence in Fremont and continues to grow. From panel manufacturing to balance of system/installers to certification and testing, Fremont’s thriving solar sector reinforces Gilpin’s claim that falling prices and near grid parity have led this market to turn a critical corner. Two Fremont-based solar companies were in the headlines in 2014 for high-profile mergers.
We think it’s safe to say that 2014 was the Year of the Battery. In April, the California Clean Energy Fund launched CalCharge, creating a multi-pronged network of resources for the California energy storage cluster.
As home to several companies in this cluster, Fremont was proud to partner with the Cleantech Open and CalCharge to host “2014: The Year of the Battery: Taking Batteries from Bottleneck to Breakthrough,” which brought together 150 battery technologists, entrepreneurs, and VCs to discuss the industry and how Fremont offers a local manufacturing solution for this technology.
Elon Musk (a.k.a. Tesla)
Let’s face it — what’s big for Tesla is big for Fremont. Not many other cities can boast a cleantech company as its largest employer. Tesla is a poster child for cleantech and advanced manufacturing, and its rapid success has put Fremont on the map. More importantly, Tesla’s growth has led to a vast cluster of EV Technology and manufacturing supply chain solutions within Fremont. While there isn’t enough room to list all the headlines and milestones Tesla achieved this year, we recently issued our own reaction to Tesla’s plans for the Battery Giga Factory in Nevada.
Smart Thermostats (a.k.a. Sensor Technology)
Gilpin’s observation about the significance of the NEST/Google deal was not lost on us either. That transaction represented huge market potential for the broader Internet of Things (IOT) movement. The investment community also spoke out in Fremont with some notable funding rounds focused on sensor/communication technologies.
What will 2015 hold for Cleantech and Fremont’s other prominent clusters? Stay tuned for our 2015 preview featuring projections from some of our favorite industry experts.
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Fremont’s niche within the Bay Area economy lands squarely on hardware, so over the coming months we will be exploring the hardware comeback that is unfolding in real time. We begin at the intersection of software and hardware with Tindie — an online port…
Fremont’s niche within the Bay Area economy lands squarely on hardware, so over the coming months we will be exploring the hardware comeback that is unfolding in real time. We begin at the intersection of software and hardware with Tindie — an online portal where makers (or indie hardware enthusiasts) can sell their products.
We recently met up with Tindie Founder and CEO Emile Petrone and asked him to tell us what Tindie is up to.
1. What was the inspiration for Tindie?
It was somewhat serendipitous — I was a software engineer and I had some free time. In all seriousness, I came up with Tindie when I started seeing huge momentum in the growth of DIY electronics. It was getting easier and easier to be a “maker,” and things were really starting to take off, with tools like Raspberry Pi and Arduino becoming available. My question was, “Where do people sell the stuff they make?” I realized that a cultural shift was starting, and I wanted to contribute — I needed to facilitate the development of this community. So I posted on Reddit, asking if people would be interested in an online marketplace for indie hardware projects. The response was extremely positive, and the rest is history.
2. You’ve achieved some pretty impressive stats in a relatively short amount of time. Talk about those and what are you most proud of.
Tindie is the largest hardware marketplace online by a long shot, with more than 800 companies using the site and over 3,700 products listed. What I’m most proud of is how much purchase activity comes from legitimate corporate R&D labs — it just shows that our makers are producing very specialized, highly sought-after products. What may be most surprising to people is that nearly all of our sales activity comes through word-of-mouth advertising. And to think — this industry is still in its infancy and is changing very quickly. We foresee exponential growth opportunity.
3. What do you see as the biggest challenge for hardware startups as they try to scale?
The biggest challenge these companies face is designing for manufacturability at a reasonable cost. The iterations of product development required to hit the right price point in production can be significant, and hardware startups rely on developing early partnerships with manufacturers to get this right. To that end, finding the right manufacturer is also critical. Let’s just say you can’t find a manufacturer like you can a Papa John’s pizza store! Today, many manufacturers are not focused on the small startups. However with the rapid growth in this sector, we think this is a good opportunity to connect makers with local manufacturers.
4. What’s next for Tindie?
Over the next year, we will be working on helping our sellers find local manufacturers, as I’ve already mentioned. We are also interested in helping sellers’ post product descriptions that are not overly technical. Not all of the products listed on Tindie are made “by engineers for engineers.” The average consumer needs to understand the product descriptions and relate it to the sales pitch. We have actually created a non-technical customer service function to assist with this goal. We will also continue to hire additional engineers, so contact us if you are interested in joining.
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We recently visited the Mission Valley Regional Occupation Program campus in Fremont to understand how the ROP partners with local companies. James Briano and Jim Omlid gave us the full tour and explained the mission of the ROP and why we should care abou…
We recently visited the Mission Valley Regional Occupation Program campus in Fremont to understand how the ROP partners with local companies. James Briano and Jim Omlid gave us the full tour and explained the mission of the ROP and why we should care about it. They stressed that
But what does MVROP really do, and what about the young people who attend? The ROP provides rigorous elective program classes that complement the regular curriculum of New Haven, Newark and Fremont Unified School Districts. To better understand the ROP, let’s explore its offerings:
From skilled medical technicians and medical assistants to construction workers, equipment operators, and automotive technicians, our economy needs trained individuals for these important, well-paying occupations. With Fremont’s strong manufacturing base, companies such as Tesla, Bay Area Circuits, Cal Weld, AlterG, Plexus, Car West Auto Body, Lam Research, and Nestor have all benefited from the many skilled workers emerging from MVROP’s programs. Solar PV companies such as PetersenDean Roofing have also seen great value and now contribute significantly to the school’s instructional content. Public sector and healthcare agencies are big beneficiaries and recognize the important role that MVROP plays in preparing the next generation and helping the local economy to thrive.
When it comes to the critical topic of workforce and hiring needs, ROP programs cannot be underestimated in their value. If your business is interested in partnering with MVROP to influence curriculum and attract skilled workers, you can call them at 510-567-1865.
An example of a construction project for residential construction.Read less x
Welcome to our blog – Takes from Silicon Valley East! Our view is slightly different here on the east side of the bay – from the Mission Peak backdrop to the advanced manufacturing companies that dot our boulevards. As we become more urban and strive to interpret the business issues affecting our innovation economy, we want to share with you our observations, insights, photos, arguments, agreements, inspirations and CEO interviews – and here on our blog is exactly where we plan to do this.