Oakland Economy Now! April 2015 Newsletter

Oakland Economy Now

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Mark Sawicki Takes the Lead as Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Director

Mark Sawicki

Mark Sawicki has joined the City of Oakland as Director of Economic & Workforce Development. In this role, Mr. Sawicki leads a department of 50 staff working on significant real estate projects and negotiations; business attraction, retention and expansion; job training, marketing and public art. “Mark has a proven track record attracting investment to cities and deep experience in both the private and public sectors,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. Read more about Mark here or send him a welcome at msawicki@oaklandnet.com.

B Corps are Booming

B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk: a sign of ethics and high quality. Oakland has two dozen B-corp certified companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. These include older stalwarts like Give Something Back office supplies and Beneficial State Bank as well as new firms like Kuli Kuli. The City’s newest B Corp, Core Foods, is launching a campaign to bring “the world’s most nourishing restaurant” to City Center. Find out more about the Core Kitchen campaign here.


CORE Kitchen plans to serve an all-produce menu at Oakland City Center.

Solar Hackathon Winner Sunible Acquired

Sunible, one of the original solar startups in Oakland’s solar incubator SfunCube, has been acquired by Domino, a leading online guide to low carbon living. Sunible’s mission is to greatly enhance market information for both solar consumers and installers. The company won the first SfunCube Solar Hackathon in 2013. Emily Kirsch, co-founder and CEO of SfunCube--the world’s only incubator and accelerator for solar startups--stated “this is what SfunCube is all about – nurturing solar startups so that they can grow and succeed, and make a difference in our industry.” The 3rd Annual SfunCube Solar Hackathon is on April 18.


Vator Splash Returns to Oakland

Vator Splash, an international tech startup competition and conference, returns to Oakland this month. Vator Splash takes place April 22-23 at the Port Workspaces’ new Kaiser Center facility in the city’s vibrant Uptown neighborhood. The event will bring together founders of some of the hottest tech companies, venture capital firms, entrepreneurs and civic leaders for two days of breakout sessions, keynotes, fireside chats and panel discussions. Last year, the international competition was won by the Oakland company, Oppsites. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who will welcome attendees with opening remarks, said “I am thrilled that for the second year in a row, Oakland is hosting this unique event that brings together start-ups and investors and offers all attendees a look at Oakland’s thriving and creative tech community.” Oaklanders are being offered a special 15% registration discount. Use the “CityofOakland15” discount code to register. For more information, please contact Tech Specialist Marisa Raya.

MC Hammer

Performer and investor MC Hammer speaking at last year’s Vator Splash Oakland.

Free Broadway Shuttle Hours Extended; Streetcar Study Underway

Late night workers, revelers and residents can now ride the City of Oakland’s popular “Free B” Broadway Shuttle until 10pm on weekdays. The Free B also runs until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. Employers and other downtown stakeholders had advocated for later Free B service to support Oakland’s bustling nightlife and dining scene. The City is also studying extending the Free B route further north along Broadway as far as the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, as well as the feasibility of replacing the shuttle buses with either an enhanced bus or electric streetcars. For more information on the B shuttle and the streetcar study, please contact Zach Seal or visit http://www.Bshuttle.com.



Take Our Survey on Economic Development in Oakland!

New Minimum Wage & Employment Laws Information

Opening a Business? Contact us!

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permit Information

Foreign Trade Zone

KivaZip Oakland

CA Competes—Deadline April 6th!


Core Foods
Telegraph Academy
Buma Pizzeria
Octopus Literary Salon


CA Competes Applications Due
April 6

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Applications
April 20

Vator Splash Oakland
April 22-23 @ Kaiser Conference Center

Payroll Tax Seminar
April 22 @ 1515 Clay

Oakland Makers Membership Reception
April 23

Oakland Clears Path for Coliseum City Development
April 1, Oakland Tribune

New Food Market will Anchor Former Sears Building in Oakland
March 26, SF Business Times

Oakland Neighborhood Photo Project

SF Developer Proposes 330 Units at Jack London Square
March 12, SF Business Times

KivaZip and Centro Community Partners Funding Small Business in Oakland
March 17, Oakland Local

Benjamin Moore Setting Up Western-Asia Distribution Hub
March 18, GlobeSt.

Sungevity Launches Solar Services for the Commercial Market
March 19, Benzinga

Newberry Market Takes Prime Retail Space in Oakland's Uptown Station
March 26, DMN Forums

Decade of Persistence Pays off at Oak Knoll
March 27, SF Business Times


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