Oakland Economy Now Vol 28 - March 2017

Oakland Economy NOw Masthead Volume 28 March 2017

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Oakland Startup

Oakland Startup Puts Women and Entrepreneurs of Color at the Center of Oakland's Tech Ecosystem

The Kapor Center for Social Impact, DevLabs and the City of Oakland recently announced the launch of a new initiative to support Oakland-based tech entrepreneurs. Oakland Startup will bring together resources and service providers to reduce the barriers to entrepreneurship for under-served and under-represented tech demographics, including women and people of color. It aims to increase the number and success rate of tech startups, both by increasing access to social and financial capital and through engineering a reduction in the time it takes to build a profitable business. “We are excited about the possibility of creating a pipeline of outlier tech entrepreneurs from Oakland who are solving difficult problems using software solutions,” said Ruben Hernandez, CEO of Devlabs. “We believe in the talent and the commitment of Oakland tech entrepreneurs to solve problems in their communities and scale them to the world.” Interested entrepreneurs can find out more at www.OaklandStartup.net.


Oakland Announces Cultural Funding Program Awards

For over 30 years, Oakland has directly funded artists and organizations through the Oakland Cultural Funding Program. This year, 78 Oakland-based artists and organizations received grant awards, including filmmaker Tony Nguyen for his documentary “Fresh Frozen,” about a small sandwich shop trying to stay afloat in a rapidly changing neighborhood, and the 3rd Annual Black-Eyed Pea Festival, a cultural celebration of African American traditional food, music and art. In total, this year’s Cultural Funding awards will support over 8,000 arts events and activities, the majority of them offered free or low-cost to the public. The City anticipates that over 300,000 people will participate in these cultural arts services. For more information, please contact Cultural Funding Program Coordinator Denise Pate.


Mosaic: A Local Solar Success Story

The solar industry accounted for 1 in 50 jobs created last year nationwide and is one of Oakland’s fastest growing business sectors. Local solar star Mosaic, the charter member of Oakland’s Powerhouse solar accelerator, has grown to 130 employees and is hiring more. Mosaic is the largest lender for home solar in the U.S., recently surpassing the $1 billion mark. To maintain and increase diversity as it grows, Mosaic is doubling its incentives for new hire referrals that are female, veterans or people of color. For more information on Oakland’s clean and green technology companies, contact Economic Development Specialist Steve Lautze.

ICA accelerator company logos

ICA Fund Good Jobs Advances First Accelerator Cohort

After two decades of supporting and growing local companies, including Revolution Foods and Blue Bottle Coffee, ICA Fund Good Jobs launched their first Good Jobs Accelerator in 2016. The inaugural cohort includes 10 Bay Area companies, including Oakland’s Red Door Catering, Mr. Sparkle Window Washers, Eby Construction, Onigilly, AGW Screen Works, 4505 Meats, Spotlight:Girls, Chop Plentii and Reem's. Together, they are projected to create over 200 local jobs in 2017. The 10 companies are supported by Good Jobs Accelerator's fully integrated model to work through their growth and fundraising strategies, organizational development, marketing and branding, and must first complete the “Growth Strategies” course at the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy sponsored by ICA Fund Good Jobs and Mills College.

Major Office Leases put New Construction on the Horizon

With Oakland’s commercial market at a historically low vacancy, major new leases may bring the return of new office construction. Healthcare provider Blue Shield has signed a letter of intent to lease about 200,000 square feet of office space in an approved office project to be built by Shorenstein Properties at 601 City Center. Separately, the University of California's Office of the President (UCOP), already one of Oakland’s largest employers, has signed a letter of intent to take about 100,000 square feet at 1100 Broadway, an entitled site in Oakland's downtown core which developer Ellis Partners is acquiring from SKS. For more information, please contact Director of Economic & Workforce Development Mark Sawicki.

Oakland Spotlight

#OaklandSpotlight on Tourism

In 2015, 3.6 million visitors spent $607 million in Oakland. The #OaklandSpotlight campaign helps tourists find local businesses in the city’s diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. Every month the City's Tourism Bureau, Visit Oakland, features a new neighborhood and highlights its unique cultural institutions, attractions and restaurants: the places that make Oakland a great place to live and an unforgettable place to visit. Highlight the places that make your neighborhood special with the hashtag #OaklandSpotlight and they may be featured next!


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Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permits

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Minimum Wage & Employment Laws 

KivaZip Oakland

Foreign Trade Zone


4505 Meats
Curry Up Now
Greenlining Institute
SeaWolf Public House
Shiba Ramen
Trina’s Fish Fry
Zuo Modern


Legal Clinic for Entrepreneurs
March 9 @ Oakland Business Assistance Center

BUILD Oakland Spring Sales Bazaar
March 21 @ Impact Hub Oakland

Small Business Collaborative Partnering in Construction
March 24 @ 333 Hegenberger Rd.

Oakland 2030: Chamber Economic Summit
March 31 @ OMCA

Oakland Career Youth Expo
April 13 @ Marriott

Office Hours with Working Solutions
By Appointment @ Oakland Business Assistance Center


Healthier Cereals Snare a Spot on New York School Menus
Mar 1, New York Times

CIM Group’s Latest Oakland Projects Would Add Office And Residential
Feb 27, BisNow 

Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood will soon get streamlined Whole Foods
Feb 23, San Francisco Business Times 

Oakland hackathon brings youth, police together
Feb 17, East Bay Times

Top 10 U.S. cities for employee happiness (Oakland No. 5)
Feb 14, CIO.com 

Maker’s Guide to Oakland, California
Feb 8, Makezine.com

5 Delicious Things to Bring Home from Oakland
Feb 2, theKitchn.com

East Oakland retail center promises change for neighborhood
Feb 2, SFGate.com

Buoyed by Tesla, Port of Oakland wants to be ships’ first stop
Jan 28, SF Chronicle

California Farmers Transform Trade at Oakland Port
Jan 24, Food Logistics 

Bay Area Bike Share announces East Bay locations
Jan 6, East Bay Times

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