Oakland Among Top Cities for Tech Startups

High tech has been centered in Silicon Valley for decades, but now it appears to be spreading throughout the Bay Area

NBC Bay Area TV
March 18, 2013

DBL Part­ners’ Pro­gram Direc­tor Lisa Hager­man is inter­viewed by NBC Bay Area TV on why Oak­land has become a pre­ferred loca­tion for star­tups in the tech and green tech space.

Pro­gram Direc­tor of DBL Part­ners Lisa Hager­man is quick to say that Oak­land is a great place to do business.

She should know; her ven­ture cap­i­tal firm is back­ing five Oak­land tech com­pa­nies and hopes to find more. “The more that we see Oak­land in a pos­i­tive light, the more com­pa­nies are going to choose to locate in Oak­land and grow in Oak­land,” Hager­man said.

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Oak­land was ranked among the most attrac­tive U.S. cities for tech star­tups accord­ing to a report out this week by the Nation­al Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Association.

San Jose and San Fran­cis­co topped the list, but the high cost of rent in those cities is mak­ing places like Oak­land more attractive.

The cost of liv­ing and cre­at­ing a busi­ness is low­er in Oak­land than in San Jose and San Fran­cis­co,” said NVCA Pres­i­dent Mark Heesen. “Things are just cheap­er in the East Bay than opposed to the city or San Jose or Sil­i­con Val­ley areas.”

The NVCA list mea­sures over­all ven­ture cap­i­tal invest­ment in each respec­tive mar­ket in 2012. Oak­land ranked 11th.

The amount of invest­ment pro­vid­ed to Oak­land-based firms is a clear indi­ca­tion that our city is one of the Bay Area’s inno­va­tion cen­ters,” said Oak­land May­or Jean Quan. “In addi­tion to being more afford­able, Oak­land offers a cen­tral Bay Area loca­tion, great weath­er and a skilled workforce.”

Oak­land is qui­et­ly becom­ing a breed­ing ground for suc­ces­ful star­tups giv­ing birth to a rev­o­lu­tion in field from food to on-line music. Stream­ing music site Pan­do­ra had its best day ever as a pub­li­caly trad­ed com­pa­ny last week when shares jumped 18-per­cent. Rev­o­lu­tion foods, which makes afford­able lunch­es for pub­lic schools, now deliv­ers 120,000 meals dai­ly thanks to its cen­tral loca­tion in Oakland.

Oth­er fac­tors in Oakland’s favor include prox­im­i­ty to research insti­tu­tions like the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia — Berke­ley and Lawrence Berke­ley Nation­al Lab, a mod­er­ate cli­mate and abun­dant green space includ­ing Lake­side Park, just steps from downtown.