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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

CELEBRATING BERKELEY BUSINESSES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OUR COMMUNITY’S CHARACTER
Awareness campaign and Sept. 16 awards ceremony highlight businesses, startups creating a better future

Berkeley, California (Thursday, September 12, 2019) - Learn about innovative Berkeley businesses serving our community - and transforming our world - with the city's new Discovered in Berkeley campaign and the Berkeley Visionary Awards on Monday, September 16.

Discovered in Berkeley is intended to raise awareness of the business services offered by Berkeley's Office of Economic Development and to inspire pride among Berkeley residents and business owners alike about the amazing commercial activity happening in the neighborhoods where they live and work. Over the next eight months, we'll be highlighting local businesses that showcase what's unique about Berkeley's business community across four themes: "deep tech," "food forward," "dare2share," and "the upcycle" -- and the ways the City supports them.

We're kicking off the campaign this week with the launch of discoveredinberkeley.com, @DiscoveredInBerkeley Instagram channel, and the first of 12 stories about local businesses on Berkeleyside. The first story shines a spotlight on Enchroma, a Berkeley-based business that has created eyeglasses that allow people with color blindness to see the full spectrum of color.

Enchroma is one of more than 350 Berkeley companies using science, technology and engineering innovation to solve the world's most pressing challenges. Berkeley's Office of Economic Development has helped Enchroma recruit local talent by connecting them with local community colleges and worked to boost their visibility by featuring their accomplishments in the Berkeley Startup Cluster monthly newsletter, as well as including their President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Andrew Schmeder, as a panelist in the 2018 Berkeley Visionary Lab event series.

In the coming months, Discovered in Berkeley will highlight eleven more local companies that demonstrate what's unique about Berkeley businesses: their independent spirit, diversity of thought, progressive values, and focus on quality. Our Office of Economic Development has supported each of the businesses in some way, with assistance including:

  • Advisory services to launch or grow a business
  • Connections to commercial districts, industry groups, business networks, and local leaders
  • Business location assistance
  • Low-cost financing through our Revolving Loan Fund
  • Technical assistance to navigate Berkeley's codes, regulations, and policies

On Monday, September 16, you'll also have the chance to celebrate innovative Berkeley businesses in person. Sponsored by the Office of Economic Development and organized by the Berkeley Chamber, the annual Berkeley Visionary Awards ceremony will honor three Berkeley entrepreneurs who are striving to meet the challenges of the 21st century: Jason Haight of GIG Car Share, Bhavin Parikh of Magoosh, and Chloe Alpert of Medinas Healthcare. The celebration will include accomplished speakers from Berkeley's innovation ecosystem, inspirational videos, and delicious food and drinks provided by local businesses.

Berkeley Visionary Awards

Monday, September 16, 5pm

Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street

Tickets cost $35 (or $15 for members of the Berkeley Chamber or Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley) and can be purchased online.

Discovered in Berkeley and the Berkeley Visionary Awards are just two of many ways Berkeley's Office of Economic Development helps local businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists to thrive. With expertise on commercial real estate, economic data, industry networks, financing, green business, and the local innovation ecosystem, OED offers a range of services to support to new, growing, and established business in Berkeley.

Launching Discovered in Berkeley brings us one step closer to the implementation of the city's Strategic Plan, which identified marketing Berkeley as a place to do business as one of nine priority projects supporting the citywide goal to foster a dynamic, sustainable, and locally-based economy.

The City of Berkeley is proud that our community boasts so many businesses worthy of recognition - and that our diverse business owners have dedicated their lives to creating or selling products and services that enhance our lives on a daily basis. We hope you will join us in celebrating them by following the Discovered in Berkeley campaign, attending Monday's Visionary Awards, and shopping locally.

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