Updates: Office of Economic Development

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Citywide Economic Performance 

1% for the Arts

Focus on Equitable Development 

Expanding local business networks 

New team  


 Citywide Economic Performance  Dashboard for Updates 2017

OED published its semi-annual Economic and Commercial District Dashboard Reports, which include a detailed examination of trends in employment, real estate development, commercial vacancy rates, sales tax revenues by sector, and other indicators of citywide economic performance. Highlights from the recent dashboards include:

The next issue will be released in mid-winter. Dashboards and other relevant data-rich reports can be found here.

1% for the Arts

 Our Civic Arts team has been working on a number of major civic art initiatives this year:


Focus on Equitable Development

Inclusion in Entrepreneurship Summit

OED was pleased to be a sponsor of Berkeley's first-ever Inclusion in Entrepreneurship Summit. Held on September 15th in the Pauley Ballroom at UC Berkeley, the event brought together over 400 entrepreneurs from varied backgrounds to help them understand opportunities to gain access to federal, state, and local resources for startups. More than 25 federal agencies and 75 investors from the Bay Area participated in panel discussions and met with local entrepreneurs, resulting in more than 500 one-to-one Meetings.  

Closing the digital divide

The City of Berkeley issued an RFP for a Broadband Infrastructure Masterplan. In addition to its goals of (1) expanding fiber access for public facilities and infrastructure to ensure continuous connectivity and service resilience for essential City functions  and (2) improving fiber access in key commercial districts, the Masterplan will seek to address the 'digital divide' by increasing high speed internet access for low-income and disadvantaged residents. Additionally, the Office of Economic Development (in partnership with the City of Berkeley's IT Department) has begun research to identify the nature of the City's digital divide problem (by six distinct user groups) and identify additional solutions that can help Berkeley residents and businesses to increase their internet access and digital literacy.

Building Economic Resilience in Low-Income Communities

The City of Berkeley participated in the 100 Resilient Cities Urban Resilience Summit in New York City, which brought together nearly 500 participants from 100 global cities to discuss opportunities to build stronger, more resilient communities. The City of Berkeley's Chief Strategist for Sustainable Growth, Liz Redman Cleveland, help design and moderate a session on Building Economic Resilience in Low Income Communities. The panel explored case studies from three cities-Louisville, Norfolk, and Salvador- and helped participants work together to identify the kinds of resources and tools required to encourage:Building Economic Resilence

The City of Berkeley will be applying the learning's from this event as it rolls out additional programs to support small businesses.


 Expanding local business networks 

Berkeley Startup Cluster

The Berkeley Startup Cluster, originally launched in 2010, has a new mission statement: making Berkeley a more vibrant, accessible, and equitable place for startups to launch and grow! With an innovation ecosystem that now includes more than a dozen co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators, the Berkeley Startup Cluster will focus its efforts in the years ahead on:

OED is also pleased to announce that 275 people celebrated the 2017 Berkeley Visionary Awards at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on September 11. The event awarded three UC Berkeley honorees (Amy Herr, Mike Cohen, and Scott Shenker) for the ways they are shaping the future through their respective fields.  UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ served as the event's keynote speaker and City of Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley closed the event, offering strong City support for fostering a local innovation ecosystem. Visionary Award 2017

To see recent news from Berkeley's early stage, high growth industries or learn about other startup-focused events in our city - sign up for the newsletter and see the event calendar at www.BerkeleyStartupCluster.com or follow the Berkeley Startup Cluster Facebook page.

Recent newsletters can also be accessed here:

Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley

Originally an informal network that spun out of the Berkeley Startup Cluster, the shape and format of the Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley (WEB) has evolved!  WEB's mission is to connect innovative women with the resources and networks they need to accelerate their businesses.  As an initiative of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, the network will now have a formal membership structure and annual programming. WEB's new Advisory Group includes the City of Berkeley Office of Economic Development and many other Berkeley-based inspirational women entrepreneurs and financiers (see the list of Advisors here). WEB picture for OED Updates

On October 16, WEB hosted a networking happy hour at Gio's Pizza & Bocce where more than 80 Berkeley businesswomen shared their business aspirations and provided input on the topics and events that will support their companies and careers.

To see recent news from the Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley and learn about other resources and events - visit www.wBerkeley.com and sign up for the WEB newsletter, join the WEB Group on LinkedIn or follow our Facebook page or Twitter page.

Recent WEB newsletters can also be accessed here:

 New team

There are many new faces at the Office of Economic Development - and familiar faces in new roles.