By leveraging the dominance of our region’s technology sector and using tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to prototype and release new products and services, our region will continue innovate and succeed in holding its position as an economic powerhouse.
Nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, East Bay Economic Development Alliance identified a group of industries to watch that includes the biomedical, cleantech, creative design and manufacturing sectors. Both Hayward and San Leandro have actively adapted to and prepared for these new industries, positioning them to continue to capture more value in the Bay Area innovation ecosystem while also working to attract and support companies that are looking to expand or grow within their borders. When the renowned syrup maker Torani outgrew its South San Francisco facility a few years ago, rather than leave the Bay Area, it looked just across the water and ultimately chose to move to a new facility right in the heart of San Leandro’s industrial area, adding to the few dozen food and beverage companies operating in that city. But growth has hardly been about the relocation of Bay Area companies. Over in Hayward, new, rapidly growing bioscience companies such as Eikon Therapeutics and RefleXion (both of which are previous winners of East Bay Innovation Awards in life sciences) are now helping that city begin to chart a new course for its economic future.
Geography, history and proximity to key infrastructure are just some of the reasons that these central Alameda County cities have been successful at continuing to chart their economic futures. Both cities also have worked intentionally to create conditions that help entrepreneurs and innovators bring ideas to reality, like the public-private partnership that was established between the city of San Leandro and Patrick Kennedy to create Lit San Leandro, which built a fiber optic loop in the city roughly 10 years ago to attract new kinds of businesses. Indeed, this investment in modern infrastructure helped paved the way for the opening of Gate 510, a business incubator offering amenities and space for tech and biotech startups seeking to create and develop new products in industries such as 3D printing, drone technology, food science and robotics. The city of Hayward has a similar but different story, where renowned Bay Area incubator Bonneville Labs just opened a new space in late 2022, offering important amenities for new startups, including lab equipment and storage spaces, monitoring systems and operations support for companies that are designing and prototyping new ideas and products. The growth and success of each of these entities epitomizes how these two cities have continued to reinvent themselves in the 21st century economy.
Despite some signs of economic headwinds and uncertainty, the cities of Hayward and San Leandro offer many examples of the potential for our economy to continue to grow and evolve. By leveraging the dominance of our region’s technology sector and using tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to prototype and release new products and services, our region will continue innovate and succeed in holding its position as an economic powerhouse.
East Bay EDA is a cross-sector, public-private partnership that promotes strategic economic development throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, serving as the regional voice and networking resource for strengthening the economy, building the workforce and enhancing the quality of life in the East Bay. For more information about our work, visit us at eastbayeda.org.