Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Forbes Article on Anno Domini

Silicon Valley's secret subculture is becoming less of a secret with each passing year. Forbes has just put out a great interview with Cherri Lakey and Brian Eder, the two founders of Anno Domini in SoFA. Their gallery is often ranked one of the best in the US and is a key anchor for the arts movement in Downtown San Jose. Not only did they start and continue to participate in South FIRST FRIDAYS, but they also throw the awesome SubZERO Festival each year.

Check out the interview over here. It's well worth your time, especially since you don't see an article on the San Jose art scene on a national publication like Forbes very frequently.

Source: Forbes, Hat tip to our friend Dan De La O

Thursday, April 17, 2014

100% Pure Expansion

Not every company in North San Jose is tech oriented. 100% Pure is a vegan cosmetics company that sold 7 million products in 2013 through online sales, wholesale, and brick-and-mortar stores. Currently they have six boutiques in the Bay Area, including one in Santana Row.

The company is planning a huge expansion with 16 new stores across Southern California, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and the East Coast. Instead of going with VC money, they are utilizing their own funds and loans from banks they have pre-existing relationships with.

Oh, and about that first comment: "Not every company in North San Jose is tech oriented"... I lied. 100% Pure also developed a freemium enterprise collaboration and task management tool called Incville. They are planning to spin this off into its own company with separate staff later this year. For more details, just head over to the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Die Hards Co. Kickstarter!

San Jose natives Adam and Ben Mayberry launched the Die Hards Co. four years ago with the mission of creating unique gear for die hard Bay Area sports fans. Now they are ready to take their company to the next level with higher-quality apparel made locally in the Bay Area that will perfectly match the official colors of all seven Bay Area teams. The team launched a Kickstarter to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. Combined with a Creative Industries Incentive Fund grant that they received from the City of San Jose, this campaign will have a huge impact on helping a local San Jose business achieve success.

The best part is that they already hit their goal, meaning any pledges $5 or more will receive a guaranteed reward. To find out more, watch the video below and then head over to the Kickstarter page to contribute!

Bay Area Sports Apparel From  The DIE HARDS COMPANY Announces Launch Of A KICKSTARTER To Manucature Made In The Bay Area Apparel

SAN JOSE, Calif.,—Since 2010, local clothing company, The Die Hards Company. has been providing Bay Area sports fans apparel, including t-shirts, sweaters and hats, to wear proudly when cheering on their favorite team.  Their tagline “Sport Your Colors” is the foundation for their brand as they strictly cater to the loyal fans of the seven professional sports teams in the San Francisco Bay Area.

With innovative designs—including their best-selling “Hella,” “Fin City” and “I Survived the Stick” t-shirts—The Die Hards Co. has continued to grow, mostly from their strong social media presence. With their 4th Anniversary closing in, they intend to take their company to the next level.

The Die Hards Co. is pleased to announce the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to crowd source the funds needed to manufacture their tshirts using factories in the Bay Area.  Previously they have purchased shirts from companys that sew they blank shirt options over seash.

Through the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs and the Center for Cultural Innovation, they were selected to receive the Creative Industries Incentive Fund grant. Using Kickstarter to match the funds provided in the grant, we can produce high quality, Made in the Bay Area shirts matching official colors of all seven Bay Area teams.  Without these funds they would not be able to meet the minimums needed for manufacturing

Wednesday Wishlist: More Innovation with High-Rise Designs

I recently ran across the below renders for the Hualien Wellness & Residential development over in Taiwan. Several aspects of this project stood out to me. The most obvious is the stunning and unique design which also happens to be eco-friendly. What may be less obvious is that these are actually homes for seniors and the project is no taller than 18-stories.

There is absolutely no reason why we couldn't have buildings like this in San Jose, especially since they are well within our height limit. Not only are we the Capital of Silicon Valley, but we are at the center of the Green-tech industry. We should have buildings like this that could demonstrate innovation in the housing sector in addition to traditional green industries like solar energy.

I would even go so far as to call the designs below "suburban-friendly." I could see these types of buildings replacing strip malls near transit for traditionally suburban areas without causing much of a visual disturbance to nearby neighbors. Of course, I would love to see some of these Downtown... but at some point we will have to start thinking about urbanizing other parts of San Jose while minimizing impact to surrounding areas.

Source: Inhabitat

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Content Magazine Issue 6.1 Pickup Party Today

It's that time again! Content Magazine is having a pick up party at MACLA in San Jose's SoFA Disctirct. The theme of the new issue is "Sight & Sound." Subscribers will get appetizers from the awesome First to Market as well as a free drink for themselves and their +1. There will even be a Fashion Show.

The event runs from 6-8pm today and MACLA is located at 510 S. 1st Street. For more info on this great publication, visit Content Magazine.

Monday, April 14, 2014

US Chamber of Commerce Coming to Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is grabbing more national political attention lately and one of the most powerful lobbying groups is seeking to open a satellite office in the area. The goal is to lure VCs and startup companies to join the organization, which already has over 300,000 members. A few large tech companies in the area such as Apple and Yahoo are no longer members, likely because they are large enough to operate their independent lobbying group in Washington DC.

While a location has not been decided yet for their outpost, I have to say they could not pick a better place than Downtown San Jose. They would have easy access to both San Jose and Santa Clara County political operations, the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the new Patent Office, and thousands of companies within a 10 mile radius. It is also the only location that is easily accessed by multiple freeways, Light Rail, Caltrain, Amtrack, and soon Bus Rapid Transit. The last part of my pitch is the hundreds of restaurants, cultural and entertainment venues, convention center, and Arena within walking distance. I hope they take a very serious look Downtown and honestly would be surprised if they picked any other location.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, April 13, 2014

VTA Light Rail Turns 25!

Last Friday, VTA celebrated 25 years of Light Rail service in Silicon Valley. Each morning during my commute, I am seeing more and more people hopping on Light Rail along Tasman. I think with the 49ers Stadium, BART, and the upcoming efficiency improvements... the system is finally going to get the traction it deserves.

Check out the map below to see what the system will look like in 2017. There will be a new Red Line from Mountain View to Alum rock, which will include express service during peak hours. Mountain View will get double tracked, Santa Clara will get pocket tracks near the Stadium for peak transit during games and events, and Almaden will get a direct connection to Downtown San Jose and Mountain View. There are also talks of expanding the system from Alum Rock to Eastridge Mall and from Winchester to Los Gatos.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the #8 Most Compact/Connected Large Metro in the US

San Jose gets a lot of flack for being sprawled out; however, based on two large scale studies of urban sprawl in the US it turns out we are not doing too shabby. In the Smart Growth America study, we were the 8th most compact and connect metro in the US with a population greater than 1 million people. In fact, we got higher index scores than Oakland and Chicago metros.

In another study entitled Urban Sprawl in the United States: 1970-2010, San Jose had a "sprawl score" of 21.04 in 1970, 16.5 in 1980, 16.33 in 1990, 15.25 in 2000, and 14.13 in 2010. Without really going into how the numbers were calculated, the conclusion is that sprawl decreased by a third over the past 40 years in San Jose. So the reality is that like LA, we are a lot more dense than the general perception.

Source: Smart Growth America, Hat tip to Russ Lopez fro sending this in!