Showing posts with label san jose silicon valley chamber of commerce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose silicon valley chamber of commerce. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Despite the name change, SVO continues to break ground with small business owners

When asked to write my first article to cover an organization AND see the insides of Avaya Stadium, I was totally stoked to do it for The San Jose Blog! Plus, getting some h'orderves and a drink doesn’t hurt either!

View of the Avaya Stadium sign welcoming SVO (Photograph by John Huân Vũ)
That opportunity came on the evening of Thursday, June 8, 2017 at a June Networking Mixer hosted by the Silicon Valley Organization (SVO). I had only heard of SVO once when Josh Santos wrote an article about its name change earlier this year. Josh stated that the removal of San Jose from its name followed “an unsettling trend preceded by The Business Journal and The Mercury News, our two top news publications.” However, like Josh Santos, we are both “not completely opposed to the idea” especially when it can “better raise our [city’s] global awareness.” Put simply, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce is now the Silicon Valley Organization.

Let’s start out with the venue. As shown on their infographic below, Avaya Stadium seats 18,000 people with free wireless internet along with indoor and outdoor patio suites. Sweet deal if you want to be involved in the game! On hand were two employees of the San Jose Earthquakes who gave us the rundown of the venue and their field known as their “sanctuary.” The highlight for me was seeing the insides of the locker room (sorry, no cameras). Inside the locker room, there are high resolution photographs depicting the evolution of the San Jose Earthquakes spanning from its infancy to their location today at Avaya Stadium. However, what amused me the most was the nicely pressed and folded uniforms, undershirts, and grey underwear briefs for every player ready to use for the next game!

During the networking mixer, I met a lot of people whom I got to hear more about SVO, why they are part of SVO, and most importantly, how they benefited from SVO. I met a handful of first timers who were invited by other SVO members or wanted to check out if the organization is right for them. The people who impressed me were those who were part of SVO (before the name change) for 5, 10, or even 15 years. I met realtors, caterers, photographers, doctors, graphic designers, and salespeople from other sports teams, banks, and hotels. Most importantly, the people were generally friendly, open to talking about their business, with diverse backgrounds in industry, age, ethnicity, and national origin.

View from one of Avaya's patio suites (Photograph by John Huân Vũ)
They all had one thing in common: SVO opened doors for their small business. As a software engineer for a big company, listening to their stories really brought me down to how small businesses are thriving (and struggling) every day. I also realize how stupid I was for not having business cards! I met a woman who works as a caterer but attends the SVO events to network with others who might be a florist or finding a business owner that needs delicious lunches. People said that it was much better to put a face to a business name instead of reading a review online. The SVO also builds business partnerships and even friendships along the way.

When asked about the membership fees, a SVO member and sole proprietor said that, “If I can just get one referral for my business, then that just paid for itself for my annual membership.”

For future events, networking opportunities, and ribbon cutting, check out their website at

-John Huân Vũ

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber changes its name

Yet another significant San Jose institution has decided to drop the word "San Jose" from its name. The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is now the "The Silicon Valley Organization."

This follows an unsettling trend preceded by The Business Journal and The Mercury News, our two top news publications. Dare I say it--should the city of San Jose be renamed the city of Silicon Valley to better raise our global awareness in light of these continued changes? You might be surprised to hear that I'm not completely opposed to the idea.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Chamber announces Silicon Valley IDEA (Initiative to Drive Economic Advancement)

The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce announced a new initiative a couple weeks
ago to strengthen the Chamber’s regional economic development efforts. This includes a regional branding initiative and creating a shared voice for local businesses to identify and address issues related to regional business operations and quality of life.

The goal is to help maintain Silicon Valley's role as the world's top innovation powerhouse and market our area as such to the rest of the globe. Below are five short videos that introduce 'silicon valley IDEA.'

For more information on 'silicon valley IDEA' or to become directly involved in the program, please visit:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

NextSpace partnering with SJSV Chamber to launch a second co-working space in Downtown San Jose

Coworking spaces are in high demand in Silicon Valley, and NextSpace is ready to capitalize on that with a new location. NextSpace was the first true coworking space in Downtown San Jose with a center at 2nd Street and San Fernando in 2011. Now they are partnering with the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce to utilize 7,000 SQFT of space at 101 W Santa Clara Street.

The partnership is quite unexpected yet makes perfect sense. The Chamber's goal is fostering economic prosperity and assisting local businesses and entrepreneurs, and those are exactly the type of people that utilize NextSpace offices.

The location will have offices for two-to-eight people, dedicated workstations, a kitchen, multiple conference rooms, and event center, and open cafe seating. For more info email or read the full press release below.

NextSpace Partners with the SJSV Chamber, Launches Second Co-working Space in the Heart of Silicon Valley

Santa Cruz, Calif. – NextSpace, the pioneer in coworking and shared-space has partnered with the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce to support entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups in downtown San Jose.

Nextspace CEO Kurt Grutzmacher and SJSV Chamber President & CEO Matthew Mahood announced the availability of offices and open-configured workspaces in its newest space — NextSpace Silicon Valley at The SJSV Chamber — a 7,000 square-foot, full floor coworking space. Though the new space at the Chamber building — at the corner of Market and E Santa Clara Street — will formally begin taking applications October 1, founding members have already begun filling the space.

“We are excited to partner with NextSpace,” Mahood said. “As an organization that is focused on fostering economic prosperity as our primary mission, this partnership allows the Chamber to offer small businesses and local entrepreneurs a new platform for growth and greater success. As collaborative workspaces become more commonplace, the Chamber’s partnership with NextSpace is a natural opportunity for us to support and promote the innovation economy in our community, especially in downtown San Jose. ”

Originally opening their doors in 2008 in Santa Cruz, it took NextSpace less than six months to reach capacity. The Nextspace San Jose space, opened in 2011 at 2nd Street, reached capacity in the fall of 2011, warranting the need for a second location just up the street.

“We have one of the best communities I have found on the planet,” Grutzmacher said. “Our spaces are full of amazing people of diverse walks of life; entrepreneurs, website developers, programmers, engineers, graphic designers, life and business coaches, artists, legal services, architects, non-profits, and bookkeepers—all striving to be the best at their trade and enjoying life. Each location truly represents a cross-section of the local business community. We are excited about partnering with progressive leaders like Matt and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber team.”

The NextSpace Silicon Valley at The SJSV Chamber joins the company’s eight other locations in California and Chicago and is the first to share space with a local chamber of commerce. The new space will offer offices that fit two-to-eight people, dedicated workstations and open café seating along with a kitchen, multiple conference rooms and a large event center.

“From our perspective, tech start-ups and small businesses are looking more now than ever for spaces that they can collaborate in,” said NextSpace COO Andrew Van Valer. “There are long waiting lists for incubators and accelerators in the region and we are a place for tech start-ups and small businesses to work, create, develop, evolve, collaborate, launch and grow in the region now. When non-profits, for profits, social enterprises, startups, youth, mentors, and their passion mix at Nextspace, magic happens.”

For a free day-pass, information regarding founding memberships, to explore the space and book or reserve workstations, meeting room and or event space, email

There will be an official Open House coming in October, date to be determined.

About NextSpace

Established in 2008 in Santa Cruz as a co-working space, Nextspace is a hub of economic activity, bringing together entrepreneurs, freelancers, and people seeking to balance life and work on their own terms. The mingling of our founding members and new faces created a strong network, leading to many successful ventures and was eventually termed the NextSpace Effect.

About the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce

The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit business association representing nearly 1,400 employers and 275,000 employees throughout the greater Silicon Valley. Its mission is to create a strong local economy, provide premier business connections and visibility, represent the interests of business to government, promote the community and initiate political and community action.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the second best city for young professionals

Forbes has completed their annual study on the best cities for young professionals, and we fared quite well. Criteria for the study included the quality of jobs for graduates, salaries, job growth, unemployment rates, and cost of living in the 100 largest metro areas. The San Jose Metro came in second on their list despite the astronomical cost of living. When it came to salaries, we were #1 with a median salary of $78,400 for workers with five years of experience or less. You can check out the full list over here.

In related news, the SJSV Chamber is hosting a special event specifically for young professionals in Silicon Valley. This is part of their "SV Next" initiative and you can learn more about that below.


San Jose, Calif— The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to see San Jose included in yet another prominent national list, this time in Forbes’ 20 Best Cities for Young Professionals.

“San Jose and the Silicon Valley continue to be the place for educated young professionals to not only start their career but to also take it to the next level,” said Matt Mahood, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce President & CEO. “That is why the SJSV Chamber is relaunching our young professionals program, SV Next, to assist in helping them network, develop professionally and give back to their communities.”

SV Next is comprised of young professionals from Silicon Valley companies—including NowCFO, SAP, and Ameriprise Financial—between the ages of 21 and 39. It officially relaunches with a networking mixer on April 20, at Scott’s Seafood and offers young professionals a chance to meet, mingle, network and connect as well as meet established professionals who can become their mentors.

“SV Next strives to be the one-stop-shop for young professionals in Silicon Valley,” said Chloe Verrey, SV Next Chair. “Our programming addresses the needs of mid-career individuals, those entering the workforce and transplants to Silicon Valley. Establishing meaningful connections and providing professional development experiences for our members within the context of our Valley will enable them to advance their careers.”

Young professionals have always been one of the Valley's greatest assets. Just last year, San Jose's own institution of higher learning—San Jose State University—cemented its value to Silicon Valley employers when Jobvite named it one of the top workforce provider to some of the Valley's heavyweights, including Apple, Cisco and Hewlett Packard. San Jose also holds a greater share of total STEM graduates [29%], compared to the national average of 15%, and higher even than the average held by STEM global leader Finland [22%]—a crucial key for young professionals looking to attain high-paying jobs within the advanced industry sectors.

"There are many opportunities for young professionals in this Valley," Verrey said. “With the diversity of companies and people in San Jose, it's no surprise that we made this list.”

SV Next is looking to engage young professionals in unique networking and professional development opportunities. In 2016, the group aims at working with partners focused on leadership training, professional advancement and community service. For additional information or to join, email here.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

SJSV Chamber: Nominate a Woman in Leadership

San Jose, Calif—On this International Women’s Day, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce opens up the nomination period for one of its most distinguished programs: Women in Leadership.

“Silicon Valley women are change-makers in their industries and across the world. The annual Women in Leadership event celebrates the talent, ethics and motivation that women bring to the workforce.” –Matthew Mahood, SJSV Chamber President & CEO

For more than a decade, the SJSV Chamber Foundation selects a group of women who are both attending school and working full- or part-time or as an intern at a Chamber-member business to receive Women in Leadership [WIL] Grants—funded by the Chamber Foundation. Since its launch, the SJSV Chamber has given more than $60,000 in WIL grants to 45 women.

The WIL grants will be presented during the Women In Leadership Luncheon—an event designed to bring together women leaders in the Silicon Valley for a chance to network and connect—this year set for Friday, May 20, at the San Jose Marriott in Downtown San Jose.

The luncheon event includes short, inspirational “WIL Talks,” given by women in the local business community. Previous speakers include Jenny Dearborn, Sr. VP & Chief Learning Officer, SAP; Lisa Lambert, VP, Managing Director Diversity Equity Fund, Intel Capital; Toni Burke, VP & Executive Director, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley; and Barbara Kamm, President & CEO, Tech CU.

The 2016 Women in Leadership event is presented by Kaiser Permanente and Bank of America. Applications for the WIL grants are now open. The deadline is April 13.

Submit your nominations here | Read more about WIL here | Donate to the Chamber Foundation here

Friday, February 26, 2016

SJSV Chamber Honors Distinguished Business Leaders

The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is a 131-year-old organization with a mission to create a strong local economy and vibrant business community. Last night they honored several local business leaders during their annual membership dinner. The sold-out event was filled with Silicon Valley politicians, executives, and power players.

Matthew Mahood, the Chamber's President and CEO, reinforced the organization's commitment to economic development, protecting jobs, and regional success during this address to the guests. He also mentioned some interesting tidbits such as making a "Made in Silicon Valley" brand for local manufacturing, creating a "smart building" zone, and putting together a group called "San Joseans for Jobs" to protect the local business climate by minimizing taxes and unnecessary regulations (that last one got a vigorous a round of applause).

Given 2016 is a big election year, you can also expect the Chamber to be very active in political races and supporting candidates that are aligned with regional economic objectives. A strong economy benefits just about everyone--I know I'll be paying extra attention to their recommendations this year.

Below you can find a press release about the event, and you can learn more details about each of the winners at the SJSV Chamber website over here.

Nonprofit of the Year: Downtown Streets Team
Photo courtesy of the SJSV Chamber of Commerce
Business Advocate of the Year: Ru Weerakoon
Photo courtesy of the SJSV Chamber of Commerce

SJSV Chamber Honors Distinguished Business Leaders

San Jose, Calif.— The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2016 Distinguished Business Awards and Business Hall of Fame inductees, who will be recognized at its Annual Membership Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose.

Now in its fifth year, the Distinguished Business Awards aim at honoring those business leaders from within the SJSV Chamber’s 1,400-member organization. There are eight award categories that honored annually and their peers nominate all but the Business Hall of Fame inductees.

The highest honor of the night, the Distinguished Business Leader Award, is given to an individual who has demonstrated long-term excellence in both business and civic engagement. Nominees should have demonstrated leadership and continuous service to the greater Silicon Valley region through the promotion of business, civic engagement, community promotion, philanthropic support and quality of life enhancements.

This year’s Distinguished Business Leaders are Mike and Mary Ellen Fox from M.E. Fox & Company, Inc. Nominators highlighted the Fox’s steadfast commitment to their community throughout their many years in business.

“It is a genuine pleasure to be able to honor our business leaders in front of their peers every year. These are businesses and individuals that work day in and out to ensure that their businesses are successful, create jobs for our residents and help create a great community where we all live, work and play.” –Matthew Mahood, SJSV Chamber President & CEO

2016 Award recipients:
  • Distinguished Business Leaders: Mike and Mary Ellen Fox, M.E. Fox & Company, Inc.
  • Business Woman of the Year: Claudia Folzman, Iron Construction
  • Business Man of the Year: Mark Tersini, KT Urban
  • Small Business of the Year: 360 Payment Solutions
  • Business Advocate of the Year: Ru Weerakoon
  • Nonprofit of the Year: Downtown Streets Team
  • Volunteer of the Year: Casey Quisol
Business Hall of Fame inductees:
  • Guglielmo Winery – Founded 1925
  • Westin San Jose – Founded 1926
  • Kaiser Permanente – Founded 1944
  • KBM Workspace – Founded 1946
  • Tech CU – Founded 1960
  • Good Samaritan Hospital – Founded 1966 
About the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit business association representing nearly 1,400 employers and 250,000 employees throughout the greater Silicon Valley. Its mission is to create a strong local economy, provide premier business connections and visibility, represent the interests of business to government, promote the community and initiate political and community action.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce announces unprecedented partnership with SJSU Career Center

San Jose State University's Career Center has been able to offer more job opportunities to SJSU students thanks to a new partnership with The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is playing matchmaker and helping local companies access the newest talent coming into the Silicon Valley labor pool. The benefits work both ways as 300 new organizations have been attracted to the Chamber of Commerce over the past three months because of the new partnership. It's a win-win situation that will benefit both students and employers in the Valley. For all the details check out the press release below.

San Jose, Calif.—In a continued effort to grow the local and regional economy, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce has partnered with San Jose State University’s Career Center to create an opportunity for employers to find qualified candidates for open positions.

The partnership, a first of its kind, offers Silicon Valley businesses direct access to industry/academic partnerships, recruitment opportunities, and affordable talent acquisition services to help develop their first internship program or to fill open employment opportunities. SJSV Chamber members also gain discounted access to staffing and recruiting services by the SJSU Career Center via the only known university staffing agency in the U.S.: SJSU Spartan Staffing.

The SJSV Chamber and SJSU deploy a cross referral process upon registering with each organization, connecting businesses, non-profits, and government entities directly to each institution.

“As the region’s largest business organization, it is vital that we provide our members and the greater business community with the connections, information, resources and tools they need to be successful.  The San Jose State Career Center is the perfect partnership for us creating a direct pipeline between the business community and the talent pool that keeps our economy thriving.”
- Matthew R. Mahood, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce President & CEO

After the first three months, this partnership has attracted and referred more than 300 organizations to the Chamber, allowing members the opportunity to sustain and grow their business by hiring an intern, part-time or full-time candidate through SJSU.

As a result of the partnership, SJSU has connected approximately 250 Silicon Valley organizations to services and resources to assist them in filling internships and jobs in technology, business, government, education, architecture and design, nonprofit, and various other sectors.

“As the leading supplier of talent to Silicon Valley, and a global access point for companies around the world, we understand the importance of industry collaboration. Our students and alumni provide the practical intelligence and entrepreneurial attitude that continues to make Silicon Valley a global hub of innovation. We are proud of our partnership with the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce; it’s a natural fit for us. Providing organization cross-referrals, recruitment and staffing solutions, while collaborating with local community initiatives are creative systems that will serve our student, employer, and community needs.” 
-        Dr. Reginald S. Blaylock, Vice President for Student Affairs, San José State University

SJSU refers jobs and internships to the SJSV Chamber for the Opportunity Youth Partnership and San Jose Works Initiatives; SJSU has referred 10,000+ jobs and internships in the past six months.

About the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit business association representing nearly 1,500 employers and 250,000 employees throughout the greater Silicon Valley. Its mission is to create a strong local economy, provide premier business connections and visibility, represent the interests of business to government, promote the community and initiate political and community action.

About San Jose State University
The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 134 areas of study with 110 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.