Published November 17, 2009
Volume 17, Number 11

Tri-Valley Business Council Pursues Innovation Initiatives from New Hacienda Office
Organization is Working to Establish the Area as a Recognized Center for Entrepreneurship, Green Tech

Toby Brink serves as the CEO of the Tri-Valley Business Council.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

After several years in an office a few blocks away, the Tri-Valley Business Council (TVBC) now has a home in Hacienda, in Suite 199, 3825 Hopyard Road. The organization, which champions regional economic vitality initiatives, occupied its new quarters in September, co-locating with new tenant One Risk Group, an up-and-coming financial services company (see NETWORK, October 2009).

Sharing space in an entrepreneurial environment is fitting for an organization committed to nurturing innovative businesses in the Tri-Valley, an area that encompasses Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon. The TVBC has just launched two major initiatives, the Tri-Valley Innovation Network (TVIN) and the Workforce Development Strategy for the Green Economy.

The TVIN, more than two years in the making, is devoted to helping entrepreneurs start, manage, and grow their businesses. With the help of city and corporate sponsors, the program, launched in April 2009, offers a series of networking and educational events that allow entrepreneurs to engage with business experts, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs.

“We’ve been able to reach out to an entirely new audience through this effort. Often, entrepreneurs work out of home offices, so their names don’t show up on any lists,” observes TVBC CEO Toby Brink. One promising company the TVBC has identified is nuAlerts.com, a start-up aiming to transform the Tri-Valley into a smarter, more connected community whose residents can quickly find out about the latest news via text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, email, widgets, and more.

“Residents can be the first to know about important business updates from TVBC by going to www.nualerts.com/clubs/trivalleybusiness/ or texting to 41411 the message nuAlerts 357,” says Brink. “This company has great potential to carve out a niche in the marketplace.”

The strategy to develop a new workforce for the green economy is the product of the TVBC’s Education Policy Council, chaired by Jim Caldwell, Executive Director of Workforce Incubator. As companies grow, they have very specific workforce development needs that can either impede or foster their progress, Brink points out. The TVBC has spent considerable resources developing a workforce plan for the emerging energy industry.

Right now, an initiative designating the Tri-Valley as an innovation zone for transportation--specifically, research in alternative fuels, battery, and transportation center technologies—has already made the first cut at the state level, Brink reports. “The designation would allow several types of incentives to be offered to innovation companies that decide to locate, grow, and stay in the Tri-Valley. It would also brand the Tri-Valley as a technology innovation region, which, when coupled with the quality of life and educated professional workforce, positions the Tri-Valley as a great place to do business.”

In addition to these two initiatives, the TVBC is also active in a variety of venues to highlight the Tri-Valley as an important economic center. For more information about services and membership in the TVBC, contact Brink at (925) 575-0615 or visit www.trivalley.org


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