News From the East Bay Green Corridor

Changing the Game in Hayward

This past February, Hayward became the 9th city to join the East Bay Green Corridor. Through this alliance, Hayward hopes to attract more cleantech entrepreneurs to the hub of similar businesses already operating in the city—startups such as Seeo and Alphabet Energy, which recently relocated to Hayward. Seeo develops large scale, energy-dense rechargeable lithium batteries, while Alphabet Energy, which currently employs 28 people, develops inexpensive heat recovery technology that converts waste heat to energy. Both companies are based on the science developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Both have received substantial venture funding. And both chose Hayward.

Why Hayward?

Sean Brooks, economic development manager for Hayward, represents the city through the East Bay Green Corridor. When asked why such cutting-edge, well-funded, up-and-coming companies would relocate to Hayward, he cited several reasons:

  • Proximity. Easily accessible not only from the East Bay, but from all of Northern California, Hayward has become a magnet for the cleantech and bioscience industries.
  • Facilities. Many of the industrial buildings available in Hayward are newer, meeting standard codes and featuring the higher ceilings necessary for manufacturing companies in R&D mode.
  • Access to capital. Silicon Valley, venture capital and other investors are just a 20-minute drive away.
  • Concentration of like companies. Clean energy companies such as Aurora Algae, Primus Energy and many more have emerged right and left in Hayward, creating a core of similar businesses.
  • Access to talent. Startups can draw from the highly skilled workforce available in the Bay Area—from engineers to advanced manufacturing employees to research scientists.
  • Smooth transition. Brooks and his team guide young, growing, cleantech companies step-by-step through the permitting process, helping them work through relevant city agencies such as the city planning or fire departments.

Why the East Bay Green Corridor?

Brooks gave two reasons for joining the corridor. First, through the association, not only will occupancy rates improve, but high-quality jobs will come to the city. Second, the corridor puts the city on the radar of innovative, cleantech companies as they grow out of the Berkeley-Emeryville-Oakland corridor and spring further south. And that gives Hayward the opportunity to sit on the cutting edge. “When you introduce new technology to folks and bring to market something that hasn’t been done before, it can be a game-changer,” said Brooks. That’s good news not just for Hayward, but for all of us.

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