Corporate Leaders Launch San Leandro’s Founders Circle!

By Office of Innovation
In Uncategorized
Dec 21st, 2015

On December 2nd, corporate leaders from throughout San Leandro gathered at the headquarters of Energy Recovery Inc. (“ERI”) at the invitation of Andrew Stroud, VP/Human Resources, ERI; the City’s Chief Innovation Officer, Deborah Acosta; and City innovation/business development consultant, Greg Delaune of UIXGlobal.


The concept for the Founders Circle, first announced at the October 2014 San Leandro by Design: Out of the Box event at Bayfair Center is envisioned as a collaboration of San Leandro business leaders, partners and potential partners, working together to create destination businesses — in a destination city. To attract the workforce critical to growing San Leandro’s software and hardware tech sectors, especially sectors related to Smart City/Big Data, energy technologies and additive and advanced manufacturing, San Leandro business leaders agree that collaboration is key to successful attraction of talent.

In 2013, the City of San Leandro contracted with Greg Tung of Freedman Tung + Sasaki and Rod Stevens of Spinnaker Strategies to deliver an analysis of the City’s industrial area and recommendations for revitalization.  The resulting Next Generation Workplace District study recommended Three Primary Strategies for City to implement, including to “Engage Existing Customers”.  Development of the Founders Circle is intended to create connections, improve supply chains and communication among San Leandro businesses, to the City and to each other.

The Founders Circle will also be a strategic partner for the Career Pathways Trust program, a state-funded program tasked with building “career pathways” between East Bay students and the businesses that want to attract them as employees.  The San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and Pilot City/Derick Lee, Principal launched several Career Pathways Trust events in 2015, including a summer internship program that covered four San Leandro industries; and East Bay Manufacturing Day, when over 450 local students visited 15 manufacturing businesses and Chabot College to explore advanced manufacturing career paths!

Those present at the December 2nd Founders Circle meetup decided to explore the following in 2016:

  • Identify mission for the Founders Circle, including development of shared values and principles. Identify 2-3 common areas of interest.
  • Talent and workforce attraction – Develop strategies regarding workforce development, high school engagement, training, networking, informal matchmaking of jobs with local and outside talent
  • Acknowledged challenges for San Leandro businesses to attract talent include:
    • Competition with SF, Silicon Valley, Oakland for talent
    • Lack of diverse, available housing options
    • Lack of ready access to employment networks for spouses of long-distance recruits (could be addressed through strong network among San Leandro businesses)
  • Increased participation in Events and Conferences in San Leandro / Sponsor / Showcase
  • Based on the presentation by Greg Thomson of Olidata Smart Cities, the meeting participants were interested in learning more about the opportunity for their buildings to participate in a possible distributed renewable energy micro grid, reducing dependence on carbon fuels and increasing use of renewable energies.

The Founders Circle’s next meeting will be scheduled for late January.  For more information about the Founders Circle, please contact Deborah Acosta, CIO, at




3 Responses to “Corporate Leaders Launch San Leandro’s Founders Circle!”

  1. […] the Founders Circle initiative, bringing together the City’s top corporate citizens and executives to identify […]

  2. […] San Leandro is also fortunate that the company is an engaged corporate community member, having hosted the launch of the Founders Circle at its headquarters in […]

  3. […] the Founders Circle initiative, bringing together the City’s top corporate citizens and executives to identify […]

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