Gate510 – a Transformation Toward the Promise of a Better Future

By SLNext
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Oct 27th, 2021
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In the 1940s, 1933 Davis Street was the home of an 18-acre Plymouth/Dodge automotive manufacturing plant, which in 1959 was sold to Caterpillar, who manufactured tractors there through the early 1970s. In the mid-1970s, the building was sold and became the Westgate Center, transforming into a ground-level retail shopping center with a mix of light industrial, manufacturing, and office tenants on the second floor. In 2014, parallel with the installation of high-speed internet via Lit San Leandro, the second floor became Gate510—the biggest incubator/accelerator for makers in the East Bay, and the ninth largest in the Greater Bay Area as of 2017.

Photo of Gate510 viewed from Davis Street

In 2019, the Blackstone Group – the new owners of Gate510 – also acquired the adjacent properties at 2010 and 2020 Williams Street, expanding the footprint and broadening tenant possibilities. The new ownership also began work on the “Ale Trail,” which connects the two properties across the rear property lines, and allow beer enthusiasts to stroll from 21st Amendment Brewery at 2010 Williams Street to Drake’s Barrelhouse at 1933 Davis Street.

Building on San Leandro’s significant manufacturing history, Gate510 is transforming again, shifting its focus to attract “smart scientists” that create innovative products that help to create a better world.

New Culture Foods cheese being shredded

Among its over 60 tenants, Gate510 has become home to innovators such as New Culture Foods, whose unique approach to use precision fermentation to produce animal-free casein allows them to manufacture plant-based mozzarella-style cheese that tastes, shreds, and melts like the real thing.

Artemys hamburger

Another innovative food business looking to reduce environmental damage due to animal agriculture is Artemys Foods, whose cell-cultured meat is combined with plant-based meat substitute, creating a hybrid product somewhere in-between an Impossible Burger and an Upside Foods product. (Upside Foods was previously known as Memphis Meats – a former Gate510 tenant).

CinderBio founders Steven Yannone (L) and Jill Fuss (M) in their Gate510 space.

CinderBio has called Gate510 home for a few years now, but is still a relative newbie compared to some other tenants. CinderBio creates ultra-stable enzymes made from microbes that thrive in hot volcanic waters across the globe. These enzymes are optimal for industrial and laboratory applications, but work faster and last longer than earlier options. These enzymes are also natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic, making them a sustainable alternative to harmful chemicals.

Aralez Bio CEO and co-founder Christina Boville

Alongside CinderBio, Aralez Bio is an award-winning, venture-backed start-up founded in 2019 with the goal of changing the face of chemical engineering using engineered enzymes. Its flagship enzymatic platform unlocks hundreds of new amino acids and other chemical building blocks while cutting waste, energy consumption, and costs. Access to an unprecedented array of amino acids enables customers in pharmaceuticals, bio-tech, and peptide manufacturing to develop better products more quickly than before.

The first country in the world to pass an environmental protection act in 1967 was Sweden, who also hosted the first UN conference on the global environment in 1972. Since then, Sweden has continued to be a leader in environmental preservation, and one of Gate510’s newest tenants is a product of this legacy.

The newest tenant coming to Gate510 is Cuberg, which was recently acquired by Swedish Northvolt, a European powerhouse in the production of sustainable batteries. Also a battery manufacturer, Cuberg produces batteries based on an innovative non-flammable electrolyte combined with a lightweight lithium metal anode. Verified in 2020 by the U.S. Department of Energy, Cuberg’s cell architecture radically increases energy density and power while ensuring product reliability and safety. The partnership between Cuberg and Northvolt paves the way for the next generation of battery cells to the market for vehicles and more.

These businesses are just a few examples of the vision Gate510 has developed for the future of the start-up accelerator. Gate510 represents a “missing middle” to the innovative science hubs in Emeryville and South San Francisco, providing fully functional science spaces that are more affordable than the competition.

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