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What's Happening Now

Silicon Valley Talent Partnership launches City Year project

city year team September 12, 2019 - Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP) kicked off a new pro bono project with City Year San José, a national nonprofit helping students to succeed in school. City Year places AmeriCorps members in underserved schools to help improve student outcomes. In east San José, where 69% of students do not meet the state standard in math, City Year is helping those students develop the right academic behaviors to succeed. The pro bono team from Oracle will build a mentorship framework for AmeriCorps members designed to enhance their experience during their year of service at City Year. 

Learn more about SVTP

Wireless blueprint bridges the “digital divide”

 September 12, 2019 - Mohammad “Mo” Shakouri, Director of Joint Venture’s Community Broadband Initiative, has co-authored a publication that addresses the need for comprehensive policies that support broadband deployment in rural areas. “Rural America, Rural Economies and Rural Connectivity” provides a blueprint for connectivity solutions outside of population centers. Published by Global City Teams Challenge, the blueprint is relevant regionally as more people move away from urban centers in search of affordable housing. “Many areas in rural America continue to lag behind in broadband internet access” said Shakouri.  

Download the report

Meet Radha Sharma, Verizon Wireless

Radha Sharma September 12, 2019 - Will you be first in line for an autonomous vehicle? Once fifth-generation wireless technology is in place, self-driving cars are just one 5G-powered innovation that will shake up how we live and work. Experts say 5G is ushering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

If Radha Sharma gets her way it may be sooner than later. Sharma is Senior Manager of Municipal Engagement with Verizon Wireless and serves on the steering committee for Joint Venture’s Wireless Communications Initiative.

Read Radha's profile

Save the Date: State of the Valley 2020

September 9, 2019 - Mark your calendar for the 16th-annual State of the Valley conference February 14, 2020 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. Last year a capacity crowd of Silicon Valley leaders filled the convention center for reports on the economy, trends and challenges, and a changing investment landscape. Watch for details soon!

Silicon Valley Indicators

indicators home page Comprehensive information and data about the Silicon Valley ecosystem is available at

Data and charts from the Silicon Valley Index (and more) are presented on an interactive website that allows users to explore Silicon Valley trends.

Investors Spotlight

Donors invest in Joint Venture with both general support and project-specific gifts. Support from the community enables us to provide innovative solutions to issues that confront our regional economies and quality of life. Here are just a few of our many investors:

EPRI logo Ernst & Young logo city of Palo Alto logo

Joint Venture offers a variety of support and sponsorship opportunities for individuals, corporations, and public sector organizations. To inquire about becoming a member of our Investors Council, call (408) 298-9330 or visit our Become an Investor page. To see our current investors, visit our investors pages.

What is Joint Venture Silicon Valley?

Established in 1993, Joint Venture brings together Silicon Valley’s established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues and work toward innovative solutions. In this short video see what Silicon Valley leaders have to say about the organization.

A Visit with CEC Leadership

At our January CPC/SEEDZ quarterly meeting, hosted by Google, we were honored to be joined by Chair Robert Weisenmiller and Deputy Director of Energy Research and Development Laurie ten Hope of the California Energy Commission. In this newsletter, we highlight their visit and new opportunities for our region to play a leading role in achieving California’s aggressive energy and environmental goals.

In Silicon Valley, energy customers, solution providers, municipalities, institutions and utilities are deploying the nation’s most advanced ‘smart energy’ solutions at scale, defined by new levels of performance and sustainability.

As a recent example, the number of plug-in and battery electric vehicles in Silicon Valley has grown by nearly 700% in the past 18 months. EVs supplied by distributed renewable resources and/or the local grid offer dramatic efficiency and GHG benefits in our area versus conventional vehicles. Indeed, EVs and EV infrastructure have rapidly become integral elements in the smart energy network of the future.

As always, we welcome your questions and feedback about SEEDZ.

Thanks for your interest!

Don Bray,
SEEDZ Executive Director

What's New In This Issue:

• California Energy Commission Chair Weisenmiller Discusses State Energy Policy
• EPIC ‘Pre-Proposal Roundtables’ Scheduled
• EV Infrastructure Workshop Keys Formation of Interest Group
• Sunnyvale Community Solar Feasibility Study Released

What's New

CEC Chair Weisenmiller Discusses Evolving State Energy Policy

Commissioner Weisenmiller chairs a five-member commission that is responsible for overseeing California’s energy forecasting, research and development, renewable energy development, efficiency standards, transportation alternatives, contingency planning, and the Integrated Energy Policy Report.

In his wide-ranging remarks, he outlined the state’s current energy policy and goals, the status of AB 32 implementation, and the impending 2014 AB32 Scoping Plan Update. He described how the state’s progressive energy policies - past, present, and future - have helped drive California’s investment and leadership in areas such as energy efficiency, renewables, demand programs and transportation energy.

The state’s new Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) was adopted in 2012 by the California Public Utilities Commission to support development and deployment of next generation clean energy technologies. The mission of EPIC, said Weisenmiller, is to fill critical funding gaps in advancing technologies and solutions that provide California’s IOU ratepayers with “clean, affordable and reliable electricity and help enable the 21st century power grid.” Competitive solicitations for select funding initiatives will start being released early this year, he said.

Chair Weisenmiller’s presentation to the SEEDZ team

EPIC ‘Pre-Proposal Roundtables’ Scheduled

As noted by Chair Weisenmiller, several hundred million dollars in smart energy research and deployment grants are being made available under California’s new EPIC program in the coming months. SEEDZ is conducting a series of seven EPIC Pre-proposal Roundtables for interested SEEDZ participants during February and March.

The seven roundtables are organized by EPIC funding area: building energy efficiency, electric vehicles, demand response and customer-side storage, distributed generation, grid monitoring and DER integration, innovation cluster, and community and training.

The goals of the roundtables are to:

convene SEEDZ organizations interested in possibly pursuing EPIC grant funding in a given funding area.

review specific related initiatives as currently defined by the CEC.

engage in a group discussion of related experience, priorities, and possible proposal approaches and teaming roles.

help participants determine degree of fit and interest in teaming to pursue specific EPIC grant opportunities going forward.

EV Infrastructure Workshop Keys Interest Group Formation

In November, SEEDZ conducted an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Workshop, hosted by Juniper Networks. More than 700 charging stations have been recently deployed by employers in the SEEDZ area, with many more installations planned.

The workshop featured SEEDZ survey results on EV infrastructure deployment trends, governance, and related challenges at ten local employers. In addition, experts from Google, SAP, ChargePoint, PG&E, GridScape, EPRI, Green Charge Networks and LBNL discussed opportunities and challenges for EV infrastructure from the perspective of the infrastructure hosting energy customer, EVSE network provider, system integrator and utility.

As an outgrowth of the workshop, the SEEDZ EV Infrastructure Interest Group was launched to help practitioners at local organizations establish and share best practices for EV infrastructure and expansion. At the group’s first meeting in January, attendees identified key issues and areas of focus. These included establishing a collective ‘rule of thumb’ for scaling targets and strategies, approaches for managing driver/user behavior, communications protocols, physical configuration and optimization, energy management approaches, EV parking policies and incentives, procurement/RFP processes, EVSE and cloud feature development and rate and/or penalty structures.

The next SEEDZ EV Infrastructure Interest Group is scheduled for Tuesday March 18th at NetApp. Please contact Lisa Bruner for more information if you are interested in attending.

Sunnyvale Community Solar Feasibility Study Released

At its November 26th meeting, the Sunnyvale City Council discussed staff recommendations on ways the City could help advance uptake of solar power within the community. This included programs for community engagement and volume purchase, and the possibility of constructing a large ‘shared’ solar array on city property to provide solar power to community subscribers.

Sunnyvale study cover

To support deployment of net-metered solar within the community, the City Council voted to participate in the American Solar Transformation Initiative's (ASTI) Solar Roadmap Project. Due to current siting and financial uncertainties, the council voted to hold off on constructing a community solar array for now, and opted to reach out to Santa Clara about possible collaboration on a community array.

Joint Venture SEEDZ, in association with Optony and RevGen Consulting, developed the supporting Sunnyvale Community Solar Array Development Feasibility Study, evaluating a range of critical regulatory, financial, and physical site considerations for community solar in Sunnyvale. The study reviews new options for deployment of shared solar resources under California’s recently-passed SB43 Green Tariff Shared Renewables (GTSR) program.

A CPUC rulemaking process is currently shaping the exact details of the SB43 GTSR program, with a final ruling due in July 2014. Rate structures and affinity models as detailed in the ruling will have a significant impact on the practical viability of community shared renewables for the immediate future.

The SEEDZ stakeholders meet regularly under the auspices of Joint Venture’s Climate Prosperity Council, co-chaired by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Accenture Institute Executive Research Fellow Chris DiGiorgio. The council includes representatives from Google, EPRI, NetApp, Optony, PG&E, NASA Ames Research Center, Integral Group, Juniper Networks, Accenture, McCalmont Engineering, Microsoft, the Cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale, and other leading Silicon Valley organizations.

Visit for more information.

How are we defining Smart Energy?

An integrated portfolio of new practices, standards and technologies for improved performance and sustainability in the generation, distribution and use of energy throughout the community.

For more information about SEEDZ, please contact:

Don Bray

Executive Director, SEEDZ
(408) 298-9338(408) 298-9338

Or visit us on the web at

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Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides analysis and action on issues affecting our region's economy and quality of life.

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In The News

September 12, 2019 - (The Globe and Mail) - Silicon Valley’s motor city: As big tech adds fuel to a housing crisis, poorer residents live in RVs:“I would say it’s our number one concern,” says Russell Hancock, chief executive of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

September 9, 2019 - (CBS Bay Area) - Critics Say Just One Woman On Forbes List Of ‘100 Most Innovative Leaders’ Sends Wrong Message: “It’s simply wrong to say that women are not innovative — that women are not achieving in the workforce and in the halls of our corporations. That would be factually incorrect and a hurtful and damaging conclusion,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

September 4, 2019 - (Connect California) - Bay Area Exodus Fueled by Region’s Affordability Crisis:Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s latest Silicon Valley Index pointed out that 30% of tech talent aged 25-44 who moved to Santa Clara County in 2017 came from outside California, including countries like India and China. More

August 30, 2019 - (Mercury News) - Bay Area exodus: Thousands more fleeing region than arriving from other states. For Rachel Massaro, vice president and director of research with Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, the data raises concerns about the Bay Area’s education system and untapped potential. More

August 27, 2019 - (Yahoo Finance) - Democrats Join Silicon Valley and Turn Their Backs on Hispanic Immigration, Says Immigration Lawyer: 74% of Silicon Valley employed computer and mathematical workers ages 25-44 are foreign born [citing 2016 Silicon Valley Index]. More

August 21, 2019 - (Palo Alto Online) - Palo Alto looks to business tax to fund shuttles, rail improvements: She pointed to a recent report from Joint Venture Silicon Valley showing that startups are increasingly moving to San Francisco rather than to cities in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. More

August 18, 2019 - (This Week in Asia) - How Asian immigrants are transforming San Francisco Bay Area’s food culture: ...residents of Asian heritage account for 34 per cent of the population, up from 28 per cent in 2007, according to a report released this year by Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

July 30, 2019 - (The Silicon Valley Voice) - Bank Of America Invests Over $550K In Local Nonprofits: nearly 40 percent of Silicon Valley students ages 5-17 receive free or reduced-price school meals, according to the 2019 Joint Venture Silicon Valley Index. More

July 24, 2019 - (KPIX -TV 5) - Justice Department Launches Antitrust Probe Of Big Tech Companies: Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock says it remains to be seen if the anti-trust investigation could change the landscape of big tech in Silicon Valley.  More

July 17, 2019 - (KPIX TV-5) - Elon Musk Developing AI-Connected Brain Implant To ‘Secure Humanity’s Future’: Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO Russ Hancock believes if anyone can merge human beings with artificial intelligence, it would be Musk. More

July 16, 2019 - (Energy Pages) - Rise of Energy Choice Diminishes PG&E’s Silicon Valley Market Share:Silicon Valley residents have greater access to cleaner energy compared to the rest of California and the rest of the country, says The Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. More