Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides ANALYSIS, ACTION, LEADERSHIP


Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides




What's Happening Now

Institute: Individual donations to charity rebound

hand placing money in donation boxJune 17, 2024 - An Institute examination of newly released IRS data show that individual donations to charity rebounded. Nearly a quarter of all Silicon Valley individual taxpayers and joint filers donate to charities. The dollar amounts of donations have doubled since 2019 and the share of Adjusted Gross Income donated rose by 1.5 percentage points. Statewide, a smaller share of individuals donate to charity and those who do donate less of their AGI.

Learn more

Joint Venture publishes Protecting California in the 21st Century: Public Safety in a Voice-over-IP and Over the Top World

cover imageApril 30, 2024 - Joint Venture released a comprehensive white paper highlighting crucial developments in the state’s telecommunications landscape and which emphasizes the necessity for updating California’s outdated public safety strategies to align with modern technologies and provide more effective response during emergencies and disasters. Protecting California in the 21st Century encourages a forward-looking and market-aware approach to emergency communications, including 9-1-1 emergency services.

Read the news release | Read the white paper

Meet Rebecca Unitt

June 17, 2024 - In the vibrant coastal enclave of Santa Cruz, where the Pacific breeze mingles with entrepreneurial spirit, Rebecca Unitt leads the charge as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Santa Cruz. Her journey epitomizes dedication to public service and positive change. Working at the nexus of urban planning and community empowerment, Rebecca served in 2023 as chair of Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance. Growing up, Rebecca excelled at competitive Irish step dancing and danced at the World Championships in Scotland and Ireland and ranked eleventh in all North America. 

Read Rebecca's profile

Research Brief: Expanding the Behavioral Health Workforce Pipeline in Santa Clara County

report cover imageJune 17, 2024 - The Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies released Expanding the Behavioral Health Workforce Pipeline in Santa Clara County with research that benchmarks the status of the existing local behavioral health workforce and identifies roadblocks and priorities for pipeline expansion and local retention.“I am committed to continuing the conversation about effective behavioral health workforce expansion strategies...,” says Susan Ellenberg.

Read the brief

2024 Silicon Valley Index: Record-high $14.3 trillion market cap as income gaps, layoffs, & adjustments signal recalibration

cover imageFebruary 28, 2024 – Joint Venture Silicon Valley's Institute for Regional Studies today released the 2024 Silicon Valley Index, revealing that the region achieved an unprecedented market cap of $14.3 trillion. This milestone comes as the regional economy demonstrates resilience despite growing income and wealth divides, coupled with persistent housing challenges for residents. The data confirms the region's economic health and continued growth. “We may not be booming, but we’re still growing,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture. “We’re a region built on creative destruction and re-invention.”

Download the Index | Read the news release 

Read news coverage of the Index

Silicon Valley Indicators

indicators home page Comprehensive information and data about the Silicon Valley ecosystem is always 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. Indicators are presented by the Institute for Regional Studies. Housed within Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Institute provides data and analysis on issues facing dense metropolitan regions.

What is Joint Venture Silicon Valley?

Established in 1993, Joint Venture provides data and analysis on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization convenes established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues, and work collaboratively toward innovative solutions.

Learn more

A La Carte

A La Carte is a project that was conceived and incubated by Joint Venture Silicon Valley. In July 2020 the program was adopted by Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen. The project was brought to fruition by Robin Franz Martin who was lucky enough to recover the first meal from Stanford University, and who continues to lead the charge for food recovery at Joint Venture. 

In 2016, Joint Venture made an appeal to Santa Clara County to fund an exploratory effort targeting corporate kitchens and engaging non-profits, government agencies, and food professionals. Contributing brain power to the effort were Joint board members Eric Houser (Wells Fargo), Dennis Jacobs (Santa Clara University), and John Sobrato (Sobrato Philanthropies).

With the alarming specter of hunger on the one hand, and so much unclaimed nutrition on the other, Joint Venture leaders decided to act. The result became a food recovery effort that brought relief to those in genuine need and also gained national attention.

Two major breakthroughs came in 2018: when Stanford University signed on as the pilot institution, agreeing to package surplus food from the campus dining halls for delivery to needy communities, and when the state agency CalRecycle decided to fund the project through their  Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program.

The final breakthrough came when the Sobrato Family Foundation agreed to fund Joint Venture’s purchase of a state-of-the-art food truck (complete with refrigeration and heating) that could launch the delivery effort. The truck had to pass rigorous inspections by state and county health officials and the food handlers had to observe rules governed by a large body of regulation, but by Thanksgiving of 2018 Joint Venture’s lone food truck was ready for action.

The Joint Venture team began pulling up to various schools and community centers. The staff at those locations were given advance notice, and they simply announced that leftovers from Stanford cafeterias had been packaged for take-out. The meals were distributed to all takers—parents, students, teachers, and others.

Facebook became the next participant. In June 2019 the social networking giant announced they would contribute surplus from their vast food facilities; they also financed the purchase of Joint Venture’s second truck.

With additional funding from the Moore Foundation and the State of California, A La Carte is now in the hands of Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen. As a result, they have doubled their meal service capacity from 525,000 meals to over 1.2 million meals each year. They have extended services to the often-unrecognized homeless and hungry families, children, veterans, seniors throughout our community who struggle with hunger and food insecurity on a daily basis, and has become the largest provider of prepared meals in the Bay Area.

“This project is a great example of how Joint Venture can be of service to our community,” explains Robin Franz Martin, executive director of the initiative. “We incubated an innovative idea for a project, proved the concept, and found a great long term home for the project to grow and thrive.”

John A. Sobrato, long-standing Joint Venture board member, shares Martin’s enthusiasm. "With the food insecure population growing in Silicon Valley, the Sobrato family wanted to be on the forefront of new innovations for distributing recovered food," he said. "We hope other Silicon Valley philanthropists will sponsor similar vehicles."

The Project was honored to receive several awards while Joint Venture was involved, including the 2020 CA Resource Recovery Association's Outstanding Edible Food Recovery Award and the 2020 Acterra Green Business Environmental Innovation Award.

A La Carte’s first truck was underwritten by John A. Sobrato and Sobrato Philanthropies for $150,000 in September 2018. The initiative was also funded by CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program, a subset of California Climate Investments, that puts Cap-and-Trade dollars to work in low income and disadvantaged communities. California Climate Investments funded the project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and the environment. In June 2019 Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen began operating A La Carte, with the transition complete in 2020. This new home enabled the project to grow and to have a greater impact on the community. For current information about A La Carte, visit

Sobrato Philanthropies logo CA Climate Investments logo CalRecycle logo

In The News

June 17, 2024 - (Press Democrat) - Witkowski and Ghilarducci: The future of emergency response is digital - Opinion: In a fire, flood or other crisis, emergency responses are better served by digital communications than landline phones. More

June 3, 2024  - (KCBS Radio) - Need is "greater than ever" to donate to local non-profits in Silicon Valley: Joint Venture CEO, Russell Hancock, interviewed  More

June 3, 2024 - (Tech Wire) - Tom Snyder: Entrepreneurship is everywhere: The Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies reports that 749 new startup businesses were created in the region in 2023. More

June 2, 2024 - (Silicon Valley) - San Jose drops another spot down the list of most populous U.S. cities: Early growth was largely due to “smoke and mirrors,” according to Hancock [CEO of Joint Venture], by annexing whole cities. More

May 31, 2024 - (Silicon Valley) - Crowded housing conditions, racial inequalities: “We have some high flyers and we have some people that are barely getting by,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

May 31, 2024 - (MSN) - Crowded housing conditions, racial inequalities detailed in Morgan Hill report: we have some people that are barely getting by," said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

May 23, 2024 - (Asian Journal) - PCGSF Gets Insights From 10th Annual Silicon Valley Briefing At Stanford: Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley and an adjunct Professor at Stanford University’s Public Policy Program, provided a presentation More

May 17, 2024 - (Del Norte Triplicate) - Board continues cell tower appeal pending location of alternative site: Joint Venture Silicon Valley report confirms no impact on property values. More

May 17, 2024 - (Mercury News) - Bay Area and California add jobs in April — but the gains are puny: “Our economy is in the throes of a transition...” said Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture More

May 15, 2024 - (Morgan Hill Times) - City of Morgan Hill will host May 30 Economic Mobility Symposium: This data is consistent with the 2024 Index by Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

May 15, 2024 - (Mercury News)  Tech job cuts ease a bit in Bay Area as industry layoffs haunt region: Long-term outlook of the region’s economy and technology industry remain healthy, according to Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a San Jose-based think tank. More

May 14, 2024 - (KCBS) - New proposal could help Santa Clara Co. residents secure quality Internet access: David Witkowski, ED of Joint Venture's Civic Tech inititiative is interviewed about internet access. More

May 10, 2024 - (KQED) - Divestment from Israeli Tech Is a Tall Order for Silicon Valley. Here’s Why: Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said Silicon Valley companies have a long history of cultivating military contracts More

May 9, 2024 - (Mercury News) - Downtown San Jose visit activity soars, Oakland jumps, San Francisco nosedives: ... the South Bay city benefits from a favorable comparison to San Francisco, in the view of Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

May 1, 2024 - (Mercury News) - California’s great exodus finally slows as population increases after 3-year decline: “The pandemic is in the rearview mirror and we’re sort of coming back to how we were,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

April 25, 2024 - (San Jose Spotlight) - Will TikTok leave San Jose if ban takes hold? Russell Hancock, CEO of economic think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley, agreed having a presence in the valley is a no-brainer. More

April 19, 2024 - (Silicon Valley) - Bay Area bounces back with job gains in March, led by South Bay hiring: “There’s downsizing in some divisions and growth in others,” said Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley More