Frequently Asked Questions
Q:What is Joint Venture’s value proposition?
Joint Venture is providing analysis and action on Silicon Valley’s challenges. Joint Venture is a stewardship organization. People get involved because they feel a keen sense of responsibility and want to invest time and effort in making our region a better, more functioning place. The benefits accrue to the region overall, and they would not be possible if Joint Venture wasn’t bringing the region’s leaders together in a framework of collaboration.
Q:How do you define “Silicon Valley?”
Silicon Valley is really a phenomenon more than a place, one fueled by innovation and entrepreneurship. That phenomenon is taking place throughout the entire Bay Area. At Joint Venture we think of Silicon Valley extending from San Francisco to San Jose and Fremont, a footprint that takes in at least 40 cities and five different counties.
Q:Aren’t there a lot of groups out there doing similar things?
There are chambers of commerce, but they have a narrower and less regional agenda. The Bay Area Council is a business organization and its focus is the entire region, including Napa, Sonoma, Marin, and Alameda Counties. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a business organization (see below), is fundamentally different. SPUR is an organization with whom Joint Venture collaborates, but their focus is limited to urban planning and design issues, mostly in the Bay Area's three largest cities.
Q:How is Joint Venture different from Silicon Valley Leadership Group?
The fundamental difference is that SVLG is a business-sponsored organization that pursues its agenda on behalf of its corporate members. Joint Venture is an organization that includes business, but also has the structured participation of government, labor, foundation, and university leaders all seated together on the same board. In other words, SVLG is a one-sector organization and Joint Venture is a multi-sector organization.
SVLG is also more deeply involved in advocacy, pursuing legislative objectives in Washington and Sacramento. Joint Venture does much less traditional advocacy and focuses on local projects that have a clear consensus across all the major sectors.
Q:Is Joint Venture a think tank?
Joint Venture is a think tank and a “do” tank. The organization houses the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies and is well known for publishing the Silicon Valley Index. But the purpose of the research is to equip Joint Venture for action on a wide range of problems facing Silicon Valley. One of the great strengths of the organization is that it has scholars working alongside practitioners, and the work is informed by each other.
Q:Is Joint Venture a lobbying organization?
No. Joint Venture is a 501 (C) 3 organization, classified as a nonprofit. Contributions are tax-deductible.
Q:How does Joint Venture choose what problems to tackle?
The board of directors authorizes Joint Venture’s engagement on an issue, after important criteria are met: the problem is documented by research, there is a consensus around the solution, there are champions willing to dedicate time to the effort, there are resources available, and the work isn’t redundant or competitive with other efforts.
Q:How is Joint Venture funded?
Joint Venture receives funds from more than 30 cities and agencies and more than 100 corporations that invest on an annual basis. The organization also receives some foundation support for specific projects.