Building on the findings and accomplishments of the Chamber’s Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI), ‘silicon valley IDEA’ (Initiative to Drive Economic Advancement) is focused on addressing issues relating to regional business operations and quality of life, as well as strengthening and promoting the Silicon Valley brand

The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce today announced ‘silicon valley IDEA’ (Initiative to Drive Economic Advancement), expanding and enriching the Chamber’s regional economic development efforts, including a regional branding initiative, and creating a shared voice for local businesses to identify and address issues relating to regional business operations and quality of life.

The new program was unveiled during a press conference at the Silicon Valley Capital Club where Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose; Dave Cortese, President of Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors; Jon Kessler, External Affairs Director for State Controller Betty Yee; Jim Lynch, Chief Financial Officer at San Jose Water Company; Cosmo Fagundo, Owner at Wilco Management and Chairman of the Chamber’s Economic Advancement Committee; Michael Bangs, VP Real Estate and Facilities, HQ, Oracle; and Matthew Mahood, President and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, shared their views on key regional economic development issues and how ‘silicon valley IDEA’ will be pivotal in addressing them.

“Our region continues to lead the national and global economy in many ways. Economic strength, however, does not just mean competitive business growth, though we lead in those areas as well. Economic strength, at its core, means an economy that works for everyone. It’s an economy where first-time job seekers can find employment and have a path to grow in their desired field and set the foundation for their future,” said Matthew Mahood. “‘silicon valley IDEA’ will bring cities and their business community together to ensure we are solving for this and other key issues that impact both business velocity as well as quality of life.”

‘silicon valley IDEA’ incorporates input from industry specific teams comprised of and led by local business members to ensure that each industry and community has a voice in the economic advancement process and that their specific needs and challenges are being addressed.

Based on the objectives of Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI), ‘silicon valley IDEA’ has evolved to better reflect the innovative thinking of the Silicon Valley region and advance the Chamber’s economic development goals of sustaining an environment where businesses can thrive, regardless of industry or size, and improving the quality of life for the people that live in the region. ‘silicon valley IDEA’ also includes a major regional branding initiative that will promote Silicon Valley as the world’s foremost region of innovation, as well as create a greater Silicon Valley sense of place throughout the many municipalities of the Silicon Valley region.

“Silicon Valley continues to lead the country and the world in innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I commend the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce for its commitment to convene a forum through its ‘silicon valley IDEA’ initiative to promote regional collaboration on economic growth and development.”

“Silicon Valley is widely known as a place where the best and brightest come to make world-changing concepts happen, but there are several other regions in the United States and overseas with whom we are in competition for those innovators,” said Dave Cortese, President of Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “A key element of ‘silicon valley IDEA’ is a renewed regional branding initiative that will promote Silicon Valley’s preeminence as the world’s leading center of innovation, as well as create an inclusive branding framework that ties together the many municipalities in the region as being a part of Silicon Valley.”

“The ‘silicon valley IDEA’ concept of teams of business leaders within our key regional industry segments working together will enable us to create a cohesive voice like no other economic develop program has done in the past,” said Jim Lynch, Chief Financial Officer at San Jose Water Company. “Relying on the strength of our local business leaders to identify and solve the specific challenges ensures that we are actively attuned to the needs of our community.”
‚ÄúAs we began planning the next phase of our economic advancement, a principal objective was to increase actions and drive greater outcomes,‚Äù said Cosmo Fagundo, Owner at Wilco Management and Chairman of the Chamber‚Äôs Economic Advancement Committee. ‚ÄúOur conversations with community leaders and our research on other initiatives allowed us to create a unique platform that captures the ethos of Silicon Valley, to innovate and not replicate, to lead and not follow. IDEA will engage a wider range of members, partnerships and new citizens of the Valley.‚Äù

“Our region’s most valuable resource is the sheer number of innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers who call Silicon Valley home,” said Michael Bangs, VP Real Estate and Facilities, HQ, Oracle. “These individuals are inspired by our approach to problem-solving in a way that has become purely Silicon Valley. ‘silicon valley IDEA’ is a reflection of our region’s DNA because it is built on innovators finding sustainable solutions to the region’s biggest challenges.”

“‘silicon valley IDEA’ will not only give local businesses and communities a stronger voice in strategic conversations, but present an opportunity for them to be highlighted as key contributors who are vital in helping achieve the economic development goals of the region,” said Jon Kessler, External Affairs Director for State Controller Betty Yee. “This economic development initiative will drive positive change in the region and in the state, as Silicon Valley’s economic growth is key for the economic development and future of the great state of California.”

For more information on ‘silicon valley IDEA,’ or to become directly involved in the program please visit click here.

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