When it comes to promoting entrepreneurship and innovative technologies, Sandia stands out. That’s according to the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITVLG), which has honored the Labs with its prestigious 2018 Founders Award.
The group acknowledged Sandia as a pioneer in bringing new technologies to market and fostering a competitive business climate in the cities of Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Danville.
Group CEO Dale Kaye said Sandia’s transferring of “lab technologies to both startups and established businesses is key to our local innovation ecosystem.”
Specifically, the award recognizes Sandia’s work with the Livermore Valley Open Campus, an expanding village of research centers on the border of Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Lab that cultivates collaboration between the labs, industry and academia. Current areas of focus on the campus include transportation energy, cybersecurity, bioscience and advanced manufacturing.
Mutual admiration society
Biological and Materials Science Center Director Anup Singh thanked the Leadership Group during its third annual #GameChangers award ceremony on April 10. In his remarks, Anup explained why Sandia, along with a handful of other community leaders, helped start ITVLG in 2011.
“Sandia saw the potential in a regional organization dedicated to amplifying innovation assets,” Anup said. “We knew it could help attract the talent and collaborators that would enable us to be successful in our national security mission – and it has!”
Stephanie Beasly, Sandia’s partnership officer, agreed that Sandia’s investment in the group has paid off. “Through the leadership of this organization, businesses in the Tri-Valley are connecting and thriving,” she said.
Statistics punctuate Stephanie’s point. According to Crunchbase data, there are an estimated 450 tech companies now based in the Tri-Valley region. They’ve collectively raised $1 billion in capital since 2015, and the median value of local companies acquired since 2010 is $75 million. And while San Francisco saw 3 percent employment growth between 2000 and 2012, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute reports the Tri-Valley area enjoyed nearly 21 percent during the same period.
The Leadership Group gave its first-ever Activator Award to Tri-Valley Ventures as the region’s first venture capital fund. Axis Community Health won the 2018 Social Innovator Award for its service to the region’s less fortunate. Axis offers medical care, mental health and addiction counseling services to low-income populations.
Two companies from each of the five Tri-Valley cities were nominated for #GameChanger Awards. One of Pleasanton’s two nominees is using Sandia-developed technology at the heart of its business model. SafeTraces makes products with liquid, DNA-based barcodes that enable all types of products to be tracked at any point in a supply chain. The company secured $6.5 million in its first phase of venture capital funding.