ICA has always strived to be a learning organization. We’ve long believe that the entrepreneurs and the communities we serve have much to teach us and that only through collaboration can we successfully tackle the Bay Area’s most pressing issues. Over 23 years, we’ve continued to adapt our focus to the rapidly changing needs of all nine Bay Area counties. and we’ve have developed a regional approach that champions understanding, cooperation, and partnership. After all, we’ve believed, the problems the Bay Area faces are regional, so our solutions must be as well.
That’s why we were so happy to be welcome our partners from the South Bay to Oakland. On June 12th, we hosted a site visit and strategic planning session with our San Jose-based small business assistance partners. Close to 15 leaders and representatives from the organizations and government agencies we’re working with – including from Somos Mayfair, the City of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development, Alum Rock Santa Clara Street Business Association, Veggielution, and Resources for Community Development – joined us in Oakland at our Impact HUB Oakland headquarters.
The San Jose delegation was greeted by Director of Regional Strategy & Partnerships, Ingrid Jacobson, and our newly-named CEO, Allison Kelly. Ingrid, Allison, and the team provided a brief overview of the organization’s history, our current service model, and our work to not only scale the Good Jobs Accelerator but meet the growing needs of our region.
The San Jose partners were given a tour of the Hive – the site of ICA’s offices and home to three Portfolio companies: Firebrand Artisan Breads, Red Bay Coffee, and The Impact HUB Oakland. There, the delegation met with ICA entrepreneurs, got a personalized look at our work, and compared notes, not to mention sampled some delicious coffee and baked goods. After the tour, Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, Executive Director of Somos Mayfair, led the attendees in a strategic session, honing in on the bright spots and challenges faced by San Jose’s small business community.
Before departing for the South Bay, attendees set goals for a continued partnership and future initiatives with an eye to taking this expanding this unique inter-city opportunity.
We are extremely excited to not only build on the momentum of the San Jose delegation’s visit, but also to continue to work together and address the gaps in the ecosystem. And we are also looking forward to continued learning and collaboration with our San Jose peers.