Moving to California in search of some tech-age golden nuggets? Better add Oakland to your shortlist of possible destinations. It may not be the first city which comes to mind when you think about your next hi-tech position, but the times, as they say, are a-changing. Located just across the bay from the tech kingdoms of San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Oakland is more known for its politics, its diversity, and its professional sports, but in recent years the city has been welcoming new residents of the techie variety. Hi-tech companies have chosen to relocate here, most notably Uber and tech workers from nearby companies like Google are moving in as well, in search of a more affordable and less bourgeois lifestyle. Moving to Oakland means choosing an urban living experience while other cities in the Bay Area offer a more suburban vibe, and San Francisco might feel a bit too glitzy, not to mention way too pricey, for most of us the run of the mill common people.
Local tech talent has also been growing, sprouting up startups and driving capital into the city. While the city’s tech industry still has a long way to go, it is home to some impressive start-up companies, which are notably more diverse and oriented towards social change, in line with the city’s heritage of political activism.
Before you hire movers, check out this list of some of the top startups in Oakland and maybe find a job before you even get there:
Breezy has set out to revolutionize the printing experience, making it possible to print anything, from any mobile device on any printer, as easily and securely as possible. Breezy’s solutions answer the needs of businesses looking to improve efficiency, developers looking to add print functionality to their applications and even regular people who want to make more use of their mobile device.
An ambitious startup developing technology that allows buildings to accommodate their human inhabitant’s needs more completely and flexibly than ever. Keeping people comfortable in the workplace while using energy responsibly is the main focus of Comfy, Building Robotics’ product which is already allowing workers to custom-set the temperature in their environment in major companies such as Google, Etsy, and WeWork.
Mosaic is an online marketplace, connecting investors with individuals looking to borrow money in order to go solar. The loan is less costly and more easily approved than through most major banks, while investors make an impact on the community as well as returns on their investment. Mosaic is a Certified B Corporation, which means it is held to a high standard of environmental and social accountability and transparency.
Another startup focused on solar energy, Sungevity provides solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers with the intent of spreading the clean energy gospel around the world. Their high-quality custom built systems can be monitored from any device to ensure top performance, and come with a 20-year guarantee. Like Mosaic, Sungevity is also a Certified B Corporation.
Inspired by an encounter with a Ugandan physician who scrambled through his notes trying to provide healthcare in remote rural areas to around 100,000 people, Captricity founder Kuang Chen created a tool which converts handwritten notes and forms into digital data at a remarkable 99.9% accuracy. The technology is now used to transform workflow in industries as varied as healthcare, insurance, government and non-profit.
Allowing hair stylists to sell hair products directly to customers, Mayvenn is a platform which empowers independent salon owners and beauty professionals to make more of their business and profit from their referrals. Instead of sending their customers to the drugstore, hairdressers simply refer them to their personal website where they can purchase the recommended items. 15% of the product’s price goes to the stylist who recommended it. This service eliminates the costs and hassle of keeping an inventory, while allowing stylists to profit from their reputation and the trust clients have in their referrals.
There are many great companies to work for in Oakland. If you’ve already received an offer, check out this blog post which covers everything you need to contemplate before you relocate for a job.
And… check out more great articles about Oakland: