James B. Steinberg
Former Brookings Expert
"What startups need when they're coming out of a university or just generally emerging is they need an ecosystem," Katz said. "They need access to some capital. They need access to mentoring. They usually need, like, a co-working space. They need a community that basically is supporting them."
"You happen to be the world's best naturally occurring innovation district, so you could just wait for everyone to copy you and mimic what you already have, or you could say 'We're going to take our starting point and move it one step beyond,'" Katz said. "'We're going to make Oakland a living laboratory for technological deployment.' When people enter Oakland, they're going to know that they've entered a playground of innovation that doesn't just work for the techies, but for the broader community."
“The gap between academic prowess and industrial activity is most pronounced in the life sciences and information technology sectors,” according to the study. “In each of these areas, the region punches far above its weight in core academic competencies, but it significantly underperforms in industry presence and employment.”