We recognize that the rapid evolution in the advanced manufacturing space is a source of tremendous opportunity for economic development. Looking at this through the lens of Fab City, we see a clear need to shape how this process will proceed. Local companies who are able to take advantage of the unique conditions here in Oakland will create wealth for themselves and their investors. Local investors will recognize this opportunity and direct more of their attention into this sector. This will not happen without intentional effort.
Much of the 2019 Oakland Fab City Seed will be directed into early efforts in this area. We have several goals:
identify a range of local manufacturing businesses, from idea- through growth-stage, and representing the diverse Oakland community
build and strengthen partnerships with the City of Oakland, local CDFIs, coworking and professional creative communities, and business support organizations
engage businesses throughout the manufacturing sector, including manufacturers whose products are made both locally and elsewhere
significantly expand the Fab City contact list of local manufacturers and support professionals
promote the Fab City story to those manufacturers, to help shape their thinking toward local benefit
clarify barriers to participation for diverse local entrepreneurs who can benefit from opportunities for wealth- and agency-building—use insertion points in youth and adult education, existing women- and minority-owned businesses, and the organizations which serve them
identify opportunities to connect need to supply within our local ecosystem, and to fill gaps which will enable increasing local innovation
As we end this first project effort, we will have identified several priority initiatives which can be advanced through low-risk pilots to ensure execution and commitment proceed in parallel. We have much to do in this area, and are excited to be coordinating these efforts.