World class wine and scientific research are what the region is known for, but there are more industries contributing to our booming economy than you might think.
Have you ever bought a lamp from Ross? How about a gift card from the kiosk inside Safeway? Have you ever filled your car up with Chevron fuel or taken a Wheels bus?
If so, you've benefited from a company that is headquartered in our backyard.
We thought you might be interested to know what products and services are fueling the Tri-Valley. The following businesses occupy considerable real estate in our area, have a rich history in the region or are breaking ground on new technology.
Companies in the MTVX
The following public companies, and a handful of others, are members of the Mirador Tri-Valley Index (MTVX). This index allows our clients to invest in what we believe is one of the most attractive corridors in the nation.
At the time of this blog, the three below have a combined market cap exceeding $15 billion.
Among other products and services, Blackhawk Network operates the grocery store stands from which you pluck a gift card during the holiday season.
They are now expanding their expertise to the e-commerce field. Notably, HAWK recently acquired a leader in the digital gift card space, CashStar, for $175M.
Partnering with Linq3, Blackhawk's latest offering will allow shoppers to purchase mobile lottery tickets at grocery store checkout stands. Participating stores will roll out the offering in late 2017.
The company employs over 1,000 people and is headquartered in Pleasanton.
Natus provides medical devices and software to various health professionals.
Natus solutions are used to screen, diagnose, treat, and monitor various conditions relating to newborn care, hearing impairment, neurological dysfunction, epilepsy, sleep disorders, neuromuscular diseases, as well as balance and mobility disorders.
Natus employs over 1,100 people, many of whom work in Pleasanton.
To learn more about their growth strategy you can read Yari's report.
Cooper is a medical device company operating as two distinct units.
CooperVision focuses on contact lenses like their daily disposable MyDay® . Their lenses are unique in that they are engineered to offer more than comfortability and improved vision. Each product is developed to cater to a specific need such as myopia, AKA nearsightedness. A majority of Cooper's business comes from their contact products.
CooperSurgical focuses on women's health. Products in this range include surgical hand tools, ultrasound machines and other obstetric devices.
Cooper Companies employs over 10,000 people and is headquartered in Pleasanton.
The nation's leading bus manufacturer, Gillig, recently moved to the Oaks Logistic Center near the Livermore airport. Their neighbors now include electric car manufacturer Tesla and automotive parts supplier Dräxlmaier.
Gillig has been producing buses for 125 years and has been family owned since day one. The company's buses make their way around the country taking on various duties, including one Tri-Valley residents may be familiar with: Wheels. Next time you see one on the road, you can tell your friends about how it was made in Livermore!
While not headquartered in the Tri-Valley, it's notable that Tesla and Dräxlmaier lease, combined, over one million square feet of space for their Livermore operations and do manufacture products here.
Headquartered in Livermore, TopCon Positioning Systems is focused on providing technology to deliver accuracy in the fields of surveying, construction, farming and many others.
TopCon takes advantage of GPS technology in some of their products, which helps translate their vision of precision to the end user. Their tools allow companies to capture and assess data easier and faster. Some of their products include:
CropSpec: a roof mounted tool that senses chlorophyll levels in plants to efficiently allocate fertilizer.
Sirius Pro: a small airplane used to capture aerial imagery of a site.
3-D excavator systems: a suite of tools allowing operators to visualize the status of their machines.
If you find yourself wishing you could attend more sports games, Zeality is working on a solution for you. The Pleasanton based company is putting fans in the seats while they are not physically in the stadium.
Simply pop your smartphone in a compatible headset like the Samsung Gear VR ($50) and, thanks to an exclusive contract with the San Francisco Giants, you can experience AT&T Park from the pitchers mound.
Zeality also counts the 49ers and the San Jose Sharks as customers. Thanks to Zeality's 360° cameras and some behind the scenes access, fans can explore venues from exclusive perspectives like the skating through the Shark head.
The Immersive Media Engine™ suite allows organizations to have full control over their content from production to replay activity.
Immersive sporting events are not the only application of their technology. The product is fully realized when you have a 360° camera of your own. Upload your content to the app, then share it with your friends and the Zeality community. If you'd like to become a part of the community, download the Zeality app available on Google Play and the App Store.
During a party hosted by Innovation Tri-Valley and the San Francisco Business Times earlier this year, we heard from Marty Beard who is the COO at BlackBerry. Conveniently for Marty, BlackBerry's offices are in the same wing of Bishop Ranch as the event center. The company, previously located in Pleasanton, is now in San Ramon.
The most interesting thing he shared with us was regarding the company's plans to adapt. We all know the little black brick, business accoutrement to working men and women everywhere, but what some of us were not familiar with was the company's current business model. BlackBerry is making the move from hardware to compete in the software business. Moving forward, 100% of their products will be software with a strong focus on security.
Back to those wines...
Stop by one of the Tri-Valley's 50+ wineries and the winemakers will be happy to indulge you in the history of Tri-Valley viticulture.
With approximately eight square miles of grapes in the Livermore Valley AVA, wine growing is a prevalent activity. Of course, this provides for plenty of wine tasting opportunities. This July, the Livermore Valley Chamber's monthly luncheon was focused on the importance of agriculture in our economy.
Map from lvwine.org
Since the Tri-Valley is relatively new, companies that have managed to achieve legacy status here are few to nil. Wente Vineyards is such a company. For over a century, the Wente family has been producing some of the Livermore Valley's finest wine. In 1883 the first generation of Wente winemakers acquired land in the Livermore Valley and subsequently brought home awards from tony European wine critics. Their Chardonnay, originally a clone brought from Montpellier, France, is famous for being that which nearly all other California Chardonnay's attribute their lineage. Fast forward to 2017 and the family is still crafting world class wine as the 5th generation shares the same passion for viticulture.
The wine industry is an economic pillar of the region. Millions of bottles of wine are produced in the Tri-Valley each year and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The wineries are more than an economic driver, they are a cultural icon.
The Tri-Valley's success owes itself to, and depends on, its variety of goods and services. We are optimistic about the growth here and expect diversification will continue to play well for the region.