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New San Francisco Businesses

New businesses continue to move to San Francisco. Here are a few highlights:

Clean Technology

Abengoa Solar focuses on developing and applying innovative solutions to generate power and energy from the sun. Abengoa Solar has relocated its U.S. legal department and its Southwest business development department to San Francisco, CA.  Abengoa Solar's U.S. headquarters in Lakewood, CO, comprises 50,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space where more than 80 people are employed in engineering, research and development, manufacturing, project development, and support. In addition, Abengoa Solar has U.S. offices in Arizona and California. Abengoa Solar has a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric for the 250 MW CSP Mojave Solar Project to be built in the California Mojave Desert.

“Abengoa Solar is a leading solar power company, and is engaged in extensive research and development to create the most efficient and effective solar plants possible,” explains Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar. “We feel that the financial district in San Francisco is an ideal place to be located, given its proximity to some of our main clients and partners. The City of San Francisco is also an established leader in the areas of sustainability, social justice and environmental stewardship, principles that Abengoa Solar shares, as well.”

GA-Solar, a developer of renewable energy projects in Spain, Italy, USA and India with over 200+ MW commissioned, has established its U.S. Corporate Headquarters in downtown San Francisco. "GA-Solar is a leader in photovoltaic solar generation, with the depth and breadth of experience needed to grow the solar energy sector," said Jon Riberas, CEO of GA-Solar and its parent company, Corporación Gestamp. "With its reputation for environmentally thoughtful policies and demonstrated commitment to the clean technology industry, we feel that GA-Solar is well positioned for future growth with its U.S. Corporate Headquarters in San Francisco."

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures develops, owns and operates solar power plants around the world, with a global portfolio of more than 130 MW operating in the United States and Spain, and more than 1,000 MW under development across the U.S. and Europe. Fotowatio Renewable Ventures established its North American Headquarters in downtown San Francisco, and this headquarters will serve as a base for the U.S. expansion of Fotowatio Renewable Ventures. "When evaluating locations for our North American headquarters, it became increasingly clear that San Francisco was the place to be," said Fotowatio Renewable Ventures President & COO Jose Benjumea. "The concentration of talent and financial capital, as well as the City of San Francisco's longstanding commitment to solar energy, makes this the perfect platform to accelerate Fotowatio's growth."


San Francisco is a creative hub not just for high-tech but for the apparel industry as well. Its highly creative workforce has fueled the growth and success of industry leaders like the Gap, Levi, and Gymboree. San Francisco is drawing established brands who want to leverage this resource as a competitive advantage.

In February alone, apparel giants Sears and Charlotte Russe announced new office locations in San Francisco. Charlotte Russe's office will include 100 jobs - 50 of them new jobs in San Francisco. Sears is hiring now and will begin immediately occupying their 25,000 sq/ft office in Union Square.

The unmatched talent pool and cutting-edge work in areas like design, merchandising, marketing and ecommerce has transformed SF into a center of innovation for the apparel industry, attracting companies from all over the country.

New Media / IT

Bigpoint Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bigpoint GmbH, recently opened a 25-employee online video game development studio at 2 Bryant Street in San Francisco. Bigpoint is one of the biggest online game companies in the world, with over 130 million registered users. Bigpoint specializes in browser-based MMOs and is currently working on a number of high-level projects, including Battlestar Galactica Online and The Mummy. Bigpoint recently unveiled Poisonville, a $2 million GTA-inspired MMO, and ToonRacer, a kart racing game playable on PCs, iPhones, and iPads. This fall, Bigpoint will launch its first title developed out of its San Francisco office.

Bigpoint CEO Heiko Hubertz says: "In order to be a cutting-edge entertainment company, you have to surround yourself with the top companies in the business - and that means being in San Francisco." 

Cantaloupe Systems, Inc.
, a wireless, vending technology provider, is relocating its operations and corporate headquarters from Berkeley to San Francisco’s SOMA District in March of 2010.

Installed in individual vending machines, the Cantaloupe Seed device monitors all transactions in real time and transmits the data securely via cellular networks and the Cloud. The result: vending operators know the state of each machine’s inventory without making a physical visit.

“San Francisco’s central location will allow us to tap into the Bay Area’s thriving talent, education, enthusiasm and environmental vision we need to continue to deliver innovation and great service to our clients,” said Cantaloupe Systems co-founder and CEO Mandeep Arora.

NextSpace Coworking + Innovation has opened its newest coworking space in the heart of downtown San Francisco at 2nd and Market Street.  NextSpace provides physical and virtual infrastructure for freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent creative-class professionals, with access provided on a membership basis.  In addition to solving infrastructure needs, NextSpace creates a collaborative community for those who might otherwise be working in isolation.  NextSpace is building on the success of their first location in Santa Cruz, which has been open for eighteen months and has a community of almost 200 people.  

 “San Francisco is one of the most vibrant, creative, innovative cities in the world,” says NextSpace CEO Jeremy Neuner.  “We knew that NextSpace absolutely had to be in this market.  The fact that the city and the community in San Francisco have been so supportive of our expansion shows that they understand a key part of the NextSpace story:  that freelancers and small, creative businesses hold the greatest potential for future economic growth in San Francisco and in the rest of the country.”    

In August 2010, CrossCap moved its headquarters from Toronto to San Francisco. CrossCap is a business services company that delivers innovative tools and services to help world class retailers and companies around the globe manage their marketing investments across channels, disciplines and vendors. The new headquarters will provide additional staff and accessibility to service CrossCap's U.S. customers. CrossCap plans to expand total company size from 80 to 100 employees within the fiscal year. 

“We see this as a launching point towards our goal of becoming a global symbol of excellence in the marketing management arena” commented Bushert, CEO. “We chose San Francisco because it is the best city in the world for our corporate needs,” says Bushert, “we could not be happier to be a part of the growth in the U.S. and the technological ingenuity of San Francisco”.

Biotech / Life Sciences

In January 2010, Napo Pharmaceuticals moved to 185 Berry Street, Suite 1300 in Mission Bay. Napo was previously headquartered in South San Francisco since November 2001. Napo Pharmaceuticals focuses on the development and commercialization of proprietary pharmaceuticals for the global marketplace in collaboration with local partners.

Tunitas Therapeutics moved to San Francisco in April 2010 and is located at 409 Illinois Street in Mission Bay. Tunitas is developing targeted protein therapeutics to dramatically change the lives of allergy sufferers. Based on technology developed in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Saxon at the UCLA School of Medicine, Tunitas is ready to move several allergy-specific vaccines into formal pre-clinical and clinical development.

In October 2009, Nektar Therapeutics announced that it would establish a state-of-the-art R&D center and its corporate headquarters in Mission Bay. Nektar will occupy a 102,000 square foot R&D and office building located at 455 Mission Bay Boulevard South developed by Alexandria. Nektar will bring 150 employees and the headquarters of a leading biotech company to the center of Mission Bay, with anticipated occupancy in 2010.

In July 2009, the City joined QB3 and FibroGen to announce that five new life sciences companies were moving to Mission Bay through the QB3 Mission Bay Incubator Network (QB3MBIN), a new incubator initiative in Mission Bay. The five inaugural companies were: Carmot Therapeutics, CV Ingenuity, Gemmus Pharma, Osprey Pharmaceuticals and Solidus Biosciences. To date more than 17 life sciences and cleantech companies have located in Network Incubator space.

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