Santa Cruz Tech Beat

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SVBJ: Can Santa Cruz build a beachside University Ave?

by Lauren Hepler
Silicon Valley Business Journal

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Looker CEO Frank Bien (left) with founder and CTO Lloyd Tabb on a top-floor patio at the startup's new office in the downtown Santa Cruz E.C. Rittenhouse Building. (photo credit: Vicki Thompson)

Looker CEO Frank Bien (left) with founder and CTO Lloyd Tabb on a top-floor patio at the startup’s new office in the downtown Santa Cruz E.C. Rittenhouse Building. (photo credit: Vicki Thompson)

A tech startup backed by 10 figures in venture capital funding is shopping for a new office. Instead of a suburban Silicon Valley office park, top brass settle on an urban space with a roof deck in a bid to lure highly sought-after talent.
In the case of three-year-old business intelligence startup Looker, however, this familiar scenario is playing out far from San Francisco’s mid-Market startup cluster or Palo Alto’s tech-heavy University Avenue. Try downtown Santa Cruz.

“There are some really unique and beneficial characteristics of Santa Cruz that have enabled us to recruit,” said Looker CEO Frank Bien. “We’re getting people off the Google bus. We’ve pulled people out of VMWare and Cloudera.”

Earlier this month, Looker — a 60-person software company that has raised $18 million to date — signed a five-year lease for 12,000 square feet in the middle of downtown’s retail-heavy Pacific Avenue. Though relatively small in size, the deal to take the top floor of the long-vacant E.C. Rittenhouse building is a highly visible indicator of a tech resurgence in the beach town that has been bolstered by young startups, new investment capital and local economic development efforts.

Continue reading the complete article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2014/07/07/after-highly-visible-tech-lease-downtown-can-santa.html

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Sara Isenberg publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.

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