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Innovation Takes Center Stage at East Bay NOW in Oakland

East Bay Now celebration event on September 14, 2023.

On September 14, East Bay EDA had the pleasure of hosting East Bay NOW at Uptown Station in Oakland. It was an exclusive evening dedicated to celebrating innovation in the East Bay, covering its past, present, and promising future. This event marked the culmination of our Meet the Innovators series and the kick-off of the 11th Annual 2024 East Bay Innovation Awards nominations, an event that shines a spotlight on pioneering companies and organizations from Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Guests were treated to an unforgettable experience filled with delectable food, delightful drinks, and live music courtesy of Kev Choice. They had the chance to explore an oxygen station, strike a pose in a fun photobooth, and peruse a diverse array of exhibitors including  AMBayArea, MCE, and Ohlone College’s Smart Manufacturing Program.

But the heart of the evening lay in the captivating talks from our distinguished speakers, masterfully introduced by the talented Gia Vang, anchor at NBC Bay Area and Co-Founder of the Very Asian Foundation. We were privileged to hear from Ahmed Ali Bob of Block Inc., who welcomed us to Block Inc. and talked about the importance of building up Oakland and the East Bay. Ken Maxey of Comcast NBCUniversal shared his involvement in the East Bay EDA and the need to continue to drive change and improvements in our region, while Carolyn Johnson of the Black Cultural Zone  shared the incredible successes of Black Cultural Zone and encouraged guests to continue returning to Oakland. The Honorable Candace Andersen, District 2 Supervisor of Contra Costa County, shared words on the East Bay EDA and the upcoming 2024 Innovation Awards and David Fraser, Chief of Staff for the Honorable Federal Glover, District 5 Supervisor of County Costa County, enriched our understanding of the region’s future vision.

In essence, East Bay NOW was a night of convergence—a celebration of innovation, a symphony of voices, and a testament to the East Bay’s vibrant and ever-evolving spirit. As we look back on this extraordinary event, we can’t help but be excited about the boundless creativity, progress, and transformative ideas that the East Bay will continue to foster. Please find the event gallery here. Thank you to our incredible sponsors for their contributions to this event!

And don’t forget, the 2024 East Bay Innovation Awards returns to downtown Oakland on March 28, 2024. Nominations are now open for the 2024 awards show through Friday, October 5. Make sure to nominate your East Bay Innovators soon!

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