Startups Keep Springing Up in San Mateo

Maybe it’s the incubator Draper University, located in downtown San Mateo. Perhaps there’s something about being located in the very center of the region – midway between San Jose and San Francisco – where it’s easy-on/easy-off access to Caltrain. Or maybe it’s all the great cafes with free WiFi and an entrepreneurial buzz.

Any way you slice it, there’s something about San Mateo that keeps attracting hot tech startups.

The "Tesla Desk" at the entrance to Draper University

The “Tesla Desk” at the entrance to Draper University

Such San Mateo-based businesses as GoPro, Solar City and Ring Central are now practically household names. But, watch out for FreeWheel, SnapLogic and Jelli.

According to the website Syndicates, there are 379 startup businesses located in San Mateo, with an average valuation of $5.1M. According to City of San Mateo’s most recently available records, in 2013 new business licenses were issued for 144 new tech companies, which was an increase of 64% from 2012.

So, what is it about San Mateo?

Cafes, such as Philz, attract the entrepreneur community.

Cafes, such as Philz, attract the entrepreneur community.

According to Jateen Parekh, co-founder and CTO of Jelli, a cloud advertising platform for radio founded in 2008, “I fell in love with San Mateo and the different options (restaurants, coffee shops), and the ability for future employees to take public transportation.”

“We started Jelli at a coffee shop in downtown San Mateo called Bean Street,” notes Jateen. “At one point we joked that one of our conference rooms should be named Bean Street.”

Jelli recently closed $21M in Series B financing, which included Relay Ventures, Intel Capital, First Round Capital, iHeartMedia and Universal Music Group. Jelli is the largest technology platform for the $40 billion global audio advertising market.

Soon, the national broadcast spotlight will be on San Mateo as “Startup U” premieres. A reality TV show, the 10-episode series will follow 40 students through the seven-week entrepreneurship program at Draper University. Watch for it later this summer.

And maybe one of those startups will be graduating from the cafes to an office campus at Bay Meadows

Businesses expanding or relocating their offices within Silicon Valley, San Francisco or the general Bay Area can look no further. Bay Meadows has 5 brand new office buildings conveniently located on Caltrain; the first building, Station 4 will be ready for occupants by mid-2016 and will feature floor to ceiling glass, bike storage, expansive floorplates and locker room facilities. Station 4 is leasing now. All of the office buildings will have access to 18 acres of parks, a social street featuring coffee shops, restaurants, a biergardten and plenty of outdoor gathering spaces. The buildings are minutes from the Hillsdale Caltrain Station and proximal to SFO! It’s just 10 minutes to Palo Alto and SFO and 25 minutes to San Francisco!