Tag Archives: Mechanics Bank

Uncharted, Berkeley’s first ideas festival is 1 week away!

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The finishing touches are being applied to the program, the speakers, all world experts in their fields, are tweeting about their imminent appearance on stage in Berkeley, and the final decisions on wine pairings, music sets and lighting for the sure-to-be celebratory party at the art museum have been made. This time next week the inaugural Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas will be in full flow.

The program is bursting with entertaining and thought-provoking conversations. Here’s just a taste:

Browse the full program here; learn more about the speakers here.
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Crime

Man arrested in Jan. 16 armed robbery of Berkeley bank

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The Berkeley Police have arrested a man in connection with an armed robbery at Mechanics Bank on Solano Avenue on the morning of Wednesday Jan. 16.

James Craig Davis, 33, of San Pablo was arrested during a traffic stop in Platte County, Missouri. The deputy determined Davis was wanted for the Berkeley robbery, placed him in custody without incident, and notified Berkeley Police detectives.

The detectives had obtained bank security photos of the robber and distributed them to law enforcement agencies nationally, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Berkeley Police Department. … Continue reading »

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Local business

In case you missed it: Startup Berkeley Forum highlights

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Last month, Berkeleyside held its second Local Business Forum, concentrating on “Startup Berkeley” — the strengths and weaknesses of the city for startups. If you weren’t able to attend, or if you just want a quick refresher on the evening, we’ve condensed the two hours into a little more than six minutes of highlights (above).

Speakers at the Forum were Mayor Tom Bates’ chief of staff, Judy Iglehart, Stupid Fun Club founder Will Wright, MOG founder and CEO … Continue reading »

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Startup Forum: What does it take to make it in Berkeley?

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What makes a city a magnet for startups? Why do entrepreneurs and financiers flock to the South Bay even though there are so few good places to eat there? Does Berkeley want to be Silicon Valley anyway? (You can guess the answer to that one.) Maybe Berkeley is just not hip enough to attract young talent? Does the city’s red tape makes it too cumbersome to be innovative? And, perhaps most significantly, is there just too much distrust of businesses as they thrive and grow? Perhaps Berkeley should focus on what it already does well: incubating startups then allowing them to fly to pastures new, be that San Francisco or Palo Alto.

All these questions were raised and debated at Berkeleyside’s Startup Berkeley Local Business Forum, last night in downtown Berkeley. An estimated 220 people gathered at the Freight & Salvage to listen and engage directly with two sets of panelists, and to discuss the issues among themselves both before and after the program.

[…View a Photo Gallery of the Startup Berkeley Forum, with photographs taken by Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin…] … Continue reading »

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New arrival from Brooklyn joins Startup Berkeley panel

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Kalimah Priforce describes himself as “a madman on a mission”. Through his startup Qeyno Labs, Priforce works with local partners and schools to bring technology-enabled career discovery into under-served classrooms, using game-like rewards and mentorship from real-life professionals.

Priforce will be joining the panel at Berkeleyside’s Local Business Forum on March 5th to discuss his experience moving his project from Brooklyn — which is a considerable tech hotspot these days — to Berkeley.

“I needed to be tied into the ecosystem out here,” Priforce said. “There’s a lot happening in New York, but there’s no ecosystem there yet.”

He originally thought he’d locate in Silicon Valley or San Francisco, but decided the East Bay would be more fertile ground for his work in under-served classrooms. … Continue reading »

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Autodesk signs up for ‘Startup Berkeley’ Forum

Carl Bass
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Berkeleyside is delighted to announce that Autodesk has signed on as a sponsor of the Berkeleyside Local Business Forum 2012: Startup Berkeley, which takes place on Monday March 5th in downtown Berkeley.

“Autodesk is interested in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, and a Berkeley resident. “Berkeley, as a whole, has underperformed in these areas and we would like to help change that. Berkeley has a world-class university and thousands of brilliant, creative and imaginative people and we’re thrilled to see a dialog taking place about shaping the future of the community.”

Autodesk is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, with its headquarters in San Rafael. It has been included in Fast Company’s list of the world’s most innovative companies, and is on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

Bass was a speaker at the recent TEDxBerkeley and a featured panelist at Berkeleyside’s inaugural Local Business Forum last year, along with Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired. … Continue reading »

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Announcing: Berkeleyside Local Business Forum 2012 ‘Startup Berkeley’, Monday March 5, 7-9 pm

David Hyman, Founder of Berkeley-based MOG
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Berkeleyside is thrilled to announce that on Monday March 5th we will be hosting the Berkeleyside Local Business Forum 2012: Startup Berkeley.

The Forum’s focus will be the strengths, and weaknesses, of the city of Berkeley for startups. What does it take to turn an idea into a successful business, how can one nurture innovation, and what can be done to improve the startup climate here?

Featured panelists joining the conversation at the Forum include: Will Wright, creator of The Sims and founder of Stupid Fun Club; David Hyman, founder and CEO of streaming music service MOG, June Taylor, founder of jam and marmalade company The Still Room; and Rauly Butler, Senior Vice President Retail at Mechanics Bank.

“An extraordinary amount of innovation comes out of Berkeley in a variety of realms,” said Lance Knobel, one of the founders of Berkeleyside. “But Berkeley is still seen as rough ground for business startups. We want to examine the realities of Berkeley for new business ventures.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley to reassess Wells Fargo, open account to bids

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Last night Berkeley’s City Council voted unanimously to review its banking arrangements with Wells Fargo when the current contract expires at the end of 2012.

This followed a recommendation by councilmembers Jesse Arreguín and Darryl Moore to consider alternatives to the 160-year-old San Francisco bank which, they said, “was a key part of the subprime lending crisis which led to our overall economic collapse”. (View the responsible banking policy Council item.)

Berkeley’s FY11 city budget is about $324 million, and bank deposits are around $10 million, according to a local banking executive. Berkeley has banked with Wells Fargo since 2004 and the contract was last renewed in 2009. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyans move their money, and small banks benefit

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On Friday at noon, Mark Coplan waited patiently for his turn to open an account at the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union on Ashby Avenue. Thirty-eight people did the same on Saturday which was “Move Your Money Day”, also known as “Bank Transfer Day”, a concept promoted by the Occupy Wall Street Movement, MoveOn.org and other organizations.

The goal is to get people to transfer their money from large institutions to local banks or credit unions. “Invest in Main Street, Not Wall Street,” is their slogan.

“I want to be able to switch my account from Wells Fargo tomorrow,” said Coplan, spokesperson for the Berkeley Unified School District, but speaking for himself this time. Coplan, who has banked with Wells Fargo since 1984, said pressure on the big banks has already succeeded. Bank of America recently U-turned on plans to charge customers $5 a month in order to use their debit cards. “That’s a direct result of the Occupy Wall Street Movement,” Coplan said.

By closing time on Saturday, Gary Bell, CEO of Cooperative Federal Credit Union, was elated. “Good people are coming back home to the credit union,” he said. “Today a significant message was sent to the banks about the way they handle finances.” … Continue reading »

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Downtown

Bank on Shattuck robbed

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A man robbed the Mechanics Bank on Shattuck near Bancroft Way Monday afternoon, but was quickly apprehended by police.

The robber walked into the bank around 1:39 pm and handed the teller a note demanding cash. He left the bank and was quickly apprehended by police just a few blocks away on Harold Way.

Police are still investigating the crime and have not yet released the name of the suspect.

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