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PROSPECT SILICON VALLEY Written by Francisco Alvarado Photography by Jessica Perez

An urban tech innovation hub and its champion for clean energy

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ucked away amidst industrial buildings, apartments, and 101 is the home of Prospect Silicon Valley and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative, nonprofits focused on innovation in clean tech. Clean tech is ConnectMyEV’s conductive charging for electric vehicles. It’s Continental Automotive’s Intelligent Transit Systems, a project to reduce traffic congestion at intersections. An innovation in city traffic infrastructures, Intelligent Transit Systems would allow traffic intersection hardware to communicate with vehicles to facilitate the flow of traffic. Think of that light near your house that never changes despite the fact you’ve been waiting for five minutes. With intelligent transit, intersections like this might be a thing of the past. Prospect SV is an urban tech innovation hub. Startups and established companies go to Prospect for resources, space, and its vast network of government, private, and nonprofit contacts. One person making these connections happen is Rafael Reyes, deputy director of Prospect SV and executive director of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative, a

member organization of Prospect SV. “A lot of my work is connecting people and organizations and making exciting things happen,” says Reyes. To make these “exciting things” happen, Reyes connects startups, government agencies, nonprofits, and established businesses with each other. Reyes, for example, brought together the Integral Group, which specializes in the design of eco-friendly, cost-effective buildings, and the National Renewable Energy Lab to make “net zero” homes for a lowincome housing development. A net zero building is one that produces as much energy as it uses. “We are the focal point for making connections,” says Reyes. When startups approach Prospect with a great idea and a working model of this idea—a requirement in order to work with Prospect—they often lack relationships with local governments or investors or require business advice. That’s when Reyes gets to work. “I spend a lot of time on the phone,” he says, smiling. Much of the work Prospect and Reyes are involved in has to do with the Internet of Energy. “Right now our energy

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