In the past year or so since he became the mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee has become a household name of sorts in the Bay Area technology community — no easy feat for an industry that’s known more for forging its own speedy path, rather than mixing with the notoriously bogged-down world of politics and legislation.
For years, companies have been known to flock more to SF’s southern suburbs or to San Jose some 50 miles south, where space is often cheaper and the tax situation has historically been more lax. But surrounded by tech-focused supporters such as Ron Conway and Marissa Mayer, Ed Lee has made it a major priority of his administration to bring more technological innovation and startup businesses into the city of San Francisco. His methods have been controversial in some circles, but with rapidly growing companies such as Twitter and Airbnb signing major contracts to keep their operations within the city limits at times in their development when many tech companies typically decamp to the South Bay, they have clearly been effective.
TechCrunch TV had the opportunity to grab a brief interview with Ed Lee when he stopped by NewMe Accelerator’s Demo Day held at Google’s San Francisco office this past week. Watch the video above to hear him talk about the TechSF initiative launched last month with a $5 million grant aimed at fostering more high tech jobs, and why he’s working to keep tech companies within the urban center of San Francisco.