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By Tim Hunt

Fascinating innovations coming out of Danville

Uploaded: Apr 18, 2019

The Tri-Valley is building a deserved reputation as a center of innovation. At first thought, you would think it’s centered along the I-680/I-580 intersection and there’s truth to that.

What I have found surprising is the innovative companies headquartered in Danville and the areas they are seeking to disrupt industries. Earlier, I wrote about Coast + Range and its organic dog food customized by breed for dogs and deliverable to the lower 48 states.

It was recognized as a #GameChanger by the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group along with another Danville-based firm Elysium Therapeutics that seeks to make opioid pain relievers safe by engineering the tablets so the body cannot process an overdose.

Last week, another Danville company came to the fore when the East Bay EDA recognized winners of its 2019 East Bay Innovation Awards.

Trov was a finalist for the Information and/or Communication Technology Award that went to Rigetti Computing. Trov offers personalized, on-demand insurance aimed millennials who may want to insure a single valuable item. Headed by Scott Walchek, Trov was founded in 2012 with a focus on the user. The company built their app to allow users to insure what they want, when they want it for whatever time they need.

It’s in typical insurance space with renter’s insurance and some small business coverage, but it’s also working in the gig industry with its mobility applications.

Incidentally, the innovation event also recognized AEye of Pleasanton as a finalist in its Engineering and Design category. It makes sensing equipment backed by artificial intelligence for self-driving vehicles and has significantly advanced the field.

The Pleasanton City Council made a good call when it decided to prioritize planning for East Pleasanton, but it missed when it left the Merritt property on Foothill Road off the list. The DeSilva Group had asked the council to make planning the infill project a priority because, if approved, it would include significant improvements to a narrow section of the road south of Foothill High School. The parcel, which was approved and then overturned in a referendum many years ago, is a classic under-utilized site ideal for an infill development.

The DeSilva Group is an experienced development firm—it processed Laguna Oaks many years ago—and knows how to work effectively with the community. It’s unfortunate a majority of the council did not give them that opportunity.

The project called for 90 homes on 46 acres reserved for seniors 55 years of age. There’s strong demand for that type of empty-nester product as exemplified by the roaring success of Ponderosa Homes’ Ironwood neighborhood.