December 2012 Archives

December 1, 2012

California marks 100 years of rice growing

California recently celebrated its 100th year of rice growing according to an AP report and the California Rice Commission. Farmers began experimenting with growing rice during the Gold Rush more than 160 years ago after being introduced in California by Chinese gold miners, who later built the state’s railroads and river levees. It wasn’t until 1912, however, that the first commercial production started in Butte County, in the Sacramento Valley about 70 miles north of the state capital. Since then, California has become the nation’s largest producer of short- and medium-grain sticky rice, with much of the product shipped to Japan and other Asian countries through the Port of West Sacramento. Most sushi in the U.S. is made with California rice, the report which can be read in full at this link: http://www.thereporter.com/ci_22062619. The website for the California Rice Commission is at http://www.calrice.org/ and contains a wealth of information about the State’s rice industry, along with guest blogs from California rice farmers.

Filed under Agriculture and Food by

December 2, 2012

Concerned about a brain drain, Taiwan recruiting California students

Taiwan’s minister of education, Wei-Ling Chiang, traveled to California in October, and one of the issues he addressed was and imbalance in the numbers of university students being exchanged by each country. “Just 3,561 American-born students are enrolled in Taiwanese universities, while about 24,000 Taiwanese students enroll in universities in the U.S,” Chiang said. “We really have to address the situation now.” According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Taiwanese education officials are renewing their efforts to enroll more international students and have opened a dozen Taiwanese college information centers have opened in nine countries in the last few years.

Taiwan’s university recruiters have begun to target a new demographic according to the report: the Taiwanese American teenager. The pitch was perhaps more attractive to parents of the second- and third-generation Taiwanese American students who were the targets of the enrollment push. “Your children will enjoy a high quality education while learning about Taiwan’s culture,” said Chiang, a Stanford graduate. About a thousand people attended the first Taiwanese education fair in the U.S., held in October at the Chinese Cultural Center in El Monte that had been advertiseed in local Chinese language radio and television stations.

While their children didn’t always agree, the idea of a Taiwanese education appealed to parents who believe their children will graduate into a job market increasingly dominated by Asian languages and businesses.

Filed under Education and Training, Taiwan by

December 3, 2012

Golden Gate Ventures forms Strategic Alliance For Asian Startups

Venture Capital firm Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia have announced a new strategic alliance that will focus on supporting early-stage digital startups, according to a report in TechCrunch. The program will include intensive mentoring from both early-stage funding specialists to help companies gain market traction.

Golden Gate Ventures has offices in Singapore and San Francisco operates a seed investment program for digital start-up companies that have already launched. Based in Singapore, JFDI.Asia’s accelerator “bootcamp” program takes teams of entrepreneurs from idea to investment in 100 days.

Golden Gate Ventures co-founders Vinnie Lauria, Jeff Paine and Paul Bragiel have joined JFDI.Asia’s bootcamp as mentors. Lauria said in a joint statement that “the next billion people are coming online in our region. It’s a huge opportunity and an equally huge pool of talent in the region is set to make the most of it.” Hugh Mason, co-founder of JFDI.Asia, said that he hopes the partnership will be “the first of several alliances with key partners across the region who share our ambition to support the coming generation of digital success stories across Asia, for Asia.”

Filed under Asia, Singapore, Venture Capital by

December 4, 2012

Made in California legislation introduced

Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett has introduced legislation to create a “Made in California” program that would allow manufacturers to better market goods produced in Californiam=, according to a report in the
Sacramento Business Journal. Modeled after the successful “California Grown” program, which highlights agriculture products produced in California, the legislation would extend that marketing strategy to all goods produced in the state.

Filed under California Government, California Legislature, Manufacturing by

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