Brett Anita Gilbert quoted in BizWomen article on a California company opening an office in New York City

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Monday, December 15, 2014
New York, NY

Barbara Bates co-founded the boutique communications firm Eastwick in Silicon Valley when many of today's most prominent tech leaders were still in diapers.

And over the past 24 years, the company has become one of the top names in public relations on the West Coast, with a client roster that has included giants, such as Hewlett-Packard, Adobe, Dell and Siemens, as well as startups gunning for an IPO and family-run small businesses.

But the last four years — with Bates as the only founding partner still working with Eastwick — have been all about growth. The company saw nearly 40 percent growth in revenue from 2012 to 2013 with offices in Sunnyvale, Calif., and San Francisco, and is on track to grow another 20 percent from 2013 to 2014, Bates said.

Now her latest venture is opening a third office — in New York City.

The move seemed like a natural progression for the company, considering that Eastwick's East Coast clientele have long hoped the firm would open a new operation in their time zone — and there are hundreds of potential clients in the most populous city in the nation.

But it's also a difficult move: The ecosystems of California's Silicon Valley and New York's "Silicon Alley" are drastically different — not to mention 3,000 miles apart.

"It can be very difficult for an outside firm to break into the (new) network and leverage the resources that are there," said Brett Anita Gilbert, an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Rutgers Business School, who's done extensive research on the idea of geographic clusters for business.

Essentially, Gilbert said, "they have to become an insider."

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TAGS: Brett Gilbert Entrepreneurship Management and Global Business