Foursquare checks in to San Francisco

San Francisco can add another high-tech company to its portfolio — Foursquare.

The popular mobile app, which allows users to “check in” online and share their location with their friends, has announced plans to expand to the West Coast. The company will share a space at Mission Street until they need a bigger office.

The New York-based company decided on San Francisco because of the area’s diverse talent pool, a company spokeswoman said.

“There’s a lot of great talent in the Bay Area,” said Erin Gleason, PR Manager for Foursquare.

Right now, the New York-based mobile app has 40 employees, half of which are engineers. But with the new office in San Francisco, they are looking to hire “as many talented people as possible.”

“It’s significant,” said Kelly Pretzer, project manager for the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “They are looking to hire fast enough to support the company’s extensive growth.”

The company’s announcement is the latest in a trend of high-tech and gaming companies opening in San Francisco amid a slow economic recovery.

There are more than 500 high-tech companies in San Francisco, including the expanding Zynga and Salesforce.com, which recently announced plans to grow in The City.

“San Francisco is where you come to hire the best technical and creative talent,” Pretzer said.

Since 2003, The City has doubled the number of high-tech computer jobs, from 8,000 to more than 16,000, according to the San Francisco Center for Economic Development, which works to promote economic and business development in The City. In addition, city economists estimate there are now 2,750 jobs in the life-sciences industry, up from 500 in 2004.

Venture-capital dollars continued to pour into San Francisco’s innovation economy during the nation’s historic recession. In the first quarter of 2010, more than $260 million went toward the software and computer industry across the Bay Area, while biotech scored $190 million, both the highest figures.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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