LIVERMORE, CA-The Tri-Valley Technology Enterprise Center here is looking for space to help area start-up companies get off the ground. Sponsored in part by Pacific Gas & Electric, the University of California at Berkeley, the Tri-Valley Business Council and the city of Livermore, the center is using a $50,000 grant from the Housing and Urban Development/Economic Development Initiative to find space for its operation.

The grant gives renewed hope to the project. A tight Silicon Valley real estate market and the failure of an anticipated $3-million Congressional grant threw monkey wrenches in the center’s earlier attempts to find space. Business incubators in nearby San Ramon and Concord have guaranteed leases provided by their cities’ redevelopment agencies. Livermore says it is unable to do the same.

To date, the center has been operating in “virtual time,” using the Internet and telephone as its meeting grounds. But center officials say the extra money may help find them physical quarters in the near future.

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