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Compete Against Sand Hill Road, Other Sites Do

How awesome is it to wrap up your Monday morning GP meeting and step outside the office and relax in front of a crazy-cool Yoda water fountain?

That’s what Phil Sanderson gets to do. Sanderson is managing director of IDG Ventures SF. The firm, which raised $100 million for its new fund late last year, is located in a group of buildings called the Letterman Digital Arts Center on the Presidio. The center houses not only such firms as IDG Ventures, Founders Fund, Clarium Capital and Francisco Partners, but also Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic. Thus, the Yoda water statue, seen here with Sanderson posing alongside.

My colleague Connie (who’s on maternity leave; no baby yet) wrote in the current issue of Venture Capital Journal how Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park,  Calif., may be the epicenter of the venture capital community, but San Francisco and its amenities is beginning to give the famed VC strip a run for its money.

“San Francisco is becoming the new Sand Hill Road,” Sanderson says. (VCJ subscribers can read more of the story here.)

I grabbed my camera and visited Sanderson last month, and I took the shots you see here, which show that the IDG offices are surrounded by as many trees as any firm on Sand Hill Road. Sanderson told me he likes the collegiate atmosphere at the center, which he says is keenly located to go after new media deals.

“In the late ‘90s, new media started to move to San Francisco,” he says. “Today, I’d guess that 40% of all digital media deals are done up here.”

I know how provincial we all can be. If your firm’s locale has certain amenities, or a Star Wars statue out front, let me know.