Institute for Innovation and Economic Development in the press.

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Hellodesk Coworking Space in the News

Coworking space comes to Monterey

Monterey is catching up with the rest of the telecommuting world. The area’s first coworking space launched late last year, bringing the latest trend in space and idea sharing work communities to the area. The enterprise is called Hellodesk and was co-founded by Pacific Grove startup entrepreneurs Avneesh Kumar, 39, and Sam Hain, 44.
Read the article here!
Women in Ag

Monterey Herald Covers the Women In Ag Forum

KION News covers the 2017 New Frontiers Water Forum

SEASIDE, Calif. – Hundreds gathered in Seaside on Friday for the 2017 New Frontiers Water Forum.

The all day event was sold out and brought water experts, researchers and innovators from all over the World. The goal of the conference was to find new ways to conserve and manage water on the Central Coast.

The Central Coast faces challenges that other parts of California do not when it comes to sourcing water. There is no Hetch Hetchy Reservoir or Colorado River pumping water into the Central Coast, for the most part it is sourced locally.

Keynote speaker, David Sedlak, who is also a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley says “unlike much of California the Central Coast is not connected to these imported water projects that brings snow melt down from the mountains, so the central coast has to make due on the water that falls between the coastal range and the sea.”

Sedlak says even though the drought is over, it is not a matter of if there will be another drought, it’s a matter of when. He also says one of the biggest challenges is having residents live within their means.

“In a wet year there might be plenty of water but in a dry year we draw upon our ground water supply and start depleting it and we have to do a good job managing the needs of people and farming to make sure that we have enough water to get us through the drought periods.” says Sedlak.

The CEO and President of Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville says his company does all they can to conserve water, “We value water. It’s a precious resource. We actually use recycled water for much of our irrigation in the Castroville area. We also use all drip irrigation. I mean water is a precious resource and we do everything we can to save it as much as we can. It’s an inlet and it’s a valuable thing for the whole community not just for agriculture.”

John Fair, who has lived in Monterey County for more than 20 years says he is concerned because water is such a huge part of life on the Central Coast, “Our economy as well as our own quality of life is built around the water here. Not only for personal use but for the economics of the areas.”

Central Coast water officials say they are looking into different ways to manage water, one is desalination plants. “Twenty or thirty years ago people dismissed desalination because it was energy intensive and damaging to the environment, but over the last decade many parts of the world have build sea water desalination plants and have reduced the cost and the environmental impacts. So after the desalination plant was opened in Carlsbad, north of San Diego and Santa Barbara went forward with the plans for their desalination plant, people here in the Monterey area are taking it much more seriously as an option for our future.”

Although the desalination plant is being discussed, water management officials say they will take a closer look at recycling water and storm water collection first.
KION Copyright 2017


Startup Challenge Returns to CSUMB

SEASIDE, Ca., March 1, 2018 – California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is set to host the Startup Challenge again this spring for the ninth consecutive year.

 Article ID: 690440
Released: 2-Mar-2018 12:05 PM EST
Source Newsroom: California State University, Monterey Bay

Newswise — SEASIDE, Ca., March 1, 2018 – California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is set to host the Startup Challenge again this spring for the ninth consecutive year. The Startup Challenge is a new business competition and accelerator program that supports the founding, funding and growth of new and innovative businesses in the Monterey Bay region.

The competition, which as awarded more than $350K over nine years, offers three divisions for competitors based on the size and scope of their business.

  • Venture Division: Open to businesses that are intended to scale and provide venture-investor level returns.
  • Main Street Division: Open to small businesses, sole proprietorships, and nonprofits.
  • Student Division: Open to students in high school, community colleges, colleges and universities.

Entrepreneurs and startup companies in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, as well as Gilroy and Morgan Hill, may apply to the competition through CSUMB’s Institution for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED). Applications are due by midnight, Monday, March 12th.

Startup Challenge is also offering introduction to Startup Challenge workshops to help prospective contestants prepare their application and business pitch.

Key dates for the Challenge are the application deadline on March 12th, the qualifying round pitches on April 8th, and the final round and venture showcase on May 12th.

The Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is organized by the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED). The iiED provides programs and events to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the Monterey Bay region. The iiED is an institute of the College of Business at CSU Monterey Bay.

CSUMB to hold Symposium on Women in Ag and Tech

SEASIDE, Calif. – The role technology plays in agriculture continues to grow. But what about the role women play? On Wednesday a symposium will feature some of the top women in agriculture, technology and agtech.

According to Executive Director of the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, Brad Barbeau, not enough women are entering STEM fields or tech fields, even though that’s what companies and industries are increasingly looking for. Pair that with farming, which is also typically dominated by men, it makes the environment not as welcoming for females. Some of the top women from the biggest Agriculture companies will speak about their experiences in tech, agriculture and agtech Wednesday.

“Having successful women talk about what their experiences have been, whats helped them be successful and what are some of the barriers and how do we understand those barriers,” said Barbeau.

The panel discussion will be today from 2-6PM at CSUMB University Center, 4314 Sixth Avenue Seaside, CA 93955.

 See the story on KION

Otters in the “Shark Tank”

Note: This article was originally published by The Lutrinae, please follow the link to read the original.

This past Friday through Sunday, Cal State University, Monterey Bay hosted the sixth annual Startup Weekend for the Monterey Bay area. Taking place every January, the event gives young entrepreneurs the chance to learn in an environment that encourages “startup magic,” working together to create startups in one chaotic weekend. Their goal is to help teach through doing, foregoing long panels and textbooks in favor of workshops and collaboration. This is to encourage entrepreneurs to learn through experience, and not just through hypothetical situations.

The main event of the weekend is the startup challenge, where teams compete by delivering short presentations to practice pitching their company to investors or in other professional situations. This “Shark Tank”-style environment doesn’t just offer experience for entrepreneurs, but also gives them a chance to win money in both cash prizes and legal or other business services. The teams are split up into three categories: Venture, for startups aiming high and hoping to grow into proper enterprises; Main Street, for small businesses; and Student, for young entrepreneurs somewhere in between highschool and graduate school.

Landing in first place this year was the proposed service Swoop, which aims to connect homeowners with people seeking parking for venues. Taking second was Line Jumper, a service that would rock the queue-economy by allowing people to buy, sell, and auction their place in line. Coming in third, but winning the ultimate favour of the crowd, was Furever. Furever would set out to connect homeless pets with willing and able owners, a good idea with a lovely sentiment, leaving no surprise as to why in won crowd favourite.