Accelerating the Business of Sierra Business Council
Written by: Kristin York, Small Business Innovation Director
Business innovation is taking off in the Sierra. From high speed internet and crowd-funding to shared workspaces popping up all over the region, new ways to work and connect are all the rage. So it’s fitting that Sierra Business Council (SBC) is helping lead the charge by creating a new business incubator to help accelerate entrepreneurial ventures in the greater community. The new Peak Innovation Center is a strategic move to leverage SBC’s commitment to sustainability and regional partnerships by creating a truly collaborative business innovation hub.
With initial grant funding awarded by the Town of Truckee, SBC’s venture is off to a great start. The Town of Truckee stepped up as a key partner by awarding a fifty thousand dollar grant as part of the Town’s “Economic Program Incentive Initiative”, designed to provide project assistance that helps increase the Town’s job and tax base, promote business re-location or expansion, create partnership opportunities with other local government agencies and generally improve the local economy. The award was approved at the June 24th town council meeting based on the project’s alignment with the Town’s General Plan Goal E-3 – Encourage the development of knowledge based “new economy” businesses, which includes action item A3.2 to establish a business incubator program to provide support services and financial support to start-up new economy businesses. The award also aligns with the Truckee Tomorrow action plan priority 2 to start a local economic development corporation to support business recruitment, attraction and marketing efforts and small business and entrepreneurial support.
SBC will utilize the funds to help launch the new Peak Innovation Center (or the “Center”), as a regional business development center co-located and managed by Sierra Business Council. The Center will provide shared work space and one-on-one business advisory services such as financial planning, training, accounting, marketing, operations, cash flow planning and feasibility analysis. In addition, free and low cost workshops and classes will be offered in a variety of topics including Lean Start Up, business model generation, energy efficiency and social media strategies. The Center is being developed as a unique collaborative of regional governments and non profits, educational organizations, private business consultants, community economic development organizations, banks, investors and existing shared work spaces.
Currently, SBC is pursuing a variety of funding mechanisms that will allow for the build out of a shared work space, free business advisory services for start-up and entrepreneurial ventures and a network that will facilitate access to capital for small to medium sized businesses. The Peak Innovation Center will be launched at Peak Innovation October 8-10, 2014, at Granlibakken in Tahoe City. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements!