Category: incubator

First day of class: March 16th, 2017

Proposal due: March 10th, 2017

Guidelines:

Please submit (in PDF format) a cover letter and an outline of your business plan or proposal and why you think you should be awarded a scholarship.

Please include (in PDF format) a list of references, current organizational affiliations, and/or any community service projects you have worked on.

Please use the title “scholarship” for your email.

Submit documents to: info@sierracommons.org

This scholarship is open.  Applicants must be in the process of starting a small business, or currently working on a pitch idea, a solo project, or start up.

Please indicate in your cover letter why you are interested in taking Sierra Commons’ Business Ignitor and if you would be interested in pursuing the coursework, even if not awarded a scholarship.

Scholarships will be awarded based on availability. Scholarship amounts may vary based on need.

Class is held on Thursdays 6pm-9pm for 8 weeks. All scholarship recipients are required to attend every class session. If a scholarship recipient misses a class session, they will be required to make the session up or pay back the scholarship.

Sierra Commons, Nevada County’s business education center and coworking space in Nevada City is offering their signature course, their Business Ignitor and registration is now open.  Classes start on March 16th 2017 and will be held for eight weeks on Thursday nights from 6pm-9pm.  Sierra Commons’ Business Ignitor is an 8-week course designed to help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small business owners start and run a successful business.

The Business Ignitor is taught by a diverse faculty of experts in their field.  Classes include coursework on basic business practices such as accounting and writing a solid business plan.  It additionally offers sections on cutting edge business approaches such as social media micro-targeting and non-traditional funding sources like crowd funding. One on one mentoring is available so that students can ask questions personalized to their particular field. The class covers a wide variety of topics and is suitable for both people who are looking to start a business or solo venture and for those who are currently running a small business.

“This will be the thirteenth time we’ve offered this course to the community.” notes Hilary Hodge, Executive Director.  “We have seen over one hundred people graduate from the Business Ignitor and have helped to start a number of prominent businesses in our community. We know our incubator works and we are proud to continue to offer this valuable service.”

Sierra Commons has been a resource for small businesses in Nevada County for over seven years.  The organization understands the unique and diverse economy of the Sierra Foothills.  Past Ignitor graduates have gone on to start and manage effective businesses in a variety of industries.  Sierra Commons has helped to start successful restaurants, cottage food companies, online marketing businesses, clothing companies, design services, and more.

The per-student fee is $450 and class registration is open now.  Scholarships may be available to qualifying individuals.  If you would like to sign up for the Business Ignitor or learn more visit the Sierra Commons website at www.sierracommons.org or call 530-265-8443.

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Do you have an idea you’d like to build out? Do you want to meet motivated, talented hustlers like yourself? Startup Weekend is the perfect circumstance to build a company—or at least as much as you can build in 54 hours!

What is Startup Weekend? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of ambitious entrepreneurial minds of various skill sets who are looking to practice and learn the basics of founding and launching a startup venture successfully. It is a unique opportunity to get your startup off the ground, risk free.

Just down the hill from Nevada County, Startup Weekend Sacramento is hosting its next event at Impact Venture Capital’s Downtown campus November 11-13. Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of ambitious entrepreneurial minds of various skill sets who are looking to practice and learn the basics of founding and launching a startup venture successfully. It is a unique opportunity to get a brand new startup off the ground, risk-free. Startup Weekend is for everyone — you don’t need to pitch an idea to participate.  For more information or to register, visit the Startup Sacramento website.

Are you looking for coworking in Nevada City? High speed internet in Nevada County? Just a really great place to work?

Sierra Commons is Nevada County’s best coworking space. We have some of the best and brightest of Nevada County under our roof. Nevada County’s remote workers and freelancers work at Sierra Commons.  We house Software Engineers, Film Makers, Journalists, Writers, Lobbyists, Copy Editors, Small Business Owners, and more.  Sierra Commons has been a staple of the Nevada County community for 7 years. In 1999, when founded, we were one of the first rural coworking spaces in all of the United States. Now we have partnerships all over Northern California and in the Tahoe/Truckee area.


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We are the destination for weekenders from the Bay Area and Sacramento and we offer tourists and locals drop-in rates, day use, high-speed internet, and a fun place to work. Enjoy our beautiful summer patio. Come for the high-speed internet and stay for the community.

We are located in Nevada City on Searls Avenue.  We are next to Wild Mountain Yoga and we are central to Three Forks Bakery and Brewery, Matteo’s Public, Lefty’s Grill, the National Hotel, Broad Street Inn and the Inn Town Campground.

There are a lot of people out there these days marketing themselves as business coaches and charging a lot of money for their support services.  You do not have to attend the first workshop that comes along and you do not have to hire the first coach you meet.  You don’t have to use your friend’s recommendation either.  There is no shortage of coaches and coaching events.

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Making the decision to hire someone is important.  It is an investment of your time and money.  Take the time to find the right fit.  Here are some tips:

  1. Find someone you trust. Ideally, find someone in your network who has a good reputation. There are a few certifications for business coaching but it is a fairly unregulated business.  Almost anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves a “business coach” or “life coach.” Do your research. Do not hire anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
  2. Identify exactly what you want to gain from having a business coach before hiring one. If you do not have a specific focus or goal in mind, you will likely spend far more time and money than you need to trying to reach an end game.
  3. Read at least one classic business self-help book before spending a lot of money on a coach you may not need. There is a lot of great advice out there.  What you are looking for may already be written down somewhere.
  4. Find someone to be accountable to (besides yourself) before hiring a coach. A lot of folks find that the biggest benefit to having a business coach is having someone to be accountable to. Most of us procrastinate and most of us set goals and timelines and then set them aside.  Team up with a friend, coworker, or colleague and create a structured system for setting goals and checking in.
  5. Be ready to commit fully. Do not hire a coach only to miss appointments and ignore your coach’s advice.  Like most things in life, you will get out of it, what you put into it.  Be ready to dive in, take direction, and stick with it.

I recently traveled to Sacramento.  I love the foothills but it’s nice to have a change in pace.  I had a lot of work I had committed to and needed to spend the morning being professional and productive.  Even though I’m a huge fan of coworking and love it, I thought about spending my morning in a coffee shop trying to get work done.

 

I was only going to be in town for the day and I was only going to need to work for a few hours.  I thought to myself, “sure, a coffee shop might be fine”, hoping that the wi-fi would be reliable and the clientele would be respectful.  Instead, I found The Trade, a coworking-space-coffee-shop located on K Street in midtown Sacramento.  For me, it was a perfect happy medium.

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I’m glad I chose coworking.  I was able to get a cup of tea and sit down to a friendly and professional workspace.  I met a few wonderful people while coworking and I got the work done that needed to get done.

If you are ever visiting Nevada County and thinking about spending the day in a coffee shop or restaurant trying to get work done, consider instead spending the day at Sierra Commons.  Coworking can offer the best of both worlds—a friendly atmosphere and a wonderful place to work.

 

Sierra Commons will be offering our next Business Ignitor, Nevada County’s premier start-up incubator, starting on February 4th, 2016.  Registration is now open and, for the first time, Sierra Commons is able to offer scholarships to qualified individuals. Nevada County’s Small Business Education Center, has received a generous donation from the Nevada City Rotary Club and a matching donation from an anonymous donor in order to provide two scholarships to Nevada County’s premier start-up incubator, Sierra Commons’ Business Ignitor.

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The Business Ignitor includes eight weeks of coursework, materials, business mentoring, as well as three months free membership to Sierra Commons’ coworking space, located in Nevada City.  The course covers everything from accounting and law, to marketing and non-traditional funding such as crowd-sourcing.  It is designed to make sure that when the course is completed, the students have the confidence and knowledge to succeed in starting and running a viable business.

“Three of the key objectives of Rotary are affirming the value of each vocation, uplifting youth and young adults, and dignifying both as opportunities to serve society,” says David Bunje, President of the Nevada City Rotary Club. “Business Ignitor courses have already made a significant impact benefiting the rich mix of enterprises in Nevada County, and the Rotary Club of Nevada City is very excited to support additional young adults who seek to channel their creativity toward being a positive, productive participant in the business life of the community.”

Sierra Commons has expanded the scope of the Business Ignitor to include a class on crowd funding and to give further information on marketing and finding your ideal client.  The class covers a wide variety of topics and is suitable for people who are looking to start a business or solo venture and for those who are currently running a small business.

Sierra Commons has been a resource for small businesses in Nevada County for over six years and understands the unique and diverse economy of the Sierra Foothills.  Past Ignitor graduates have gone on to start and manage effective businesses in a variety of industries.  Sierra Commons has helped to start successful restaurants, cottage food companies, online marketing businesses, clothing companies, design services, and more.

The per-student fee is $450 and class registration is open now.  Sierra Commons is currently taking applications for scholarships.  The application deadline for scholarship opportunities is February 1st, 2016.  If you would like to sign up for the Business Ignitor or to learn more about the scholarship program, visit the Sierra Commons website at www.sierracommons.org or call 530-265-8443.

Deadline for applications: February 1st, 2016

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First day of class: February 4th, 2016

Class is held on Thursdays 6pm-9pm for 8 weeks starting on February 4th and ending on March 31st. (No class on March 3rd.)

Please submit (in PDF format) a cover letter and an outline of your business plan or proposal to:

info@sierracommons.org

Please include (in PDF format) a list of references, current organizational affiliations, and/or any community service projects you have worked on.

Please use the title “scholarship” for your email.

This scholarship is open to students of all ages who are currently in enrolled in classes.  Applicants must be in the process of starting a small business, or currently working on a pitch idea, a solo project, or start up.

Please indicate in your cover letter why you are interested in taking Sierra Commons’ Business Ignitor and if you would be interested in pursuing the coursework, even if not awarded a scholarship.

I heard some great advice today at a workshop in Grass Valley hosted by Score, an organization dedicated to small business, similar to Sierra Commons and based out of Sacramento.  One of the workshop presenters advised business owners to find a buddy and have a conversation or, at the very least, “take yourself out to coffee once a month.”

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Community members come together at Sierra Commons.

Running a business is no easy task. It’s good to have friends to talk to.  Sierra Commons can help.

Do you want to network casually and learn from other members of the business community? Do you need a few business buddies? Do you need a few folks to bounce ideas off of? The Sierra Commons “Lunch and Learn” is open to the public and allows folks to come together for an hour once per month for a casual, low-pressure, participant-driven round table.  We meet every first Thursday of the month from 12noon-1pn at the Sierra Commons Campus: 792 A Searls Ave in Nevada City.

Our next lunch and learn is on November 6th, 2014.

This is a chance to share ideas, brain storm and voice concerns in a relaxed environment. Bring a lunch! Please join us!

There are no good jobs in Nevada County!” How often have you heard this?

At Sierra Commons, we hear this comment a lot. Members of the skilled and/or educated work force in Nevada County have found that it is easy to become frustrated with the lack of employment opportunities in our community. Many of the locally available jobs are in the service or tourist industry and don’t use trade skills, advanced skills and/or a college education. Some folks have started to diversify their scope of work to make extra money. Some people have taken on two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Frustrated by unfulfilling jobs, many people are turning to freelancing and contract work, as well as entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses. For many people frustrated with the local economy, Sierra Commons is a beacon of hope. Sierra Commons creates good jobs in Nevada County and we keep good employees local.

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Sierra Commons is probably best known for its “coworking facility,” an office space where people come together to work, exchange ideas and share in a regular professional social environment. Wikipedia offers a great definition of coworking: “It is style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded talented people in the same space.” Sierra Commons’ office space and education center is located at 792 A Searls Ave in Nevada City. We offer desk rental and day use, which includes high-speed internet and utilities. We have 20-30 regular members throughout the year and have regular visitors who drop in on a daily basis to our facility to take advantage of our office setting in order to work on a project or meet a looming deadline. We love the energy that both our members and visitors bring to our coworking facility.

In addition to offering a professional work environment for members and visitors, we are also a 501(c)(3) non-profit education center and business incubator. We offer continuing education to the public and to business professionals through classes and workshops. We offer confidential mentoring for sole-proprietors, managers, owners, employees and entrepreneurs who may be struggling with taking their skills or business to the next level, or who simply may need some guidance about a frustrating situation at work or a brush-up on business basics. Our goal is to ensure the local economic health of our community by offering education and support.

Our signature course is our Business Ignitor, a set of business incubator classes that takes entrepreneurs through the steps of creating and sustaining a healthy business, while helping established business owners to take an active role in their business’ stability and momentum. We help people get their businesses out of their garages and on to Main Street. We help people turn the hobbies that they love in to the careers they enjoy. We help people to stay in the careers they want to have and help entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.

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Sierra Commons was founded in Nevada County five years ago, during the heart of an economic recession. What emerged was a community icon for a thoughtful and strong local economy. We want to emphasize that Sierra Commons creates good jobs. We create jobs in Nevada County that people want to have, jobs that people are passionate about. It is one thing for someone to do a mechanical job with no real connection to their employment. It is far better to have an employment opportunity where the people involved in a business feel a passion for what they are doing. As Charles Eisenstein writes in his book, Sacred Economics, “Once work has become mechanical, it is in a sense too late — inhuman work might as well be done by machines.” It is not enough to simply create jobs. We must create good jobs that people want to do. Sierra Commons knows how to create good jobs.

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By providing a campus where people can come together, share ideas and get involved in a professional environment, with mentoring and professional services, ongoing education, and incubator classes, Sierra Commons is a pinnacle of economic development in Nevada County. We provide a space for employees who want to live in Nevada County but who work remotely. We provide a professional setting for freelancers, contractors and professionals who need a place to work. Sierra Commons helps start-ups and individual business people to have a space where the utilities and overhead costs are a part of a package deal, cutting down on initial cost of starting a business and allowing for businesses to be more successful in the introduction phases of doing business. Sierra Commons provides the tools for people hoping to start their own successful business. We provide an education center for all levels of business in Nevada County. Sierra Commons is not a typical entrepreneurial resource; we are a collaborative, community-focused economic program and we have a passionate commitment to see Nevada County thrive.