April 2013

Hack Night Returns to the Commons

Thursday, May 2, 5-8pm


Knock out Background Projects and Meet other Devs

For all of you who are interested in tinkering, we'll have a few Arduino Learning Kits on hand to play with.

Come to Sierra Commons – bring a computer – and work on whatever project you're excited about in a social, but productive atmosphere. There will be no awards or prizes, just a place to work on a project, meet and catch up with other developers, find project partners, and have an evening out.
Community welcome, attendance is by donation.
Click HERE for more information, and to register.
Sponsored by No Problem

Is Entrepenuership the Right Path for You?

Sponsored by SCORE Sacramento and the Nevada County ERC, Co-Sponsored by Sierra Commons

WHEN: Thursday, May 16, 5:30-7:30pm

WHERE: Nevada County Association of Realtors Esterly Hall, 336 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley, CA

This class is a great place to begin if you want to start a business. Many people who are thinking about starting a business, mistakenly concentrate on the wrong issues up front, and end up wasting too much time and money.

SCORE will help you evaluate all of the elements involved, allowing you to take the right steps in the right order.

We will also introduce you to a formula that all successful companies follow. Be sure to take this class before you make any long-term commitments e.g. leases or loans.

Who should attend?

Anyone who is thinking of starting a business or is busy writing a business plan.

What will you learn?

What to do first if you want to start a business. If you don’t get the foundation right, you know the like result. Doing this correctly, however, will enable your business to survive the twists and turns of an unforgiving market place.

Register HERE to reserve your free space.

Presented by Greg Barker, CPA

QuickBooks is the #1 rated small business financial software that organizes finances, tracks sales and expenses, and makes tax time easier.

In this introductory class, Greg Barker, CPA, will be demonstrating how QuickBooks is used to set up a chart of accounts, reconcile a checking account, create and print invoices, receipts, and statements, track payables, inventory, and receivables, create estimates, and generate reports.

Topics will also include:

  • Comparing other software and accounting options to QuickBooks
  • Why QuickBooks is the industry standard
  • Various QuickBook versions, and  how to determine which one is right for your business
  • Time, effort and initial expense involved to incorporate QuickBooks into your accounting system
  • What QuickBooks can save you in the long run – monetarily, and in peace of mind at tax time

If you’re using spreadsheets or manual methods, you’re likely spending more time on your books than you need to. Come to this free Sierra Commons class to see QuickBooks in action, and discover if it’s the right accounting program for your small business.

This event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. Bring your lunch and learn something to move your business forward.

Please RSVP, seating is limited.

Sierra Commons is a non-profit organization. Donations to help sustain the Lunch and Learn workshops are warmly appreciated.

If you’re already using QuickBooks and want to take your QB skills to the next level, learn about new features, get tips, have questions or need hands on help, Greg will be teaching a series of QB workshops and holding live workshops at Sierra Commons.

The community is invited to celebrate entrepreneurship with us as we launch our newest Business Ignitor Course graduates

NomadBScanNomadic Membership is Back with Introductory Rates

Freelancers, Startups and Entrepreneurs, get plugged into Sierra Commons with a Nomadic Membership for only $125/month.

What you get: blazing fast internet, the amenities of a full office including printer/scanner/fax, two hours per month conference or classroom use, kitchen stocked with coffee & tea, access to business mentors at no charge, option to join a peer accountability team, mail hold (plus a Nevada City business address), and a discount on all Sierra Commons-produced classes or workshops.

Month-to-month, and no lease to sign, nomadic members are welcome to any available open desk during regular business hours (or when a keyholder is present).  If you decide you want 24/7 access and prefer a dedicated desk, you can upgrade to a Resident Membership at any time.

It’s time to get out of the house (and free up your dining room again). Come work with other entrepreneurs and freelancers in a productive, professional and social environment. You’ll get more done. Better.

How to lure ‘angels’ to help your small business grow

Vanessa Richardson profile photoJournalist Vanessa Richardson, Richardson Writing, Sierra Commons Resident Member

Investors look for firms with a solid business plan, adaptable and knowledgeable leaders

You’ve bootstrapped your company as much as you can, and tapped out friends and family for funds, but you’re not ready to approach a venture capital firm. Where do you get more money to grow?

So-called angel investors can help bridge that gap.

Read full article at Sacramento Business Journal.


Insider's Guide to How to Fund Your Startup

Insider's Guide to How to Fund Your Startup

Journalist Vanessa Richardson, Richardson Writing, Sierra Commons Resident Member

How you fund your startup will play a deciding role in the company you build.

What kind of company are you starting? How much upfront money do you need to get it going? And how long will it take for you to earn revenue and achieve basic operational profitability?

Other funding-related articles Vanessa Richardson has written for Entrepreneur Magazine.


Eventbrite - Introduction to New Product Development

June 3, June 17 & July 1: 2-5pm
Professor Russell Rudin, Ph.D.

In most cases, entrepreneurship consists of starting a new company, obtaining financing and developing a new product. In this three-part series, you will learn the basic new product development process, which emphasizes integrating marketing and technical dimensions into a viable offering. Structured methods for defining and analyzing information during the fuzzy early stages will be covered in detail.

The course will cover:

  • The overall new product development process
  • Tools and techniques to use in each phase
  • Clearly defining the opportunity
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • New trends in the product development process
  • Brief introduction to integrating the new product development process into project management planning

If you aspire to create a product, already have one in development, or want to supplement your product line – this series of classes will give you the tools to become successful in the new product development aspect of entrepreneurship.

$125 for the full series
($99 Sierra Commons members)

Eventbrite - Introduction to New Product Development

Dr. Rudin has 16 years’ experience as a professor at Santa Clara University in their Engineering Management Department. He developed and currently teaches their graduate curriculum in new product development and management of technology. Many of his students are entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley area.

He is co-founder and president of Ximatek, Inc. and founder and director of the Tech Venture Network of Ridgecrest – with over ten ventures in the process ranging from robotics to cosmetics. As part of his Network activities, Dr. Rudin founded Global Need Water Technology Inc., which is currently in final negotiations with a large investor to produce a high-efficiency solar desalination system. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Sierra Commons wishes to announce to the Nevada County community that during the Sierra Commons board of directors meeting on March 21, 2013, Robert Trent announced his resignation as the organization’s Executive Director. He will, however, continue to serve as a valued board member.

A message from Robert follows:

Sierra Commons was born from a need in our local community to have a supportive business space, allowing people to transform their entrepreneurial ideas into reality. Sierra Commons has allowed these trend setters to pursue their dreams while meeting the needs of our community. We exist to foster economic growth from the inside out, making Nevada County a better place to live.

As founder and Executive Director of Sierra Commons I was able to help the organization mature through the creation of a strong board, the implementation of effective programs, and the introduction of co-working into Nevada County. With the help of many volunteers, the vision of Sierra Commons is now a reality.

Moving to our new location on Searls Avenue has helped create both the physical and organizational space for emerging and seasoned leaders to assume important roles within the organization. While Sierra Commons’ community is stepping up and becoming more engaged, I must turn more of my focus to my new role as Executive Director of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council.

I am continuing my role on Sierra Commons’ board of directors, and am dedicated to being present as the organization continues its growth.

Robert Trent
April 10, 2013

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Sierra Commons is a business incubator providing a vibrant co-working space for Nevada County entrepreneurs and freelancers, and small business education open to the community. You can get involved by becoming a co-working member, taking a class, or volunteering your business expertise to help build our programs. Visit sierracommons.org or call (530) 265-8443 for more information.