Author: Evelyn

Sierra Commons is excited to announce that we have named Nevada County resident, Hilary Hodge, as their Executive Director. Hilary Hodge is the first Executive Director for Sierra Commons since founder anddirector Robert Trent resigned last year. Hodge has been volunteering with Sierra Commons for the past two years and joined the Board of Directors in March of 2014. Before moving to Nevada County four years ago, Hodge had lived in Sacramento and had sat on the Board of Directors for Sacramento Pride and the California National Organization for Women. Hilary Hodge has nearly 20 years’ experience working for and running non-profit organizations.

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“Hilary Hodge has shown her commitment to the Sierra Commons’ mission and to bringing together a diverse population so that each can learn from one another,” says Board President Samantha Hinrichs. “Along with Hilary Hodge, the Sierra Commons staff, faculty, and volunteers will continue to be able to assist the continued growth of our small business community in Nevada County.”

“Hilary Hodge has been a pleasure to work with and a real driver behind the continued success of Sierra Commons”, reveals Coryon Redd, Sierra Commons Board Member. “Her attention to detail and leadership have been a real asset.”

Sierra Commons continues to offer business mentoring, classes, a work-share community and the “Ignitor” course, their signature business incubator and class series. They have a coworking facility where freelancers, contractors and remote workers can rent desk space daily and monthly. Their vibrant coworking campus fosters collaboration, peer-to-peer mentoring, support and camaraderie in a professional environment. Sierra Commons also offers conference room rentals as well as day use services.

“Sierra Commons offers an infrastructure and community that no other facility or work environment in Nevada County can offer,” says Hilary Hodge. “We are a vibrant and fun place to work where the work gets done. I’m looking forward to serving Sierra Commons in a leadership role. As a volunteer and as a board member, I have had the privilege to see Sierra Commons thrive and grow in the past two years. Our coworking facility and our classes offer an incredible resource to our community.” Hilary Hodge adds, “I’m excited to take Sierra Commons to the next level.”

In the next year, the Nevada County public, creative class and business community can look to Sierra Commons for single subject classes, the “Ignitor” course, social events and ongoing support of Nevada County’s small business community.

Sierra Commons along with the City of Nevada City is teaming up with SARTA, the Sacramento Regional Technical Alliance, to bring the Epic Beer and Geeks event to Nevada County on Thursday November 20th 6pm-8pm to be held at ol’ Republic Brewery in Nevada City.  Thursday’s event in Nevada City is being held in conjunction with four other locations in Northern California including Sacramento, Folsom, Davis and Roseville and will connect local entrepreneurs, hackers, techies, computer nerds and small business owners throughout the Northern California region.  The event is a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week and the public is invited to participate.

ol' Republic Brewery is located on Argall Way in Nevada City

ol’ Republic Brewery is located on Argall Way in Nevada City

“Nevada City is thrilled to serve as a host city for the Epic Beers and Geeks networking event in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week,” say Mark Prestwich, City Manager for Nevada City. “We are home to incredible technology talent in this region and hope budding entrepreneurs, technology professionals, and others will participate in this tremendous and cost-free opportunity.”  The City of Nevada City issued a proclamation at the City Council meeting on November 12th celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week and acknowledging Sierra Commons for the organization’s dedication to connecting and engaging technology entrepreneurs in our community.

The Epic Beer and Geeks event is a casual mixer designed to help techies around the region connect, learn, and engage.  The event is designed to foster comradery and to help connect the Nevada County tech community to the greater tech community in the Sacramento region and in Northern California.

“This event is going to be fun but it additionally gives our local talent the opportunity to connect and network with other professionals on a regional level,” says Hilary Hodge of Sierra Commons.   “We have a lot of tech savvy people who live and work in our county.  Teaming up with SARTA for Thursday’s Beer and Geeks event gives Nevada County an opportunity to showcase our talent.”  A representative from SARTA will be at the event.  The event will include video conferencing with the other events and locations.  For more information contact Sierra Commons at (530) 265-8443 or info@sierracommons.org.

At Sierra Commons, our members often impress us beyond their usual work ethic, innovation and ideas. This past weekend was one of those times. Sierra Commons members Abe Miessler and Hilary Hodge were one of 670 people who participated locally in the 17th Annual Yuba River Cleanup.

Abe Miessler helping to remove blackberries along Wolf Creek

Abe Miessler helping to remove blackberries along Wolf Creek

The Yuba River Cleanup is an annual volunteer event organized by the South Yuba River citizens League, or SYRCL. The event is in conjunction with the Great Sierra River Cleanup sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the annual Coastal Cleanup Day, a state-wide event in California. The collaboration makes the day the largest single-day volunteer event in California. More than 4,000 people volunteered their time to help clean streams, creeks, rivers, meadows and large portions of the California Coastline.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy announced in a press release that their efforts removed 55 tons of trash along Sierra Nevada rivers and watersheds. Our more locally-concentrated efforts were highlighted by SYRCL. SYRCL announced that “volunteers cheerfully removed over 15,946 pounds of trash and 2,000 pounds recyclables from 81 miles of river, creek and lake shoreline at 33 sites within the Yuba River and Bear River watersheds.”

Goldenrod, a native flowering plant threatened by invasive species.

Goldenrod, a native flowering plant threatened by invasive species.

The event focuses on trash removal but it is also an opportunity for conservation and restoration. Our Sierra Commons members, Abe and Hilary, signed up to remove—not trash—but blackberry bushes from a meadow along Wolf Creek. The meadow is an important part of the watershed ecosystem, allowing for safe overflow and absorption during the rainy season. The blackberry bushes inhibit the distribution of water along the meadow and may possibly create water diversions that could damage or destroy sensitive environments. By clearing the blackberries, a non-native invasive species, volunteers made way for the natural flow of water into the meadow.

The group of volunteers.

The group of volunteers.

Way to go Abe Miessler and Hilary Hodge!

INTUIT FUTURE OF SMALL BUSINESS REPORT

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Today’s passion-driven hobbyists breed many of tomorrow’s small businesses. Stemming from the “maker movement”, (described in this report), and enabled by technology, these hobbypreneurs – both knowledge and craft-based – are leading a new generation of entrepreneurs who increasingly take the step to turn fun into profit.

6 reasons why hobbypreneurs are thriving:

  • It’s easier and cheaper to make things
  • It’s easier and cheaper to run a niche business
  • Online hobby social networks and web sites enable and empower small business makers
  • The down economy is driving up the need for part-time and niche businesses
  • Baby boomers are turning to small business based on their hobbies and passions
  • Growing interest in sustainability and unusual products spurs demand for customized goods

Hobbypreneurs mean business. Inspired by the unique convergence of technology, economic and geographic trends, they will continue to grow in numbers and influence, creating new niche products and markets in the U.S. and abroad. These frugal, tech- savvy, green-oriented, out-of-the-box thinkers are creating new business methods, models and processes. And along the way, they are spurring growth and innovation in the small business marketplace.

 If you’re a local maker, check out  Nevada County Makes, an online community for local crafters, artists and makers to tell people who they are, and what they make. It is also a place to sell arts, crafts and gadgets made in Nevada County.

Also visit The Curious Forge, a local Makers Space for hobbyists and hobbypreneurs to get their groove on.

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The A.P.P.L.E. Center is hosting their May mixer at Sierra Commons, and the community is invited. Have you seen the wisteria blooming on our patio, or taken a ride on one of our tire swings? Now’s your chance! Join the A.P.P..L.E. folks and Sierra Commons members for a relaxing evening on our beautiful Nevada City campus.
Come talk about sustainable living, sustainable playing and sustainable working. Promote your project or small business, learn what others are doing, find opportunities and make new connections. Community is warmly welcomed!

Join us for our first members presentation night!

Hosted by Rob Sheldon, No Problem

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Steve’s scan converter card after debugging.

Steve Knapp has been working on a remote “call home” electronics project that works over the plain ol’ telephone service. There’s some more information about it at http://www.steveknapp.org/Pages/CallHome.html

Steve has a solid amount of electronics experience, including prototyping his own boards and surface-mounting ICs. He also came up with a creative solution for squeezing an 8-bit bidirectional IO bus out of a board with only 10 data pins. (Steve, is that right? I’m guessing you did some bitmasking magic?)

A good event to attend for those getting started in component electronics, and a chance to hear about a really neat home-brewed home automation setup. Social time from 6:30 to 7, then Steve’s the boss from there on out.

RSVP and meetup contact info here.

Hack Night Returns to the Commons

Thursday, May 2, 5-8pm

hacknite

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.

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