Category: incubator

Sierra Commons is offering our signature six-week course to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams of launching and growing their business. Known as the “Business Ignitor Course” the course consists of six 3 hour evening sessions starting Thursday September 18th at 6:00 pm at the Sierra Commons office located at 792 Searls Ave, Suite A in Nevada City. More than a business-plan workshop, the course brings together a group of motivated entrepreneurs and guides them through all of the steps needed to create a thriving enterprise.

Sierra Commons Classroom

Sierra Commons Classroom

This will be the sixth time that Sierra Commons has offered their Business Ignitor Course but the first time that it will be held in the evening. Building on the success of previous Business Ignitor Courses, the curriculum has been refined and tailored to serve our unique business community. As an additional perk, Sierra Commons is providing three months of free membership at their co-working facility to top performing graduates.  Sierra Commons will continue mentoring and housing these graduates to further increase their business success rate.

The Ignitor course was important to me for filling in the business-related gaps in my knowledge,” says Nick Santos, Ignitor graduate and current Sierra Commons member. “As the Executive Director of Environmental Consumer, a nonprofit that enables real, measurable reductions in environmental impact, I could manage the technical and organizational side. With the Business Ignitor course, I learned a better way to track clients and to think about business information.”

Mixer at Sierra Commons

Mixer at Sierra Commons

Whether someone is hoping to start a new business, or is looking for a way to revitalize an on-going project, the Business Ignitor is a great opportunity for budding entrepreneurs. It is also a wonderful way for struggling business owners to receive the mentoring and collaboration needed to make a business thrive. The course’s approach is action-based and covers topics including business planning, market analysis, marketing strategies, finance, budgeting, web, business law and more.  Course faculty are seasoned professionals who teach weekly classes, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to each topic.  Students also meet with mentors for special one-on-one sessions and for group discussions. Small businesses benefit from collaborative entrepreneurship and Sierra Commons offers exactly that.

Sierra Commons serves the community in a variety of ways. For membership, class enrollment, to rent the conference room or to get more information, please call the Sierra Commons at (530) 265-8443 or email


Howdy Sierra Commoners,

Glad you are coming to our party this Thursday, Sept.19.  From 5:30 -8:30pm.

First off, I want to give a big shout out to our sponsors


ol republic logo

 Miner Moe's Pizza

Now let’s get down to business.  Here is what you need to know:

  • No need to RSVP, just show up.  Directions
  • Come on time.  Salon sessions start promptly at 5:30.
    • Technology discussion in main building downstairs.  Ask for Abe.
    • Social Entrepreneurship in main building upstairs.  Ask for Vanessa
    • Current world trend in main building.  Ask for Hilary.
    • Lean LaunchPad -How to Build a Startup in the studio. Ask for Robert
  • Schedule of events goes like this:

5:30: Come
5:31: Get a drink and think
5:32: Eat Miner Moe’s Pizza
5:32 – 6:32: Pick a salon topic- technology, social entrepreneurship, start ups
6:33: Get a drink and think. Eat some more pizza
6:32 – 7:12: Presentations- Robert Trent, Benji Brown Studio B Flat, Jim Harte from Ol’ Republic Brewery
7:12-8:30: Free Play

Other important things to know and do:

Even More information:

The Union Article from Today’s Paper

Come. Drink. Think.


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

Sierra Commons member Benji Brown of Studio B Flat Games has just launched his Kickstarter campaign to help him complete his mobile game Bronto Blast. 

In the game, Bronto, avid astronomer-astronaut apatosaurus, must save all the dino eggs of the world before the incoming ASTEROID hits his planet!

Please help Benji and his team get the game to market.

With a small donation, you get a free version of the game for your iPhone.




Sierra Commons member Benji Brown of Studio B Flat Games has just launched his Kickstarter campaign to help him complete his mobile game Bronto Blast. 

In the game, Bronto, avid astronomer-astronaut apatosaurus, must save all the dino eggs of the world before the incoming ASTEROID hits his planet!

Please help Benji and his team get the game to market.


YourBiz Blueprint

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

You have knowledge and expertise. There is a world-wide audience that wants it. The challenge is connecting your brain to those people, right?

Sierra Commons is proud to present a fun, intimate, and experiential 8-week class called YourBiz Blueprint.

This class is led by 4-time world juggling champion Barry Friedman.

Over the past 4 years Barry has taken his knowledge and expertise about booking his show for high-paying clients around the world and created two very profitable online membership sites.

Barry says, "If I can do it for clowns, jugglers, ventriloquists, and magicians, you can do it in your field of expertise – guaranteed!"

barry video

During the class, which begins on October 22nd and runs for 8 Monday nights, you'll go 'under the hood' of his programs and see how he:

  • builds a list of eager prospects
  • creates a relationship that is based on service
  • delivers value before they've ever spent a dime
  • creates his course (it's 52-weeks long,100% automated, and highly-respected)
  • created a higher priced group coaching program that has sold-out 3 times in a row and is now an automated product he sells
  • And so many steps in between

There is more guidance and hand-holding in this course that anything we have ever offered and it's a one-time opportunity. He's testing this program here at Sierra Commons before taking it online at 4-times the prices of this live offering.

This class will not be a bunch of theory! It will be 100% based on application as he''ll use his real-life sites as the teaching material.

What you should have:

  • Expertise in some field of interest that isn't so obscure you're alone in your love for it

  • A passion to serve a world-wide audience that is hungry for knowledge

  • A fearless attitude towards creating and delivering your knowledge (you'll learn how – just don't be meek!)

  • Some understanding of technology (web browsers, own a computer with a microphone, maybe know someone with a video camera, etc)

  • An open mind about one day being considered a leader in your field. It happened to Barry and he warns that it could happen to you!

In addition to the Monday night class there will be a Friday "Open House" where Barry will hold Q&A, case studies, work with your project as a demo for the class, and show you how to focus your message.
You can see Barry in action, talking about this program at Put in your name and email and you'll get all 3 videos. This will give you some insight as to what you can expect from this very special, live class.
Class size is limited to 15-students and he will personally interview each applicant before they are accepted.

Want more info?  Check out this detailed Life Legacy Project interview.

Tuition: $497

Application deadline: October 10th

Please complete all questions below

Registration Closed


Sebastian has been visiting Sierra Commons with his father Chris for some time now.  We are pleased to announce that our mentoring is paying off and that we now have an exciting new company in Nevada County. 

NerfTech's new NH1 allows you to attach laser pointers, flashlights, and other accessorys to your Nerf Gun using an innovative attachment device. The NH1 Nerf Gun accessory holder is targeted towards the millions of kids that mount cool accessories like laser pointers, scopes, cameras, spotlights, and silly string to their toy guns.

NerfTech is launcing a Kickstarter campaign to help take the company to the next level.  Check out the video below and visit the NerfTech page to see great pictures of Sebastian's patent-pending invention.



1. Write One Sentence

Time: 1 minute  Cost: $0  Outcome: Awareness

Help us help Nevada County. Tell your community why you think Sierra Commons is important to you and our local economy.  Please use the comments section below.

2. Come to Nevada City City Council Meeting Tonight

Time: 60 minutes  Cost: $0  Outcome: Civic Engagement

Tonight the Nevada City Council will consider a proposal to locate Sierra Commons' education, business incubation and co-working programs to the Nevada City Veterans' Building.

Working with the local VFW, we have identified the Veterans' Building as a great, but underutilized, public asset. Our plan (pt1 pages 16-24, pt 2), while still only an outline, is one that we think will benefit the whole community. It will improve Sierra Commons' ability to help local residents create economic opportunities for themselves, while respecting veterans' use of the building and its role as a useful community space.

Location: Nevada City City Hall
Time: Meeting starts at 6:30pm.  7:30pm is a safe time to show up.

3. Set a Lunch Date

Time: 75 minutes  Cost: $10 suggested donation   Outcome: Business education and networking

Sierra Commons Lunch & Learn series includes a presentation or roundtable discussion by some of our area’s leading business professionals.  Events are held each Tuesday from 12-1:15 in the Sierra Commons conference room.  Our next session is October 2nd? and is hosted by Pamela Biery.  Pamela will cover marketing strategies that pull together your web, PR and social media marketing.

4. Make a Financial Donation

Time: 3 minutes  Cost: $1-$1B  Outcome: A more resilient local economy

Make your tax-deductible donations now and help Sierra Commons help our local economy.  

Visit us online and click on the "Donate" button on the top right of our site.

5. Set your Passions into Action

Time: 5 minutes to register  Cost: Starting at $25  Outcome: Gaining tools to follow your passion

Sierra Commons is a proud sponsor of the upcoming Passion Into Action conference  Friday – Sunday October 12-14, 2012.

In serving as a platform for the voices of women in a variety of disciplines, the Passion into Action Conference™ (PIA) creates a space for women to meet, network, and explore ideas.  Attendees are inspired to identify their passion, support a passion, collaborate, network and more. Most importantly PIA provides tools and avenues to help shift concepts & ideas into action.

6. Get Ignited

Time: 5 minutes to register  Cost: $350 (a $1,500 value)  Outcome: Becoming an inspired local business owner

Starting October 24, 2012, Sierra Commons will present a six-week course to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams and launch a business.  More than a business plan workshop, this intensive course brings together a group of motivated entrepreneurs, and guides them through the steps needed to launch a business.

Register here

7. Support Local Business

Time: 20 minutes  Cost: $-$$$  Outcome: A stronger local economy

One of the greatest things an individual can do to support his or her local community is to patronize its locally owned businesses. Compared to their national competitors, local independent businesses recycle more money back into the local economy and give greater support to a community’s nonprofit and civic needs. They are better positioned to respond to the special needs of the community, and they are more tied to the community’s future. Additionally, unlike a homogenized Anyplace, USA, a community with vibrant independent businesses retains its unique character as a great place to live and visit.

Get going now with this handy list of local businesses Sierra Commons has helped launch.

8.  Jazz Yourself Up

Time: 5 minutes to register  Cost: $497  Outcome: Becoming an inspired local business owner

Think about how you can blend your inspiration, skills, and entrepreneurial aspirations.   Then write down the top three ideas you come up with.  Now narrow the list down to one amazing idea.  Then take one step TODAY to move forward.

Optional: Consider registering for our newest class offering YourBiz Blueprint.  We will help you create a web presence that allows you to earn a great living while following your passion.


Congratulations.  The actions you are taking now are making Nevada County a better place to live.

If you have other simple ways people can help our local economy, we want to hear from you.  Please post your comments below.