MENDOCINO Co., 5/13/19 — Many studies have show that locally-owned businesses keep money in the local economy — when you support local merchants, you’re also supporting local jobs, and the money you spend stays local and circulates many times over. Although Mendocino County’s economy is in transition, there are many exciting new efforts to start new businesses and services that will serve our residents and help grow our communities.
Here at The Mendocino Voice, we believe in the importance of locally-owned businesses, which is why we started our online newspaper, to try to create a countywide, locally-owned, alternative to the hedge-fund controlled newspapers that dominate the North Coast.
Now, there’s a new opportunity for local businesses: a new business startup competition, Startup Mendocino, which will offer 12 local businesses the opportunity to participate in a business boot-camp, and then compete for the chance to pitch their idea and win cash prizes up to $10,000. The applications are open to both existing businesses with a new idea, as well as to people who are planning to start a new business here in Mendocino County.
Applications open today and will close on June 10; after that, the selected businesses will attend preparatory workshops to develop their ideas before competing onstage at an event this coming August. The winner will receive $10,000, as well as additional prizes, and second and third place winners will receive $5,000 and $2,500. All selected businesses will also participate in three free workshops to help them develop their idea, business plan, and pitch.
The competition is organized by West Business Development Center, and the John and Sandra Mayfield Family Economic Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, and supported by a number of local businesses, including Adventist Health, Mendocino College, the Ukiah, Willits, and Mendocino Coast Chambers of Commerce, North Coast Brewing Company, Savings Bank of Mendocino, Harvest Market, and KOZT. Here’s a link to some FAQs about the project, and more details are included in the full press release below.
Full disclosure: The Mendocino Voice has been a client of the Women’s Business Center at West Business Development Center since founding our business in September, 2016, and we’ve found their assistance to be invaluable in getting our news service up and running. We recommend anyone interested in growing a local business contact them to learn about what resources are available.
Here’s the full announcement, including the link to the application:
STARTUP MENDOCINO LAUNCHES TODAY CASH PRIZES OF $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500
Business Pitch Competition from the West Business Development Center and John and Sandra Mayfield Family Economic Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County
Look to Foster Small Business Growth
Fort Bragg and Ukiah, California – West Business Development Center and the John and Sandra Mayfield Family Economic Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County are excited to announce the inaugural launch of Startup Mendocino.
Startup Mendocino is a series of intense Business Bootcamp trainings culminating in a live pitch showcase gala event for Mendocino County entrepreneurs to present to the community their companies and ideas. Geared to foster innovation and spark new thinking about what is possible in Mendocino County, the competition is designed to support and accelerate new businesses in our local community. With training from expert instructors in finance, marketing and branding, participants will compete for a $10,000 grand prize, $5,000 second prize and $2,500 third prize as well as other prizes.
Startup Mendocino mobilizes Mendocino County resources in support of start- ups and growing businesses by showcasing local entrepreneurs who have great ideas with potential to stimulate the economy.
Mary Anne Petrillo, the CEO of West Business Development Center notes, “Our county is filled with creative and talented people and businesses of all kinds. Understanding how to talk about your idea is crucial for the success of any business. It includes knowledge of the problem to be solved, the market that is available, anticipated profits and how the business will benefit the community. Our goal is to foster small business growth and potential, because when small businesses succeed, we all benefit.”
John Mayfield says, “Over the years, I have started, sold, and been involved in many small businesses from retail lumber, to agriculture technology in Mendocino County. Our whole family is an entrepreneurial bunch. We wanted to get involved with Startup Mendocino to help entrepreneurs to get started and encouraging people to take that risk and take the plunge. You’ll fail sometimes, but you will win more than you will lose. Supporting that entrepreneurial and risk-taking spirit is an important task for all of us and we look forward to seeing the entrepreneurs who compete in Startup Mendocino.”
Jason Wells, President of Adventist Health Howard Memorial and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, agrees. “We’re proud to be part of this innovative program as it ties in with our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our community. As one of the largest organizations in Mendocino County and a significant driver of economic development, we are eager to support the entrepreneurial spirit of our small businesses as they bring essential growth to our region. Studies have shown that health is determined in part by access to social and economic opportunities, specifically the resources and supports available in our homes and neighborhoods. Much like hospitals, small businesses are vital to our communities, providing much needed jobs and services. We are thrilled to help make Mendocino County a healthier, thriving place to live.”
Scott Yandell, CEO and President, Savings Bank of Mendocino County notes, “As a financial institution, the success of Savings Bank is inextricably linked to the economic success of our county. We continually seek opportunities to support initiatives that will benefit the economic well being of the community. Startup Mendocino is an innovative program that holds the promise of stimulating both current and long-term economic growth that will provide broad benefits to the quality of life in the area. This project is consistent with the Bank’s 115-year mission of helping local entrepreneurs and businesses succeed. We are very excited to be a part of this effort.”
President Arturo Reyes of Mendocino College says, “We are pleased to sponsor Startup Mendocino in partnership with West Business Development Center. Mendocino College embraces its role as an intellectual, economic, and cultural anchor for the region and is committed to graduating students who are workforce ready and prepared to attain living wages. We are thrilled to be part of this innovative initiative that will foster social mobility and fuel our regional economies.”
Jennifer Owen, Chief Financial Officer of North Coast Brewery, adds “North Coast Brewery is very pleased to be a part of the inaugural Start-Up Mendocino event. We are no longer a small business, but the entrepreneurial spirit and characteristics of innovation, independence and resilience have always been and are still central to North Coast Brewing Company’s work. Let the competition begin!”
Jennifer Bosma, Vice President of Harvest Market also support this view, “At Harvest Market we believe our local economy thrives when local entrepreneurs are able to successfully start a new and unique business within our county. We support many local businesses throughout the county and sell many local products in our stores. We look forward to continuing to help new local businesses in our county.”
Open to all who have a business idea or a business in Mendocino County, this program will accept 12 applicants to participate in three Business Bootcamp pitch trainings with expert instructors in marketing, finance and branding: June 24, July 8, July 22 and go on to compete for a $10,000 cash first prize from the John and Sandra Mayfield Family Economic Development Fund, $5,000 cash second prize from Adventist Hospital, $2,500 third prize from Savings Bank of Mendocino, as well as other prizes.
On August 25th at a public gala event at Mendocino College Theater in Ukiah, five of the finalists will compete for cash prizes.
How it works:
Fill out an application online by going to: https://www.westcenter.org/startup-mendo/
Business Selection May 13 – June 10
12 businesses will be selected. Those twelve will attend the West Business Development Center Business Bootcamp.
Business Bootcamp June 24 – July 22
A series of three four-hour workshops taking place through June to July. The Business Bootcamp will have sessions on marketing, finances, vision and most importantly, how to pitch your business idea to anyone.
Semi-finalist Round August 4
In early August, these 12 businesses will pitch their ideas to a live panel of judges at an invite-only event at North Coast Brewery. Five will be selected to go on to the final round.
Finalist Round and Live Public Event August 25
3-6 pm, Open to the Public
At a gala event on August 25th at Mendocino College Theater, the five finalists will pitch their business before a live audience who will vote on who wins the cash prizes.
Who is eligible to apply:
Anyone who has a business or business idea in Mendocino County, is looking to hone their business skills and compete for cash prizes.
How to apply:
To apply, click here or visit this URL: https://www.westcenter.org/startup-mendoAnchor Sponsors:
The John and Sandra Mayfield Family Economic Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, $10,000 cash first prize and marketing and program support for West Business Development Center
Adventist Hospital, $5,000 cash second prize
Savings Bank of Mendocino County, $2,500 third prize and $2,500 for the gala
Mendocino College, Gala event
North Coast Brewery, Semi-final event
Harvest Market, Gala event
The Community Foundation of Mendocino County is a county-wide nonprofit organization that administers permanent charitable funds established through gifts and bequests from individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations. Our mission is to offer people effective ways to engage in advancing the well-being of our communities. http://www.communityfound.org/
The John and Sandra Mayfield Family Economic Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County was established by John and Sandra Mayfield to increase the prosperity of communities and individuals in Mendocino County through business and community development, education and entrepreneurship support.http://www.communityfound.org/for-donors/donate-today/economic-development- related-funds/john-and-sandra-mayfield-family-economic-development-fund/
Adventist Health Howard Memorial offers person-focused care that meets your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Serving patients throughout Willits and the surrounding areas, we maintain a commitment to improving the general health and well-being of our community. https://www.adventisthealth.org/howard-memorial/
As the local community bank, Savings Bank of Mendocino County offers a variety of deposit accounts and a comprehensive range of personal, commercial, agricultural and mortgage loan options to meet the needs of families and businesses in Lake and Mendocino Counties. Decisions are made locally and their staff is committed to providing outstanding hometown service. When depositors entrust their funds to Savings Bank, they can be assured that they are supporting the local economy and benefiting the communities that they live in and care about. Beyond banking services, Savings Bank invests in the future of our community through financial and volunteer support to strengthen the quality of life. https://www.savingsbank.com
Established in 1973, Mendocino College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, is a vibrant and inclusive academic community rich in culture, creativity, diversity, and cutting-edge technology. A fully accredited two-year community college, the District serves more than 5,000 students across 4 campuses in the greater parts of Lake and Mendocino Counties. https://www.mendocino.edu/
Harvest Market, a family-owned business started by Tom Honer in May 1985, began as a single, traditional grocery store and has evolved into three stores that reflect a unique blend of conventional, specialty, organic, domestic, international, and local products. To continue the family tradition and expand the vision, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Tim Bosma joined the business in 2005. Their focus has included community support and sustainability practices. https://www.harvestmarket.com/
Other sponsors:Press release from West Business Development Center, May 10, 2019.
Ukiah Chamber of Commerce, http://ukiahchamber.com/
Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, http://mendocinocoast.com/Willits Chamber of Commerce, https://willits.org/
KOZT, The Coast, 95.3 and 95.9, https://www.kozt.com/
Founded in 1988, as West Company, West Business Development Center (WestBDC) rebranded in 2018. It is a non-profit Small Business Development Center serving Mendocino and Lake Counties with offices in Ukiah and Fort Bragg. West BDC offers free business advising and low-cost workshops to small businesses of one to 100 people.http://www.westcenter.org. Funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and host to the Mendocino Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Mendocino Woman’s Business Center (WBC).
To connect with a free business advisor or sign up for a workshop, call (707) 964-7571 or get started here: https://www.westcenter.org/getting-started