CIE extends two of its flagship programs to North County entrepreneurial facility, THE SANDBOX Paso Robles

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation for Entrepreneurship (CIE) is expanding — bringing its Incubator program and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to THE SANDBOX Paso Robles, a resource center for North County entrepreneurs.

The two programs have been at the forefront of technology, innovation and economic development in San Luis Obispo County. The CIE will host an open house for its new partnership with the facility at 1345 Park St. from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sep. 1. RSVP on Eventbrite at cieopenhouse.eventbrite.com.

The SBDC, a top resource for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, offers no-cost, expert one-on-one business consulting, training and online courses in startup assistance, debt and equity funding, sales and marketing. The center has 35 consultants with a wide array of business and entrepreneurial backgrounds and expertise.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

This SBDC outreach center — located in the heart of downtown Paso Robles — will provide programs and events to benefit the North County small business community. These include:

-Marketing: Tackling Social Media, Marketing Plan and Strategy, and Branding

-Sales: Customer Development, Growing Sales and Implementing Sales Teams

-HR: Hiring, Employee Benefits and Employee Retention

-Legal: Patents and Trademarks, Incorporating, and Equity Funding

-Startups: Pitch Deck Development and Introduction to Investors

-Funding: Bank Loans, Angel and Venture Funding, and Crowdfunding

-Finance: Projections and Quickbooks

-Operations: Supply Chain Management and Process Improvement

“While our SBDC services cover all of San Luis Obispo County, we are excited to offer new and existing clients a dedicated space for programming closer to their base of operations,” said Judy Mahan, the CIE SBDC economic development director. “THE SANDBOX Paso Robles space has provided a unique opportunity for us to focus on programming specific to the agricultural and hospitality industries that make up the core of their business community.”

The CIE Incubator is a two-year program that includes everything needed for early-stage companies to develop into financially stable, high-growth enterprises by providing the tools, training, and infrastructure that help facilitate smarter and faster growth.

While technology and innovation are the focus, other businesses are accepted and encouraged to apply, including but not limited to: CleanTech; AgTech; MedTech; and Aerospace. Applications are open year-round at bit.ly/cieincubator.

The new CIE location will house startups in the AgTech industry. Companies in the program will have dedicated office space at THE SANDBOX, a collaborative business center, coworking space, shared office and event space, and the CIE will provide access to resources such as membership mixers and an invaluable peer network.

THE SANDBOX Paso Robles, which opened in October 2019, is a community of entrepreneurs, technology, and creative professionals focusing on creating technology solutions, lifestyle brands, and a lifestyle of their own that is uniquely Californian.

“We are excited to host the CIE Incubator and Small Business Development Center programs in our space and kick off a great partnership with the Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” said Kyle Ashby, SANDBOX founder. “Having a number of AgTech companies and mentors at THE SANDBOX in addition to the support of CIE and the SBDC is a great way to build on our mutual goals of supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, small businesses and new ventures in both Paso Robles and the Central Coast region.”

To learn more about these programs, visit cie.calpoly.edu.