SONOMA COUNTY’S FIRST BUSINESS INCUBATOR OPENS

Rohnert Park, CA (March 30, 2007)

Sonoma County’s first business incubator opens today with an Open House reception at their new 29,000 square foot facility at 1300 Valley House Drive. The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster is a sector-focused business incubator concentrating on two technology sectors: Sustainable Resources and Socially-Relevant Technologies. The theme of these sectors is social responsibility and both have considerable promise for economic growth in the region and nationwide.

The Sustainable Resources sector will serve to advance Sonoma County’s strong history of sustainable practices by developing technologies, products and competencies in areas such as; Clean and Renewable Energy; Alternative Fuels; Green Building Materials and Techniques; Sustainable and Organic Agriculture and Food Processing; Environmental Approaches to the Wine Industry; Transportation; Air Quality; Water Conservation, Monitoring and Treatment; Natural Resource Management; Waste Management; and Innovative Environmental Products and Technologies.

The Socially-Relevant Technologies sector is expected to launch new technologies and products for the solution of numerous societal issues. Areas of focus include Medical, Dental, Healthcare, Software, Information Technology, Telecommunications, Security and Advanced Materials technologies.

The incubator at the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster is much more than executive office suites. In addition to a complete physical infrastructure, it offers a comprehensive set of entrepreneurial assistance services. Premier services include one-on-one mentoring and coaching, guidance by the Advisory Board and introduction to investment sources. The incubator has been under development for the past year and is ready to start operations in April.

Jerry Gladstone, the first executive director of Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, who is now transitioning to a part-time role,  says “that the incubator will serve as the nexus of a new, innovative, entrepreneurial community growing in Sonoma County”.

The incubator project has generated excitement in the community and has received financial and in-kind support from many organizations. Rohnert Park has contributed funding to support the building of the Incubator in the form of a $500,000 loan with a 10 year term. Dan Schwarz, Assistant Rohnert Park City Manager, said: “The new business incubator is an exciting project that promises to benefit Rohnert Park in a myriad of ways, we are pleased that the City can be a key partner in its development.” The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster is also building alliances with many of the government, educational and business organizations in the region.

For more information please visit www.somobc.org 

About SMBC
The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster (SMBC) is a non-profit business incubator specializing in sustainable resources and socially-relevant technologies. Its function is to assist entrepreneurs and startup companies in achieving success through provision of infrastructure, training, management assistance, financial resources, and support networks. Its further mission is to stimulate regional economic development through entrepreneurship and enterprise development – contributing to the re-invigoration of Sonoma County’s technology industry, and creating value-added jobs for the local region through the commercialization of technology.