ROHNERT PARK The business incubator at Codding Enterprises Sonoma Mountain Village has reason for a bang-up first birthday party on Tuesday. Its already outperformed most new incubators.
The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, an experiment on the part of developer Codding Enterprises and county high-tech leaders, is at 60 percent occupancy, with 22 companies. By the end of the year it should be at capacity, according to Executive Director Michael Newell.
It has definitely exceeded our expectations, said Mr. Newell. It proves there was a market need in this region for a hub, a center for entrepreneurs.
For early-stage startups, the business cluster serves up a tantalizing menu of perks and services, including class A office space at market rates, coaching and mentoring by seasoned executives, access to their extensive business networks and bi-weekly seminars on business basics.
Along with that comes a package of professional legal and accounting services worth anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000.
And when theyre ready to raise venture capital, we give them intensive training on how to present themselves and their business plan, and then use our relationships with local angel groups and other investors to give them a hearing, said Mr. Newell. Above all is the opportunity to work in close proximity to other entrepreneurs, he said.
Lauren Elliot, founder of Web 2.0 startup Personal News Network and the incubators first tenant, said thats one of the best aspects of the business cluster.
PNN is a social networking company, and we love the opportunity to develop close relationships with our fellow tenants. Its a pleasure to walk down the hall and see what other people are up to, he said.
Those people are up to a broad range of high-tech activities, with a focus on clean, sustainable technology.
CaseHomePage has a paper-saving legal case document management solution; Root Concepts offers Web marketing to green businesses; Mosaic Assist is developing a way to improve patient care in assisted-living facilities.