Grind­ing out a spot at the top

SCV Google’s Startup Grind among most ac­tive chap­ters in US; for­mer NBA All-Star to speak at next meet­ing

The Signal - - BUSINESS - By Ja­son Schaff Sig­nal Edi­tor

The Santa Clarita Val­ley chap­ter of Google’s Startup Grind is mak­ing a name for it­self.

Barely four months old, the lo­cal net­work­ing and knowl­edge ex­change venue for en­trepreneurs is the sixth most ac­tive chap­ter in the U.S. and No. 12 most ac­tive glob­ally in the Google Startup Grind net­work of 300 chap­ters.

“Most ac­tive” is based on the av­er­age event at­ten­dance for the pre­vi­ous three months of events, ac­cord­ing to James McK­in­ney, Chap­ter Di­rec­tor and Vice Pres­i­dent, Strate­gic Growth for Sta­tus Not Quo in Va­len­cia.

“We have Google Startup’s eyes on us (Santa Clarita Val­ley),” said McK­in­ney, adding that this helps raise the pro­file of the lo­cal tech com­mu­nity and makes it a greater “part of the con­ver­sa­tion” in the Sil­i­con Val­ley and also makes the SCV wider known as a grow­ing tech hub.

Startup Grind is a global startup com­mu­nity de­signed to ed­u­cate, in­spire and con­nect en­trepreneurs. Each chap­ter holds monthly events that fea­ture a suc­cess­ful founder in­no­va­tor, ed­u­ca­tor or in­vestor who shares their story and the lessons they learned in build­ing their com­pany. The events also pro­vide net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for en­trepreneurs.

The chap­ter’s next meet­ing is Jan. 24 at Sta­tus Not Quo Stu­dio in Va­len­cia. The fea­tured speaker will be for­mer NBA All-Star, in­vestor and me­dia mogul Baron Davis. Over a 13-year ca­reer, Davis played for the Charlotte Hor­nets, Golden State War­riors, Los An­ge­les Clip­pers, Cleve­land Cava­liers and the New York Knicks.

Davis was one of the orig­i­nal in­vestors for Vi­ta­m­in­wa­ter and helped launch Thrive Mar­ket.

He is also the founder of sev­eral com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Sports and Lifestyle in Cul­ture (SLIC), The Black Santa Com­pany, Busi­ness In­side the Game (BIG) and No La­bel.

Davis also served as pro­ducer of sev­eral doc­u­men­taries in­clud­ing “Crips and Bloods: Made In Amer­ica,” “30 for 30: Sole Man,” and “The Drew: No Ex­cuse, Just Pro­duce.”

The monthly events are from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Sta­tus Not Quo Stu­dio, 26336 Cit­rus St., Va­len­cia. Tick­ets are $15 in ad­vance or $25 at the door. At­ten­dance is open to any­one in­ter­ested in lis­ten­ing to the speaker or tak­ing part in the net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vided at the event.

“Startup Grind has re­ally been in­valu­able,” said Santa Clarita res­i­dent Arin Wil­liams, who has been at­tend­ing the ses­sions. Wil­liams is the founder of Ran­gle News, a news­gath­er­ing app un­der de­vel­op­ment that al­lows cit­i­zens to hook up with me­dia com­pa­nies and sub­mit news stories, pho­tos and other in­for­ma­tion for which they get paid.

“You’re meet­ing a com­mu­nity of peo­ple who want to help you,” Wil­liams said about Startup Grind.

The en­tre­pre­neur said that be­cause he went to Startup Grind he was able to meet E! Entertainment Television founder Larry Namer and later get a face-to-face fol­lowup meet­ing with him. Wil­liams said that get­ting to talk with some­one who had built a multi-bil­lion-dol­lar busi­ness was in­valu­able.

“Net­work­ing is ev­ery­thing when you own a small busi­ness,” he said.

Gayle Proc­tor, se­nior man­ager, mar­ket de­vel­op­ment ser­vices of Deloitte & Touche LLP, one of the lo­cal chap­ter’s spon­sors, said that in­volve­ment in Startup Grind has al­lowed com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives to meet busi­ness own­ers they wouldn’t have oth­er­wise met.

She said the com­pany is launch­ing Deloitte Pri­vate, which is fo­cused on serv­ing pri­vate clients of all sizes for au­dit and as­sur­ance, tax, con­sult­ing and risk and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory ser­vices. Its in­volve­ment in Startup Grind fits well with the com­pany’s ac­tiv­i­ties in this sec­tor of ser­vice.

Deloitte has re­newed its spon­sor­ship of Startup Grind for another six months.

Courtesy photo

(Above) The Santa Clarita Val­ley chap­ter of Google’s Startup Grind is a lo­cal net­work­ing and knowl­edge ex­change venue for en­trepreneurs and the sixth most ac­tive chap­ter in the U.S., and twelfth most ac­tive glob­ally.

(Right) Barely four months old, the lo­cal chap­ter of Google’s Startup Grind gives up-and­com­ing en­trepreneurs a chance to hear guest speak­ers, and net­work among peers.

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