Meeting Minutes - 2/3/22
Minutes from the general meeting held on 3rd February 2022
February 3, 2022
Present: Beth Arman, Colleen Award, Ryan Buckley, Robert Carrera, Nichol Carranza, Amalia Cunningham, Colleen Award, Ed Del Beccaro, Vicki Gordon, Jeanette Green, Alex Greenwood,Joellen Heaney, Jags Krishnamurthy, John Matthesen, Carlyn Obringer, Jennifer Schmitz, Jeffrey Smith, Marie Suvansin, Gordon Zagar
Ryan opened the meeting at 3:05 pm.
Approval of December 2, 2021 Minutes: Motion: Ed; 2nd: Vicki, Unanimous
Incubator / ESO Ventures:
Identify existing and planned business incubators in the Diablo Valley, including target industry sectors and populations, and work with DVC to establish an incubator on campus to fill in gaps as needed.
Maria: Tour of Concord Life Center scheduled for February 8th. We want to arrange additional tours with prospective entrepreneurs (graduate programs, academic clubs, incubators, etc.) to create a pipeline of tenants.
We contracted with Alfredo Matthews from ESO Ventures to interview small business owners, start-ups, etc. in the area. ESO Ventures got a grant from the state to promote black and brown entrepreneurs. Will be working with bay area colleges to identify people in our community who might qualify for their projects. Not an official incubator, but an effort to target people of color.
We did not get the Small Business Development Center designation we applied for, but CSU East Bay did. Hayward campus took the lead on the grant working with the Concord Center. There will be activities in the east bay.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wants an incubator focusing on Hispanics.
Things are happening in Walnut Creek and Concord - a number of incubators may already exist or are planned. DVC may have more opportunities for a physical incubator at SRC vs. Pleasant Hill. Since we are doing so much virtually since the pandemic, we might not need a physical location.
Beth recommended assessing unmet needs in industry sectors and identifying gaps.
Jags: DVTI could play a role in compiling information on existing and planned incubators in focus areas and maintaining a list on DVTI website.
Amalia: Will serve as central point of contact for companies interested in exploring Contra Costa locations.
Biotech and Life Sciences in the Diablo Valley:
The Diablo Valley is well positioned to attract biotech and life science companies.
Ed: What will it take to attract these companies to our area? Where are the employees located, what are the demographics/education? Where are the facilities that have the power, zoning and density for R&D? Many buildings aren’t zoned for R&D. Also, there is an issue with speed of approval. Average CUE process in central county is a year. Need flexibility and openness when looking at zoning for life science and food tech side.
Alex: A large part of how industry is structured is the product development side. As companies transition from research to development, they may gravitate to a less expensive area if it is properly zoned and cities can act quickly enough.
Sam: Two-thirds of biotech firms are looking at dispersed workforces (work from home, satellite offices, etc.). There will be opportunities for Contra Costa county. Happy to be part of the conversation going forward.
We should be talking with the Manufacturers Association and other advocacy groups that align to help build out lab and incubator space with possible growth opportunity. Our community college district, including DVC and the other colleges, are members of the Industrial Association of Contra Costa County.
Carlyn invited Mark Hughes from City of Concord to connect with Ryan.
iHub2 RFP Update (Beth): Application deadline was extended. No announcement was made on February 1st. Hopefully will know more by the next meeting.
DVTI 2021 Goals / Accomplishments:
Figure out organization structure:
We have bylaws, chair and vice chairs
John: Committees may be useful as we grow and begin doing more. Could assign workgroups to particular things like the get together, grants, incubators, etc. Workgroups can be started and stopped at any time based on need.
Additional structure TBD
Optimize marketing (Diablo Valley, Drone Technology, Technical Sales):
No SEO focus put on dvti.org. Who wants to work with Ryan on it?
More effort could be put into the website. Gets a few dozen hits per month. Is most useful for linked references.
Launch Tech Sales Course:
Launched and live. Took more than a year from start to finish.
Pushed back the start date due to low enrollment, but now have 25.
Now have a model we can replicate. Challenge is identifying instructors for future classes (recruit DVC employee or get external hire).
Other 2021 Activity:
Drone CEO Outreach
DVTI flyer designs
Speakers: Xwing, Buoyant Technologies, Essential Aero, Birdstop, Marathon Renewables, CCTA & A3Ventures, AirMatrix, Beth Arman (DVC), Sam Driggers (Contra Costa County)
Letters of Support: Build Back Better (County), Reuse Project (City of Concord)
2022 Plan Survey Results:
Which programs should DVTI focus on in 2022?
Identify local business incubators
Invite biotech and life sciences, drone and aviation experts
Organize an in-person DVTI conference about economic development
Which of these programs will you volunteer to work on?
Support a database of local businesses
Invite biotech and life sciences and drone and aviation experts
Organize in-person DVTI conference
Timing: Late summer before DVC classes start
Venue: Probably DVC but open to suggestions
Full-day with meal and happy hour
Agenda: A Keynote, a panel or two, plenty of structured networking to leverage our group and make functional connections
Adjourned: 4:00 pm