Sonoma State University and the North Bay iHub are partnering to provide new ideas to be vetted, mentored, and hopefully achieve marketable status using the resources of our region’s own nonprofit business incubator, the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster.  If you are starting a business and want to get that business to the next level, or have an idea for a business and would like some professional review of its merits and marketability, see the following:

Entrepreneurship is the way economies move forward.  This has been true since the dawn of time.  The first use of controlled fire was an entrepreneurial idea; the mix of simple science, common sense, and a problem that needed a solution.  The more modern version of the entrepreneur has sometimes been confused with a need to maximize profit.  Regardless of profit, entrepreneurism is about problem solving; although it does help if there are incentives to engage in such activity now that the opportunity to build wealth has replaced basic survival motivations.

However, commercializing scientific and other ideas helps both our economy and society.  It creates jobs and tax revenues and a pulse of activity that can synergistically lead to more business activity and new businesses.  Much of that activity is a function of how government, education and economic development all act in concert to support the entrepreneurial community.

This website will provide all you need to know about the competition, the resources available to the winner and entrants, and about moving your business idea from the nascent to the incubation stage.  Ideation, the act of generating ideas into a prototype business or product, is the beginning of converting the garage tinkerer into an entrepreneur. The SSU/iHub partnership is proud to help business ideas that can bring jobs and investment to our community. You simply need to submit a two-page summary of your idea, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and simple financial projections to the following e-mail:

In the wake of a devastating recession, we need to work together to rebuild the North Bay economy from the ground up.  This competition has $33,000+ as a package for the winner, exposure to the investment community, and the chance to pursue your dreams.  Part of that is supporting and celebrating new ideas, businesses and products.  Please engage with us on helping our economy build new businesses and create more jobs.


Rob Eyler is the chair of the Economics Department at the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University. He can be reached at