Area tech incubators taking new directions

Area tech incubators are shifting personnel and focus, falling into new patterns to remain vital to the North Bay community.

[caption id="attachment_85602" align="alignright" width="360"] SoCo Nexus aims to be a meeting place and hub for entrepreneurs, startups.[/caption]

Venture Greenhouse, an arm of San Rafael-based Dominican University’s Green MBA program, closed its doors on Dec. 20 and will reopen with a new model more closely aligned with school curriculum, according to Dominican School of Business and Leadership Dean Sam Beldona.

“Incubators are like startups,” said Lindsay Austin, longtime Sonoma County entrepreneur and sponsor of SoCo Nexus. “They have to be agile and move with the times in order to survive.”

The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, part of the Codding Enterprise’s development in Rohnert Park, re-branded itself several months ago as SoCo Nexus and became less focused on technology.

According to SoCo Nexus Executive Director Amee Sas, Silicon Valley provided the original model for tech incubators.

“The emphasis was on high-valuation technology startups,” she said. Incubated companies were expected to reach a valuation of $25 million in five years.

[caption id="attachment_85603" align="alignleft" width="392"] SoCo Nexus Executive Director Amee Sas, left, addresses a gathering at the center.[/caption]

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