Business Development

In response to the growing needs of the startup community in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, Venture Greenhouse 2.0 ( is opening its business-acceleration program to all types of diverse and scalable businesses such as software, medical and e-commerce. Social, environmental impact and sustainable strategies will continue to be a strong component of the program.Consumer Products

Ukiah's Pamela’s Products launched a new gluten-free Figgies & Jammies dried-fruit-filled soft cake cookies. Figgies & Jammies are the first-to-market nationally distributed gluten-free fig bars. Available in four flavors -- mission fig, strawberry and fig, raspberry and fig, and blueberry and fig -- the figgy filling is made without artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, combining subtly sweet figs with tart berries.Energy

MCE Clean Energy announced its newest product: Sol Shares all-local solar energy. It is limited to about 200 participants and offers solar energy from a local solar farm located in the MCE service area. The program is expected to cost around 30 percent more than the standard "light green" offering and is envisioned as a way for ratepayers unable to install their own solar photovoltaic systems to procure locally produced power in Marin County and Richmond.Nonprofits

Catalyst Kitchens, a national network of groups involved in culinary social enterprise, named Homeward Bound of Marin as the 10th "model member" on its 59-member roster. The change recognizes the job-training program at Fresh Starts Culinary Academy for demonstrating "best practices" that provide a successful model for developing programs. Homeward Bound has been part of Seattle-based Catalyst Kitchens for 18 months and revamped the culinary curriculum last summer with input from the network. Fresh Starts Culinary Academy now enrolls 75 students annually in a 16-week, three-tiered training course. New students start every six to eight weeks.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County was recently honored with four national program awards from Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Each year, more than 1,000 Boys & Girls Club organizations representing over 4,000 individual clubs nationwide and on military bases overseas are eligible to be recognized for program excellence in a variety of categories. The Roseland Elementary School club was awarded the Honor Award for Best Overall Program in the $500,000-and-up budget category, a group that includes organizations in much larger metropolitan markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. The Roseland club is one of 28 of the Central Sonoma County organization. All of them run the same programs, and this award is shared with the entire organization. The organization also won the inaugural Honor Award for Innovation in Safety.