Marina Technology Cluster: Press Releases

Press Releases

Congressman Sam Farr Will Speak at AMBAG Workshop to Get Business Input for Regional Strategic Plan
August 23, 2010

How do business people envision the Monterey Bay Area in the year 2035?

Congressman Sam Farr will speak to issues of how the Monterey Bay Area will grow and develop in the next 25 years on Monday, August 30 at noon at the Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) in Marina at an event designed to take input from business for the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments' (AMBAG) "Envisioning the Monterey Bay Area 2035 Regional Blueprint."

"We have been holding workshops for the public since May," said AMBAG Planner Linda Mekel, "but we would like more input from business. We'd like to know what the most important issues for business are when it comes to shaping policy around housing and transportation."

Farr, the congressperson from the region's 17th U.S. Congressional District, will be speaking at the event to help promote the idea of regionalism around the Monterey Bay.

"Our three counties around Monterey Bay and its watershed, offer not only the world's best microclimate and quality of living experience, but the most diversified agriculture, tourism and education opportunities in the world," said Farr. "We have just scratched the surface of opportunities already in each segment exceeding $1 billion in sales. We can grow smartly and be green better than anywhere else."

Issues to be addressed include housing, transportation, employment, research, education and the preservation of agricultural land. AMBAG will be looking for input on development strategies that reduce the carbon footprint, increase development of live-work spaces and affordable housing for the workforce that is close to work, increase of residential density near transportation hubs, implement school-centered development, improve street/pedestrian networks and street design, and use intelligent transportation systems.

There is no fee to attend. Feel free to bring a bag lunch; AMBAG will supply light snacks.

For information and to RSVP, please call Linda Mekel at AMBAG at 831-264-5084.

Learn to create a compelling visual and oral presentation
August 19, 2010

With support from the Wachovia/Wells Fargo Foundation, preparations continue for the 2011 Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition with a workshop "Creating Your Presentation to Investors" on Thursday, August 26th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Marina Technology Cluster.

"During the 2010 Competition, even companies that did not win the grand prize did win appointments with interested investors," said MTC Director Susan Barich, chair of the competition. A great presentation is about getting investors excited about the 'deal' you have for them so they ask to see more."

The workshop, the second of the summer, will be delivered by Chuck Boggs of Paladin Venture Development and is part of the continuing preparation for next year's competition, to be held again from February, 2011, through the first week of May 2011. The 2010 competition saw 62 applications from San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. Twelve finalists were chosen to submit complete 12-page written business plans by mid April and compete in two rounds of investor presentations on May 7th at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Congressman Sam Farr presented the final award to Larell Surgical of Carmel Valley whose patented process for creating dentures in an hour is now being reviewed for use by several U.S. agencies with interest in applying the company's products to international health issues.

This year a new category is planned for Advanced Agricultural Technologies that apply emerging technologies to solving age-old agricultural problems.

"I would suggest that we haven't even scratched the surface as to what complex Ag issues we can try to tackle with a tech solution," said Dr. Rudolph Darken, professor of computer sciences at the Naval Postgraduate School. "The IT component of that would be particularly interesting because of the local expertise that could be applied."

The MTC, an economic development project of the City of Marina, is one of more than 30 sponsors of the competition region wide. Others include the Cities of Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Gonzales; the County of Monterey; MIIS, CSUMB and UCSC School of Engineering; the IP Society and NextSpace Coworking and Innovation, Inc. of Santa Cruz.

The competition is open to all fledgling businesses that plan to create jobs in the Monterey Bay Area's three counties of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey. There is a $20 fee for the workshop, payable to "The Action Council of Monterey County/MBRBPC."

August 5th workshops to help small businesses at Cal State University at Monterey Bay.
July 27, 2010

Marina, Calif. -- Procurement officers from the United States General Services and Veterans Administrations; California departments of General Services, Transportation, Consumer Affairs and Health; and Monterey region tri-county agencies and corporations will present workshops on how small and emerging businesses can contract with government agencies on August 5 at California State University at Monterey Bay's University Center on Sixth Avenue from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

California's Small Business Development Centers, the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Business Matchmaking are sponsoring the free event, which includes lunch.

The afternoon will include a series of "procurement in the round" sessions hosted by federal, state and private sector experts who will discuss getting started in procurement with groups of seven guest companies at a time. Attendees can rotate among tables to meet a variety of buyers. Small Business Development Center counselors will be available to provide one-on-one counseling.

"The SBDCs are here to help with whatever the small businesses need to seal the deal with these buyers," said Teresa Thomae, Director of the Central Coast SBDC at Cabrillo College."

Registration and more information can be found at Or call the Central Coast SBDC at Cabrillo College at 831-479-6136.

Workshop at the incubator preps entrepreneurs to build the fundable 12-page business plan for submission to the competition.
July 8, 2010

Marina, Calif. -- The Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) (, with support from the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation, will hold a workshop Thursday, July 22nd from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the incubator to teach entrepreneurs how to build the fundable 12-page business plan that can be submitted to next year's Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition (

"Thanks to strong support from our regional partners, we had an amazingly successful first competition in May," said MTC Director and Competition Chair Susan Barich. "We're ready now to launch into next year's contest and make it even more dynamic and helpful to our local entrepreneurs."

The July 22nd workshop will be delivered by CSUMB business school faculty member Brad Barbeau. The session will prepare applicants to write a 12-page business plan that succinctly describes their company and the investment deal to potential funders. Only business plans of 12 or fewer pages will be accepted for the final submissions of the 2011 competition.

The competition is open to all fledgling businesses that plan to create jobs in the Monterey Bay Area's three counties of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey. There is a $20 fee for the workshop, payable to "The Action Council of Monterey County/MBRBPC."

The 2010 contest received 61 applications. Twelve were chosen to submit complete business plans and present their ideas to teams of investors at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) on May 7. The grand-prize winner, Larell Surgical Consultants of Carmel Valley, has developed a patented process for manufacturing dentures that saves the patient thousands of dollars. Congressman Sam Farr presented Larell founder Lawrence Wallace with the prize of $50,000 in cash and services from regional attorneys, business coaches and marketing and public relations professionals.

The MTC, an economic development project of the City of Marina, is one of more than 30 sponsors of the competition region wide. Others include the Cities of Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Gonzales; the County of Monterey; MIIS, CSUMB and UCSC School of Engineering; and the IP Society and NextSpace Coworking and Innovation, Inc. of Santa Cruz.

12 Semi Finalists competed for the grand prize in the 2010 Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition.
May 7, 2010

In the end, it all came down to dentures.

Larell Surgical Consultants of Carmel Valley, a company that plans to provide dentures at low cost for the estimated 37 million Americans who have no teeth, walked away Friday with the grand prize in the first annual -- the 2010 -- Monterey Regional Business Plan Competition held at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Congressman Sam Farr presented the grand- prize trophy to Lawrence Wallace, Larell Founder and CEO, at the end of the 4 hour event that included two rounds of presentations to 16 local CEOs, business coaches and investors, including Lisa Alderson, Tony Aniello, David Armanasco, Chuck Boggs, Jeff Brothers, Rock Clapper, Damon Danielson, Kathleen Eckerson, Chuck Erickson, Brian Heywood, Dan Lankford, Brooks McChesney, Todd Miller, Peter Neumeier, Steve Rothenberg and George Sidman.

Wallace, who is a retired oral surgeon, sees a massive need for low-cost, one-visit dentures that allow people who have lost their teeth to restore their self esteem, their health and improve their lifestyles. He has established strategic partnerships with leaders in the denture industry and has a plan for profitability.

Sixty-one aspiring businesses from Santa Cruz, San Benitio and Monterey Counties applied to compete in the region-wide competition in February. In early March, 12 finalists were chosen and went on to submit full, 12-page business plans and present at the May 7 event. The other 11 semi-finalists were Abundant BioFuels of Salinas, Blue Star Medical of Marina, Betina's & Bailey's Adventures of Santa Cruz, Cranite Crete of Salinas, Harpiris Energy of Salinas, Liquid BioTechnology of Santa Cruz, Merryweather Farms of Pacific Grove, MINGA of Monterey, Progeny of Monterey, Renewable Energy Design Tools of Santa Cruz and TrendiBendi of Monterey.

"The whole experience was great," said Ruth Pavilonis of Betina's and Bailey's Adventures of Santa Cruz and one of the 12 semi-finalists. "From the one- page application, which was a great exercise in and of itself, to the 12-page build out to the venue to the guest speakers and the lovely reception -- everything!"

Organizers are already planning next year's competition, building on the experiences from this first year.

"We're already looking at what worked and what didn't work this year," said Susan Arcady Barich, a partner in Barich Business Services, director of the Marina Technology Cluster and chair of the competition. "We are excited, the competitors are excited, and we're looking forward to an even more dynamic competition next year."

Companies from Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties will compete for the grand prize May 7 at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
March 12, 2010

The 2010 Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition (MBR Competition) today announced 12 finalists who will be invited to write complete business plans and present to panels of investors at the Monterey Institute of International Studies on May 7, 2010: Liquid Bio Technology, Betina & Bailey's Adventures and Renewable Energy Design Tools of Santa Cruz; Merryweather Farms of Pacific Grove, Granite Crete and Larell Surgical of Carmel Valley; Abundant BioFuels of Salinas, Harpiris Energy of Corral de Tierra, Blue Star Medical of Marina; and MINGA, Progeny and TrendiBendi of Monterey.

The 12 finalists were selected based on two rounds of numerical grading of the business idea, the team, the business model and the execution.

"We are grateful to all 61 of the entrepreneurs who took the time and effort to fill out the 1-page application," said MTC Director Susan Barich. "We hope it was a productive exercise for all of them, and they all learned something about their markets and business models."

Organizers are working to develop a prize package valued at $50,000 in services and cash for the top winner.

The May 7 event is open to the public. To donate to the cash or service prize, contact Susan Barich at 831- 582-9718. Details on the business plan competition can be found at

Workshops scheduled throughout the region throughout February
February 1, 2010

Marina, Ca. -- The 2010 Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition today announced the schedule for workshops to assist applicants to best fill out the 1-page application competition being held throughout the winter and spring of 2010.

"This application will be used as the screening tool for choosing the finalists who will write a full business plan to be presented to a panel of investors on May 7," said Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) Director Susan Barich, a regional partner in the competition. "We want to make sure everyone understands how to complete it to have the best chance of competing in May."

The one-page Application and the Entry Form are due by 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 26th at various locations from NextSpace and the Santa Cruz Chamber in Santa Cruz, to Watsonville City Hall to the MTC offices in Marina to the Small Business Development Centers in Gonzales and Aptos. They can also be emailed to

Workshops will be held in partner communities from Santa Cruz to Gonzales. The schedule can be found at and is:

  • Monday, February 8, 12 noon to 1:30 Brown-Bag Lunch at the MTC at the Marina Airport. RSVP to Angela Simmons at 831-582-9718.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 12 noon to 1:30 Brown- Bag Lunch at the Gonzales Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at 425 Belden Street, Gonzales. RSVP to Angela Simmons at 831-582-9718.

  • Tuesday, February 16, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Ausonio Library Meeting Room at 11160 Speegle Street in Castroville. RSVP to Angela Simmons, 831- 582- 9718.

  • Wednesday, February 17, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Room McGowan 101 at the corner of Franklin and Pierce Streets in Monterey. RSVP to Dr. Ernie Scalberg, 831- 647-4140.

  • Thursday, February 18, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room, 611 Ocean Street, Suite 1 (in the University Inn Complex). RSVP to Angela Simmons at 831-582- 9718 or online at

  • Saturday, February 20, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Monterey Insitute of International Studies, Room McGowan 101 at the corner of Franklin and Pierce Streets, in Monterey. RSVP to Dr. Ernie Scalberg, 831-647-4140.

Money will be used for cash prize
January 28, 2010

Marina, Calif. -- The 2010 Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition today announced that the City of Gonzales will donate $1,000 toward the cash prize for the competition.

"Supporting this business-plan competition is the kind of activity that will help us grow Ganzales' business sector," said City Manager Rene Mendez. "We can help our local entrepreneurs develop the local businesses that will create local jobs."

Barich Business Services (BBS), which also has a contract to manage the Marina Technology Cluster (MTC), is spearheading the business-plan competition to highlight entrepreneurship in the region and help make it part of the culture of the Monterey Bay Area. The business-plan competition and its partners are attempting to raise $50,000 in cash and prizes.

The Application and Entry Form for the competition can be downloaded at and are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 27. The application will be used by judges to determine which participants will be asked to write a full business plan that will be presented to a panel of investors at the final event on May 7 at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

A workshop on how to best fill out the application will be held on Wednesday, February 10 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Small Business Development Center at 425 Belden Street in Gonzales. RSVP to Angela Simmons at 831-582-9718. Workshops will also be held at other locations throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties between February 8 and February 20. Details are also available on the website.

Other partners in the competition include the Fisher International MBA Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, NextSpace CoWorking + Innovation, Inc., the Monterey County Weekly, Cal State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) School of Business, CSUMB Continuing Education Program, the City of Santa Cruz, the City of Seaside, the City of Hollister, the City of Gonzales, Ian Strock, Esq. and Entreprelaw of Santa Cruz, Patrick Reilly, Esq. and the IP Society, the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County, the County of Monterey Redevelopment Agency, Central Coast Investors Roundtable, the University of California at Santa Cruz School of Engineering, the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Rock Clapper, the Band of Angels, the Marina Technology Cluster, the City of Marina, Wells Fargo Bank, Experience Communications of Carmel, Pebble Beach Partners, Goodwill Industries of the Central Coast, Central Coast Small Business Development Center, Golden Capital Network, Barich Business Services, and The Monterey County Business Council.

Programs will educate entrepreneurs on using banking to improve cash flow
January 13, 2010

Marina, Calif. -- The City of Marina today was the recipient of a $10,000 check for support of entrepreneur and start-up development services at the Marina Technology Cluster from the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.

City Manager Tony Altfeld and MTC Director Susan Barich received the check from Wells Fargo Community President for the Monterey & Santa Cruz Region Sue Lewis.

"The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation is pleased to provide this support for the work the City of Marina and the MTC are doing to help create businesses and jobs in the region," said Lewis. "We look forward to working with the incubator to ensure the success of those businesses moving forward."

Barich said that the funds will be use to support entrepreneurs learning how to manage cash flow and the importance of creating a relationship with your local banker.

"Especially in these economic times," said Barich, "when a small employer needs a line of credit to make payroll till the client pays the invoice, you must be able to go to a banker you know and who has confidence in your ability to repay the loan. You need to know your banker, and she needs to know you."

Some of the funds will also be used to support the region's upcoming 2010 Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition, of which the incubator is a regional partner, and which is taking place throughout this winter and spring. The competition culminates on Friday, May 7, 2010, when finalists will make live presentations to panels of investors. The incubator, its partners and sponsors are trying to raise $50,000 in prizes and cash.

Go to
January 3, 2010

The 2010 Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition today established a Twitter account for participants, partners and sponsors to follow the progress and activities of the upcoming competition.

The Twitter account can be found at: Details on the competition can be found at thecompetition's web site at:

Incubator teams up with governments, businesses and universities of tri-county region
December 15, 2009

The Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) ( today announced that over the winter and spring of 2010 it will team up with regional jurisdictions, businesses, universities and colleges to support the first annual Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition to showcase the business potential of the area; support regional start-ups; attract business and investors to the region; encourage business students to become entrepreneurs; and promote tech transfer, innovation and commercialization.

"Forward-thinking angel and venture capitalist investors from Sand Hill Road are beginning to look in our direction for opportunities outside the Silicon Valley box," said MTC Director Susan Barich. "The young companies are here, and we’re looking to bring them out of the valleys and hills and showcase them."

During the May 7 event at the Monterey Insitute's Irvine Auditorium, finalists will present to panels of angel investors and venture capitalists from groups like the Band of Angels, Central Coast Investors Roundtable and Wavepoint Venture Capital. Leading up to that event, the winter and spring will be filled with deadlines for applications, workshops for completion of business plans and presentations, and events that showcase existing, successful start ups from Scotts Valley to Watsonville to Hollister to Cannery Row.

Prizes range from cash from NextSpace Coworking + Innovation in Santa Cruz, Goodwill Industries, the County of Monterey Redevelopment Agency and the cities of Watsonville and Marina, to services, including legal assistance from Entreprelaw in Santa Cruz, space at the MTC, and business consulting from Barich Business Services of Santa Cruz and Khan-Bernier of Marina. Support is also provided by Wells Fargo Bank through a grant to the incubator.

Other partners involved in the planning and implementation of the competition since May, 2009, include Cal State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Business School professor Brad Barbeau; Director of the GLOBE Center at the Monterey Institute of International Studies Ernest Scalberg; Monterey County Weekly Publisher Erik Cushman; angel investors Dr. Rock Clapper of the Band of Angels, Chuck Boggs from the Central Coast Investors Roundtable, and Damon Danielson of Pebble Beach Partners; and MTC staff.

Other regional partners include the School of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz, CSUMB Continuing Education, the City of Santa Cruz, the City of Watsonville Redevelopment Agency, the County of Monterey Redevelopment Agency, the City of Seaside, the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the City of Hollister, Experience Communications of Carmel, The City of Gonzales, The Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County, Golden Capital Network, the Central Coast Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College, and the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

A one-page application for the competition is due on Friday, February 26 by 5:00 p.m. and is available at, along with instructions, entry forms and a participation agreement.

The Marina Technology Cluster is a regional economic development project of the City of Marina.

105-year-old organization honors Marina biologist, research diver and writer
October 28, 2009

The Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) ( today announced that at their Northern California October 30 meeting, Marina resident and client entrepreneur, research diver and biologist Dida Kutz will be inducted into the Explorers Club, an international society of explorers whose members have included North-Pole explorers Robert Peary and Ootah; South-Pole trekker Roald Amundsen; Mt. Everest conquerors Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzeng Norgay; and moon walkers Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

"This is a profound honor," said Kutz, who started and maintains, a website for research divers of all levels to connect to what is going on within research diving and who serves on the boards of the Point Lobos Association and the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society. Kutz's latest conservation effort is outreach and fundraising to save the vaquita, a critically endangered porpoise (

Founded in 1904 in New York, the Explorers Club ( promotes scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space. The international professional society dedicates itself to the advancement of field research and to the ideal that preservation of the human instinct to explore is vital.

"Dida has a long and deep seated interest in exploration," said Robert J. Higgins, who nominated Kutz for induction into the Explorers Club, "as evidenced by her research-based scuba diving experience with more than 100 data-collection dives in the furthest reaches of the world."

"She walks the talk," said Frank Handler, former program chair of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Club and who co-sponsored Kutz's membership nomination. "Dida has a boundless enthusiasm for the sea and conservation of its natural resources as evidenced by her conceiving of, developing and publishing a website for the international research diving community."

About the VivaVaquita Project

The vaquita is a small porpoise, and is the only one that occurs in warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found in a tiny area in the extreme northern Gulf of California, in Baja California, Mexico. The vaquita has probably always been rare. But in the last few decades, the small population has plummeted, as gillnets set for fish and shrimp kill more porpoises than are born. The current population is thought to be around 125-150 individuals, and is declining quickly. Unlike some endangered species that have no place left to live in the wild, the vaquita''s home in the Gulf of California is clean and healthy. The only real problem is the gillnets that entangle and kill vaquitas. If these can be moved out of the small area where vaquitas occur, the species will likely recover. We can save the vaquita!!


Income-Qualified Entrepreneurs Discover the Fundamentals of Business
August 6, 2009

The Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) begins 2 new rounds of New-Entrepreneur Training (NET) workshops to assist income-qualified entrepreneurs with business start-up and development at the MTC this Fall, with application deadlines of September 2 for NET 1 and September 30 for NET 2.

The workshops, which are funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the City of Marina, will be held every Wednesday for six weeks from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the incubator near the Marina Airport. Participants will learn the fundamentals of starting and running a business, including introduction to business planning, knowing the market, and understanding cash flow and financials.

The program is open to income-qualified individuals residing in towns with populations of 50,000 or fewer, such as Seaside, Marina, Sand City, Aptos and Hollister, and in unincorporated areas of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties.

To learn more, for qualification information or to download an application, go to the incubator's web site at or call Adam at 831-582-9718.

Patrick Reilly of the IP Society Presents a Seminar on IP Strategy in the Time of Collaboration at the Marina Technology Cluster
July 6, 2009

Intellectual Property Attorney Patrick Reilly, a member of the advisory committee of the Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) and Founder of the IP Society, will present a Nuts & Bolts workshop on intellectual property at the Incubator on Thursday, July 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Creative workers and small businesses must often collaborate with principals and other parties in engagement with clients. Yet multi-party collaboration can muddy the waters as to the authorship, inventorship claims, and ownership of intellectual property generated in the course of a complex project. A weakness in an ability to define an assert IP rights can be especially painful when seeking investment.

This seminar will review the basic structures of intellectual property and discuss practices for establishing and documenting legally valid claims over these intangible assets. The requirements for patentability, copyright protection and trademark registration will be presented.

Patrick's business experience guides him in designing individual patent and IP strategies that support his clients' fund raising and marketing efforts. He is the founder of the Intellectual Property Society (, an association that enriches the public discourse regarding intellectual property rights ("IP rights"). Patrick believes that IP rights are indispensable to encourage the financial investment necessary to develop technology and reward artistic accomplishment. Patrick is a member of the Federal Patent Bar and the California State Bar.

Kelsey Escoto of TPO Human Resources presents The Top 10 HR Solutions
June 10, 2009

Kelsey Escoto of TPO Human Resources will present a Nuts & Bolts workshop on human resources at the Marina Technology Cluster on Thursday, June 18 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Employers today are faced with many tough decisions. This informative program will focus on practical tips and techniques to navigate tricky employment regulations including: Employment At-Will; Exempt and Non-exempt Positions; Final Pay Requirements; Wage and Hour regulations such as Overtime, meals and rest periods, Pregnancy Disability Leave, Drugs and Alcohol at Work, Employee Handbook, Harassment & Discrimination and much more.

Kelsey brings over 12 years of broad HR and training experience to her role as a TPO Human Resource consultant. With a BS in Human Resources, a MA in Organization Development – Psychology, and SPHR certification, Kelsey has consulted with private and public sector organizations, non-profit and educational institutions in the areas of strategic planning, training and development, recruitment, and communication. Kelsey is a skilled facilitator with demonstrated background in instructional design of training programs and materials. Participants have said about Kelsey, "Visual facilitation is part art, part teacher, part subject matter expert, part group dynamics specialist. Kelsey is among the very best visual facilitators which means; among other things, she does a lot of things very, very well.” Kelsey is also skilled at graphic recording and is a Ropes Course instructor/facilitator specializing in interactive training methods.

Private and Public Partnership Launches Statewide Business Mentoring and Competition
March 23, 2009

The City of Marina's Technology Cluster (MTC) and other Monterey Bay regional coalition partners join Golden Capital Network's (GCN) statewide investor competition dubbed "California Business Ascent" with a kick-off webcast event from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at SwingTime Green Lights in Watsonville on April 2, 2009, that will showcase regional, high-growth-potential start-ups from Marina, Monterey, Watsonville and Santa Cruz.

The event is the first associated with a project begun by Golden Capital Network in 2008 and funded in part by a grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and partly by local Monterey Bay Area governments. That effort is to build a statewide hub-and-spokes network of investors and entrepreneurs that brings deal flow to investors and funding to early-stage companies all over California. It will use the hub of GCN's central information clearinghouse to distribute information between investors and entrepreneurs in 25 separate regions of the state.

The California Business Ascent is a statewide competition and mentoring program to identify, assist and encourage innovation-based, locally-owned companies throughout California. The competition will culminate with the top two companies from each community competing in the California Business Ascent Finals to be held in San Diego at the Catamaran Resort on November 17-18, 2009.

"Local-businesses focused on growth are key for California to lead the way out of this economic downturn," said Dave Sanders, chairman of GCN and managing partner of WorldBridge Partners. "The Business Ascent will identify the companies with the greatest chance of success and assist them to become successful for the benefit of the companies, the employees and the people of California."

Other sponsors of the competition include the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, California’'s Small Business Advocate, and the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).

"These companies represent a critical and growing part of California's local and regional economies," said Wayne Schell, president and CEO of CALED, "and until now have been difficult to assist with more traditional types of economic development activities. The California Business Ascent provides a new tool for cities, counties and local economic development corporations to add value to their locally-owned growth companies."

SwingTime Green Lights is located at 19 West Lake Avenue in Watsonville.

Interactive Session is Aimed at Helping Companies from all Sectors to Grow with Efficient and Effective Communications Strategies
December 16, 2008

Experience Communications, a public relations and marketing communications agency, announced today that Mark Peterson will present a workshop at the Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) on Wednesday, January 21st from 12:00 to 1:30 on strategies and tactics that companies from all sectors can immediately implement to increase the awareness and improve the perception of their company's brand, products and services.

The workshop will give companies efficient and effective public relations and marketing tips to bring visibility to their organization and differentiate them from their competition.

As the business environment becomes more challenging and marketing budgets are constrained, now is the time for companies and service organizations to make sure that they are maximizing their communication strategies and public relations efforts, said Peterson, a partner at Experience Communications.

Since its founding in 1998, Experience Communications has developed impactful and integrated public relations and marketing-communications programs for companies of all shapes and sizes.

Peterson will share best practices from years of managing successful PR campaigns with global technology companies. Participants in the interactive workshop will learn:

  • 5 reasons you should issue press releases
  • Why you should invest in developing case studies and customer references
  • The importance of keeping your website up-to-date
  • How these strategies relate to your own marketing communications strategies
  • We are excited to have Mark and Experience Communications teach our clients and the greater business and entrepreneurial communities skills they need to bring their products and services to the market or to increase their bottom line, said MTC Director Susan Barich.

    The MTC is a business incubator focused on helping regional entrepreneurs and business owners grow their ideas into successful businesses by delivering proven, rigorous, business development services. Programs are open to all types of businesses, not just technology developers.

    Experience Communications is a public relations and marketing communications agency that helps companies increase the value and improve the perception of company's brands, products and services. Experience Communications develops and executes public relations and marketing communications strategies and tactics to bring clients' messages and product offerings to market. Experience works with clients to set specific goals and drive results that align with their business objectives. With an eye on local issues, Experience has global experience with leaders in technology, banking, financial services, healthcare and insurance. Founded in 1998, Experience is headquartered in Carmel, CA with offices in Boise, ID and an affiliate in London, UK. For more information see

    A Move Made Simple provides moving services to seniors
    November 7, 2008

    Marina Technology Cluster entrepreneur client Theresa Tucciarelli's new business, A Move Made Simple, assists seniors and others with limited physical strength and capabilities to move their belongings and their lives in a way that she hopes mitigates the effects of "relocation stress syndrome," a documented phenomenon of the stresses and grief of moving for older members of society.

    Older people need more help in moving, Tuciarrelli told the Santa Cruz Sentinel's Jennifer Pittman. It's physically challenging and emotionally challenging. They might have lived in their house for 50 years.

    Tucciarelli told the Sentinel that the work involves listening carefully to the clients and encouraging them to let go of things that will not fit in a smaller home. She says she helps them ease into the process and gives them an emotional boost.

    That's what this businesses is about,says Tucciarelli. I'm not just moving stuff but moving their lives and making them feel comfortable in the process.

    Teresa Tucciarelli can be reached at 831-539 -1000 or visit

    From Google Research to walking on Hubble, learn the amazing
    March 25, 2008

    Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) partner the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) ( invites the public to spend 5 days on a campus of 154 laboratories, 1,820 postgraduate students, foreign students from 45 different countries, and learn about new technologies from the foremost experts in the U.S in an annual course titled “Technology Review and Update” offered from April 21st through the 25th at NPS.

    The course, an annual educational opportunity for academia, industry and government, is organized by Dr. Rudy Panholzer, chair of the Space Systems Academic Group at NPS. Topics to be discussed over the 5-day session include internet security, computers that learn, unmanned vehicles, military and commercial satellites, new-to-the-world products, and web-based 3D modeling and simulation for unmanned systems.

    And that's just what's happening on Earth's surface. On the evening of Monday, April 21, Astronauts Dan Bursch ( and Jim Newman ( will describe their experiences working and walking on Hubble and the International Space Station.

    From outer space to cyberspace, a featured speaker this year is Dr. Peter Norvig , director of research for Google. Norvig will reveal what computers learn from vast amounts of information, as well as how to teach computers to learn, rather than programming them.

    In addition, Dr. Dave Netzer, distinguished professor emeritus and director, NPS Field Experimentation Program, will discuss the nation's newest technology test ranges at Camp Roberts and Fort Hunter Liggett, as well as world-wide experiments in homeland defense with advanced communications networks and sensors.

    Deadline for registration is April 15. Class size is limited. For more information, call or e-mail Joelle Davi at 831-656-2948 Seminar information can be found at and course information at

    City of Marina and AMBAG partner with Golden Capital Network to bring conference to Monterey
    March 12, 2008

    Three client companies of the City of Marina's Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) -- MacroNav Systems, Locavox and KF3 BioDiesel -- were featured at the West Coast Venture Capital Conference held March 10 and 11 at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa.

    The two-day event, featuring 42 early-stage companies from across the western U.S. and more than 40 leading venture capitalists and angel investors, was presented by Golden Capital Network (GCN) and sponsored by the City of Marina and the MTC, the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, the City of Watsonville, the City of Santa Cruz, the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County and the City of Seaside.

    "We are pleased that Marina's incubation program produces companies that qualify to present at a conference of this level," said MTC Director Susan Arcady Barich.

    Arcady Barich moderated a panel on Monday evening that featured MTC client Steve Tamagni, CEO of MacroNav Systems, which produces both hardware and software for location-based navigation systems. Tamagni, whose software won Best of Show at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, spoke along with Annie Morhauser of Annieglass, based in Watsonville, and Gary Hartman of International Horticulture, headquartered in Hollister, on the benefits of growing an international business in the Monterey Bay Area and surrounding region.

    The panel was followed by a session entitled "Regional Companies to Watch" featuring 5-minute presentations by three local companies – KF3 BioDiesel and Locavox, both from the MTC, and Predict Wall Street of Santa Cruz.

    KF3 BioDiesel Founder and Chief Technologist Ray Kemp presented his business model for a proprietary line of bioDiesel production equipment and processes called the Hive System, which is scalable from personal to industrial production environments. The company earns additional revenue and R&D insight through its bioDiesel production unit. This unit sells bioDiesel and creates several valuable commodities that are byproducts of KF3's patent-pending bioDiesel production process. KF3 also markets a patent pending training program and a complete business model that optimizes the value of the production equipment.

    Locavox Founder and CEO Alex Demushkane is a well-known figure in the region through his 8-year-old business Walkabout Maps, those lyrical picture maps of downtown Monterey, Marina, Pacific Grove and Carmel that appear in print in hotel lobbies, regional magazines and local restaurants.

    Demushkane presented his business model for the Locavox (local voice) next generation of newspapers that uses participation by the local community in an on-line news vehicle to write and produce a weekly hard-copy regional paper. The process brings community participation to the writing of newspapers while transferring production to the internet, greatly reducing costs. The business plans to takes the regional concept national. Both Kemp and Demushkane are supported at the incubator by the City's Community Development Block Grant funds from the State of California's Department of Housing and Community Development.

    On Tuesday the City sponsored a Seed Stage-presentation session to venture capitalists and angel investors including Chris Soderquist of Golden Capital Venture Funds, private investor Damon Danielson, Steve Grizzell of InnoVentures Capital Partners, Steve Rothenberg of the Band of Angels, and Jim Schraith of DFJ Frontiers. Other funders participating in the conference included Interwest Partners, Rocket Ventures, Wavepoint Ventures, ONSET Ventures, Sacramento Angels, Kaiser Permanente, Terrapin Partners and Sierra Ventures.

    Typically, angel investors are individual high-net-worth individuals who put the first, most risky $100 thousand to $1 million into a company to achieve basic milestones for company formation, initial marketing efforts and technology commercialization. Venture funds are institutions that manage pools of money raised from individuals into a fund of many millions of dollars. These monies are typically used to increase market penetration and support the growth of a company to profitability in about Year 3 and then its sale or public offering, typically in Year 5.


    At the conference GCN introduced their new venture, funded in part by a grant from the Economic Development Administration and partly by local governments and economic development projects. Golden Capital Venture Communities is a hub and spokes entrepreneur and investor network that brings deal flow to investors and funding to early-stage companies all over California by using the hub of GCN's central information clearing house to distribute information between investors and entrepreneurs.

    The project features a web portal, maintained by Chris Khan of the MTC, where participating companies, funders, governments and service providers keep track of innovation and growth-company news from regions within the Venture Communities network. Companies can request to connect with investors; investors can track company progress and request to connect with the companies.

    To participate, go to, and click on View List at the top of the page. Drag down to Monterey Bay, and create a user and company profile. Here you can submit news for distribution across the network about important milestones, such as capital, talent and product or customer developments.

    The Marina Technology Cluster is an economic development project of the City of Marina.

    MacroNav Systems partners with Azentech to offer a full-onboard PC and a rearview mirror on steroids
    January 26, 2008

    Marina Technology Cluster client, MacroNav Systems, has written software for an on-board personal computer (PC) that won of Best of Show in the Car Tech and GPS category at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, beating out well-established rivals Magellan and Garmin.

    To be perfectly honest, said local entrepreneur and MacroNav CEO and Founder Steve Tamagni, I never in my life expected this to happen. We're really excited about this, and inquiries are coming in from all over the world for us to supply product.

    The on-board computer is a fully functional PC provided by Azentach. It runs Windows Vista and connects to the internet. According to the CNET (check out, which makes the awards at CES, PC features include GPS navigation, Bluetooth cell-phone integration and audio and media playback. Both versions of the computer offer stereo features, 50-watt built-in amps, FM tuners and upgrade capability to XM or Sirius satellite radio. Screens are 6.5 inches and 7 inches.

    MacrNav also featured at the show a rearview mirror that controls 4 cameras in and around the car. Three provide views outside the car for safety purposes, and one allows the driver to observe the back seat - kids, puppies, apple pies - without turning around.

    GCN opens March venture forum to regional entrepreneurs and funders
    January 23, 2008

    Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) partner Golden Capital Network (GCN) ( is calling for both investors and entrepreneurs to participate in the inaugural 2008 West Coast Venture Capital Conference at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa on March 10 and 11, 2008.

    The conference will feature more than 50 venture capital and angel investors and 40 presenting companies, representing a variety of technology areas, including Life Sciences/Biotech, Communications Technologies, Software and Internet Services, Disruptive Technologies, Clean Energy, Internet Services, New Media and Web 2.0 companies. Additionally, a special session focused on seed-stage investment opportunities will provide additional value to this unique program.

    "Golden Capital Network is spearheading solid, innovative projects here in the Monterey Bay Area," said MTC Executive Director Susan Barich. "This funding conference will bring visibility to our outstanding start- ups, and it's a golden opportunity for our high-net- worth individuals to pick ripe, local investment opportunities."

    Start-up and early-stage growth companies seeking investors and who wish to present at the 2008 West Coast Venture Capital Conference may submit a 3-page executive summary via e-mail to by Friday, February 1. An investor screening committee will select companies that will be invited to present.

    Some of the funds to be represented at the conference include Sierra Ventures, Terrapin Partners, Onset Ventures, Akers Capital, DFJ Frontier, UV Partners, Halo Fund, Partech International, Interwest Partners, Red Planet Capital, WavePoint Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, among others. Additionally, multiple angel investment groups will be represented. Local high- net-worth individuals who wish to participate should contact Jon Gregory at or call 530-893-8828.

    The $700 Presenting Company fee includes registration for two people for those companies selected to present. Please call the MTC for special discounts.

    Golden Capital Network

    Golden Capital Network ( is a non-profit networking, training and consulting group that fosters growth entrepreneurship and early stage investing as an engine for economic growth.

    GCN activities include: Premier Venture Capital Conference Series
    "Venture Communities" Economic Development Franchise
    Regional and Cross-Regional Entrepreneurship
    Training & Development Programs
    Investor Networking & Showcasing
    Entrepreneur Coaching & Mentoring
    Public Policy Leadership & Advising
    Early Stage Company Showcasing

    5th Annual Ranking by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review give the nod to Fischer Graduate School of International Business
    November 19, 2007

    The Entrepreneurship Program of the Monterey Institute of International Studies Fisher Graduate School of International Business, a strategic partner of the Marina Technology Cluster (MTC), was ranked 13th out of the top 25 entrepreneurship programs in the country, as recognized by The Princeton Review and Enterpreneur Magazine in Entrepreneur's November, 2007 Issue.

    "We are gratified to again be included in the Top 25, as the survey criteria become more rigorous each year," said Dr. Ernest J. Scalberg, dean of the Fisher Graduate School of International Business. "We have a distinctive MBA program in that all of our graduates are able to apply the entrepreneurial way of thinking to international business opportunities. Their focus may be as individual entrepreneurs with a new start-up or as intrapreneurs, who are launching new overseas ventures for existing companies. All of our MBAs are required to do an international business plan in cross-cultural student teams for a real company, and to understand the rigors of the differences in starting and financing a business across borders."

    Recent Fisher School alumna, Heather Waibel Haddad, credits the entrepreneurial focus of the Fisher School MBA education and the access to Fisher School partner organization, the Marina Technology Cluster, for her recent successful launch of the online cigar shop, During her MBA program, she met with two MTC business consultants almost weekly, and pursued a Directed Study project to gain academic credit for writing the financial plan for her company. Haddad hopes to expand to a bricks-and-mortar store in the next year.

    The fifth-annual ranking reveals the nation's Top 25 undergraduate and Top 25 graduate programs for entrepreneurship. With this year's findings, a growing number of students selecting entrepreneurship as a focus of their studies have a credible resource for locating the top educational providers in this field. The results of the survey, along with the analysis, appear in the November issue of Entrepreneur, which hit newsstands on October 23rd.

    A number of criteria factored in the evaluation of Monterey Institute and other colleges and universities, including an entrepreneurial emphasis of the business curriculum, mentoring, empirical learning, faculty credentials, and the success of graduating students and alumni. High-ranking schools demonstrated a commitment to practical, hands-on experiential learning to provide skills that translate into real-world businesses.

    Fisher School students also may pursue a Specialization in Entrepreneurship, taking coursework in areas such as "Creativity & Innovation," "International & Corporate Venture Capital," "Entrepreneurship & Investing for Sustainability," and "Globalization/Localization in Management." Students have access to a group of seasoned entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, who act as mentors to students designing business plans for their own ventures. Local partners such as the Marina Technology Cluster, the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center, and the Monterey Bay International Trade Association also provide students with entrepreneurial resources, internships and employment opportunities.

    Fisher Graduate School of International Studies

    The Fisher Graduate School of International Business at the Monterey Institute has been conferring MBA degrees with an international emphasis for over 30 years. Our students are trained as cross-border business specialists, with emphases on quantitative methods, analytical tools, cross- cultural teamwork, language expertise, and international business planning skills. The Fisher School also has been recognized as one of the Global Top 100 schools in Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2007-2008, for significant leadership in integrating social and environmental issues into its MBA curriculum, as one of the Top 100 global MBA programs by the Financial Times, and one of the Best Business Schools by Princeton Review. For more information, visit our website at: http://

    MARINA TECHNOLOGY CLUSTER ANNOUNCES SMALL BUSINESS START-UP TRAINING PROGRAM: Income Qualified Individuals Learn how to be Running their own Businesses within a Year
    September 21, 2007

    The Marina Technology Cluster (MTC) announced today that it is launching a free training and long-term business support program to income-qualified individuals to help them complete solid business plans and move rapidly into the marketplace.

    "The goal of Marina's program is to generate a diverse regional economy made up of a healthy blend of small and large companies based on the kinds of innovation being asked for in the global market place," said Vic Desotelle, program designer and trainer.

    The Small Business Start-Up Program, funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of the State of California, provides tools, business-planning advice, professional resources, office space, and business coaching free of charge to targeted-income-group (TIG) individuals in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties who earn 80 percent or less of median income for their county. The MTC's CDBG program has provided training and services to approximately 100 regional TIG clients in the last 3 years, along side its program for innovative non-TIG, high-tech entrepreneurs.

    The MTC aims to complement the work of local chambers of commerce, SCORE and Small Business Development Centers that provide support for existing businesses.

    "Romancing the Image: Blurring the Edges of Photography and Painting for Intimate Self Expression"
    September 18, 2007

    A leader in the "painterly photography" movement, artist and MTC client Elizabeth Murray lectures on her photography at the New deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park this Friday, September 21, at 7:00 p.m. and will also give a demonstration of her technique on Sunday, September 23, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Piazzoni Murals Room of the Koret Auditorium.

    Murray's unique images are individually hand- painted from enlarged Polaroids she has drawn on when the emulsion is still soft. Her technique blurs and merges the edges to soften contours and introduce her own vision and color. In her demonstration she will show how to use oils, pastels, and colored pencils to create a unique photograph.

    "This is a great honor and opportunity for me to speak about my photography at the deYoung, said Murray. "My photography has been a path of great inspiration and deep personal exploration and experimentation."

    Murray's work has been seen in one-woman shows throughout Japan, France, and the United States and is available at Photography West Gallery in Carmel. Visit for more information.

    Murray participates in an entrepreneur training program at the Marina Technology Cluster that is funded by a Community Development Block Grant of Housing and Community Development from the State of California.

    Technology Incubator Will Continue Training Targeted-Income-Group Entreprenuers
    May 14, 2007

    The City of Marina has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the State of California's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to deliver business start-up training and business incubation services to targeted-income group (TIG) individuals in the Monterey Bay Crescent through its business incubator, the Marina Technology Cluster.

    "We are delighted that the State has seen fit to continue to support our program for training targeted-income-group entrepreneurs," said Susan Barich, director of the technology incubator located in Marina near the airport. "This grant will enable us to continue to develop new training and programs that will help our community create jobs and wealth for the region."

    This is the second micro-enterprise training grant the City has received for incubator programs in the last 3 years. The previous grant, which is slated to run out of funds later this year, has served 60 TIG clients with both in-house incubation services and non-resident training programs. These help clients learn the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship, from their vision for their company to preparation of pro-forma financial statements to the creation of a business plan.

    The incubator partners with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cabrillo College in Aptos for preliminary training. Consulting staff such as Khan-Bernier and inKNOWvate develop and deliver collaborative workshops and one-on-one consulting to follow on the SBDC's seminars and drill down more deeply into the details of business development. The grant also pays for rent at the incubator for those technology companies that qualify for the residence program.

    California State Senator Abel Maldonado, Assemblyperson John Laird and Congressperson San Farr all joined the Marina City Council in supporting the City's application for the grant.

    April 20, 2007

    At the Marina Technology Cluster's May 10 TechNet, Bob Garzee, application manager of the Electronic Transportation Development Center (ETDC) and Danan Campbell, ETDC homeland security application manager, will describe opportunities for Monterey region companies to apply their technologies to an entirely new platform and new market -- surface transportation -- through working with the ETDC in San Jose.

    "We are launching an initiative to propel the city and the region into the advanced transportation industry," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "At the ETDC, companies will collaborate on designing, prototyping and commercializing alternative fuel vehicles that provide solutions to environmental, energy, homeland security and transportation safety needs, all priorities of local, national and global importance."

    The ETDC's search for technologies has brought them to the Monterey Bay Crescent and the Marina Technology Cluster where the core technologies of several client and affiliate companies can be applied to increased safety and efficiency of surface transportation, such as buses, trains and trucks. Some of these technologies include global positioning systems hardware and location based services software from MacroNav Systems LLC, alternative en-route charging and hydrogen-fuel technologies from Blue Line Power and emergency cell-phone networking from BOMA Systems.

    Besides employing new fuel and transportation technologies, the project also affords an opportunity for the region to develop an entirely new market for its rich expertise in electronics, battery, wireless and telephony technologies.

    The City of San Jose and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency have partnered with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (U.S. EDA) and others to fund the planning and development of the ETDC.

    Teen Thrive Earth Fest Awarded for Education and Conservation
    April 10, 2007

    Marina Technology Cluster client company and their Teen Thrive Earth Fest, scheduled for Sunday, April 29, from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the incubator in Marina, have been awarded $500 by the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club.

    "This award is presented to deserving groups in Marina for Earth Day activities such as plantings, habitat restoration, green improvements to the community and educational fora," said Steve Zmak, Ventana Chapter executive committee member. "We are truly delighted to make this presentation to Family Thrive for their work in producing this Earth Day event for teens in the region."

    Teen Thrive Earth Fest will hail the launch of, the teen brand for, with live music, food donated by Whole Foods, solar-car races, ocean movies, panels and demonstrations to inspire young adults to have a positive impact on people and the environment. The mission of Family Thrive founder Rob Franklin is to empower the next generation of leaders.

    The mission of the Sierra Club is, "To explore, enjoy, preserve and protect the nation's forests, waters, wildlife and wilderness."

    Teen Thrive Earth Fest is a free of charge and will be held at the Marina Technology Cluster at 3180 Imjin Road in Marina, under the checkered water tower at the Marina Airport.

    Fisher School Awarded $183,000 from the Department of Education to Establish Center
    April 27, 2005

    The Marina Technology Cluster announced today that it will partner with the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Fisher Graduate School of International Business on a two-year, $183,000 grant from the United States Department of Education's Business and International Education (BIE) Program to establish a Center for the Globalization and Localization of Business Exports (GLOBE) that will assist companies to adapt their products and services for foreign markets.

    These funds will be matched by funds from a $2 million challenge grant from the Robert and Marilyn Fisher Family Foundation for total program funding of $366,000.

    "This is an exciting project for the Fisher School," said Dr. Ernest Scalberg, Dean of the Fisher Graduate School of International Business, recognized as one of the "Top 100 International MBA Programs" by Financial Times. "The GLOBE Center will provide consulting, education and research to businesses. At the same time, the project provides students with the opportunity to construct business plans for companies from the Marina Technology Cluster needing localization assistance."

    Localization involves tailoring a product or marketing strategy to the differences in culture, language or regulations of customers in foreign countries, a service for which more and more U.S. companies are recognizing the need.

    The Marina Technology Cluster will provide clients to the project and assist with consultation. The Fisher School will also collaborate on the program with the three other graduate schools at the Monterey Institute as well as the Monterey Bay International Trade Association and the U.S. Export Assistance Center of the United States Department of Commerce in Monterey to develop the GLOBE Center.

    The Fisher School, which has been recognized as a premier business education provider by Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2003 and Princeton Review's "Best 147 Business Schools" for cutting-edge curriculum and international perspective, will develop curriculum for globalization and localization that will be used in their MBA courses and training programs.

    December 21, 2004 -

    The City of Marina and its technology-business incubator, the Marina Technology Cluster, have been awarded a $300 thousand Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant from the State of California's Department of Housing and Community Development to provide business training to targeted-income-group (TIG) entrepreneurs in the Monterey Bay Area.

    Sept. 6, 2004

    Although Americans view international terrorism and the possible spread of weapons of mass destruction as the two most critical threats facing this country, most of the population has neglected taking basic steps to defend itself.

    One of the most accessible and comprehensive guides ever created for the general public, Terrorism Preparedness: The Citizens' Emergency Response eGuide, has just been released on a digitally formatted CD-ROM with step-by-step recommendations to prepare for and react to specific types of terrorist attacks.

    "The Citizens' Emergency Response eGuide provides users with a powerful personal weapon in the global war against terrorism, and it is truly a major contribution to bringing the national homeland security policy to individual Americans," said Bruce Aitken, President, Homeland Security Industries Association in Washington, D.C.

    "My initial concern before reading the eGuide was that it might be a fear-mongering document," said Susan Hillier-Parks, Ph.D., Program Chair, Professor Gerontology, Sonoma State University. "It is not. It is informative, practical, comprehensible, and provides very sensible action guidelines for ordinary people."

    The eGuide is available on

    September 2, 2004

    Highlands Soils & Water, a subsidiary of Western Applied Technologies, (now “HealthySoil”), an agricultural start-up located at the Marina Technology Cluster has won organic certification for the second year in a row from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    April 1, 2003

    The secret"s in the bugs, and, at the Marina Small Business Incubator, Highlands Soils & Water, (now “HealthySoil”), a subsidiary of Western Applied Technologies (WAT) (, is the first company to offer California's agricultural and horticultural industries, on a commercial scale, beneficial micro-organisms, fungi and nematodes that restore life to languishing soils and reduce water, power and chemical consumption.

    "Highlands' real focus is on creating economically viable programs for growers," said Highlands President & CEO Tom Piatkowski. "Our product, on the scale we are able to produce it and with the high levels of active bacterial, fungal and protozoa biomass we are able to present, will save farmers money on pesticides, fertilizers, water and energy and will contain and lower productions costs."

    Municipalities and school districts are another target for Highlands' vegetation management services. Their strategy is to offer services that reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides on public recreational grounds and schools to improve and maintain playability.

    An active microbial drench is the product that promises to restore life to California's farms and soccer fields, increasing the soil's ability to hold water and fight off opportunistic diseases that have come to the fore with the ever-increasing use of broad-spectrum pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Though a microbial soil amendment is not a new term in agriculture, Highlands has perfected a brewing process that produces a clean and high-quality active microbial product in quantities great enough to apply to the largest agricultural enterprise. In laboratory testing, Highlands' product provided 65 times the industry's desired average of total biomass, and costs half as much as applying compost.

    Piatkowski has spent the last 14 years providing solutions to California agricultural customers as a representative of Goemar Laboratories, Cytozyme Laboratories and, most recently, as the national bioscience products manager for Helena Chemical company, one of the world's largest distributors of chemicals and technology for agricultural use.

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