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Encouraging entrepreneurship

SCV Startup brings tech-oriented developers, designers, investors together for mentorship and resour

Posted: March 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Local business owner Erick Arndt formed SCV Startup to unite entrepreneurs, mentors and money, fearing entrepreneurs would leave if venture capitalists and young business people didn’t form connections.

A local group of tech-oriented group of entrepreneurs, developers, designers and investors have been meeting monthly at the Embassy Suites Hotel since last fall with two goals in mind: mentorship and sharing resources.

On April 11, Brad Feld, co-founder of the Foundry Group, a Colorado-based venture capital firm and author of “Do, More, Faster,” is taking centerstage to speak to the SCV Startup group.

Arndt wants every budding tech entrepreneur, programmer and digital person to know about the upcoming event, hoping they’ll attend and become inspired to make their own dreams happen locally.

“Brad is a true rock star in tech,” Arndt said. “I can’t think of too many people that have accomplished more in this space than he has.”

Feld previously served as the chief technology officer of AmeriData Technologies after the company acquired his firm, Feld Technologies. In the mid-’90s, General Electric purchased AmeriData for a reported $490 million.

Feld has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for more than 20 years. He also co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and Intensity Ventures, a company that has helped launch and operate software companies.

The focus of Feld’s presentation is discussing the differences between the successful and not so successful startups, Arndt said. He’ll examine why some startups take off and others languish and identify the key ingredients to success.

Feld is also a co-founder of TechStars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator program founded in 2006. TechStars operates programs in Boulder, Boston, Seattle, Texas and New York each year. The startup modeling company reports that it is funded by more than 50 venture capital firms and 25 angel investors.

The online marketing specialist for TimeshareJuice, a company Arndt founded himself; Arndt said SCV Startup is more than a networking group. And he’s been actively working to unite people locally. Past meetings have included venture capitalists, business advisers and practice pitches by aspiring startup business founders.

Nurturing new companies would be a boost to the local economy. Arndt said other cities are looking to do something similar but Santa Clarita has the talent, quality of life, top schools, low crime and a great community to rally around the high-tech sector.

As for TechStar, the accelerator program has successfully launched 80 startups over four years, Arndt said. Those 80 startups now employ 454 people in high-tech fields.

“Just imagine what that can do for SCV — 454 high tech jobs right here,” Arndt said. “We would be the juggernaut of Southern California for high-tech companies. That is my vision for starting SCV Startup.”

Members of the community can see Brad Feld speak April 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, located at 28508 Westinghouse Place in Valencia.



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