Startup Weekend SCV – 2017

This will be the fourth Startup Weekend in the SCV, and it will surely be just as successful as the previous events.


Anyone interested in startups, which means this is of interest to nearly everyone who has attended an Open Coffee SCV meeting.


If you haven’t attended a startup weekend before, you will probably be glad you did. Although there are startup weekends all over the globe all the time, it only happens in Santa Clarita, at most, once a year; this is your only chance this year.


Friday November 17, 2017 through Sunday November 19, 2017.

It will begin at 6:30pm on Friday, and go to 10pm. Saturday and Sunday sessions are scheduled for 9am through 10pm, but if you get involved, you may find yourself starting even earlier, and staying even later! You probably want to clear your schedule for the whole weekend.


The University Center at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita CA, 91355.


You need to buy a ticket, which you can do on the event’s website. (The link is below.) The cost goes up as it gets closer, so buy your ticket as soon as you make the decision to attend.

Then, just show up at the University Center at 6:30 on Friday night. Dinner will be provided, you’ll start meeting the other attendees, and the program will begin.



Openings at the Santa Clarita Business Incubator

Good Morning, Open Coffee SCV friends.

The Santa Clarita Business Incubator (SCBI)

One of the difficulties of creating a startup is finding space to work. That’s been a common theme at Open Coffee sessions, and it’s been mentioned before in this blog.

One of the best options is space at the SCBI. The biggest downside is that space is limited, and they are only able to accept a small number of startups. But, the good news is, a number of spaces will open up at the end of this year, because some of the original businesses will reach the ends of their terms.

Because of that, right now is one of the best times to apply in years!

An Apology

I should have got this information posted to you last week, and have now missed the first information session, but fortunately there will still be one more.

One More Information Session

The last information session take place on Friday, September 22, 2017 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, at the Old Town Newhall Library. If you are at all interested, I urge you to arrange to attend the information session.

If you plan on going, please RSVP by email to:

You can also download info and the application at

A Personal Testimonial

For those who don’t know who is writing this blog, I am Alex Bozman, founder of Open Coffee Santa Clarita, and also founder of an educational game startup that was accepted into the SCBI in the first set of incubator residents. I can personally confirm that it was a good experience. Obviously everything isn’t always perfect: there’s a well-worn simile that startups are like roller coasters. The reason for that is that one experiences so many ups and downs; it’s a cliché, but it’s probably true without exception. In such an environment, having support is really important and the SCBI gives you support of different kinds.

Thanks to the help of the incubator, as well as to many other people and organizations, I created a math game, including artwork, code, marketing and everything else. The game was created entirely, from start to finish (and beyond!), on the premises of the SCBI. That experience also provides illustrations of some of the intangible benefits of being in an environment with other startups. For example, an artist who was working for a different SCBI business provided me with the advice, help, guidance, and resources I needed to learn how to do the animation for the game.

I personally recommend that any eligible business put the work into putting together a strong application for the SCBI.

Accepting Applications

Here’s the official announcement provided by the city:

Santa Clarita Business Incubator now accepting applications


TechDay Los Angeles 2017

Things are really busy these days for startups in the SCV. Just tonight, for instance, I’d like to go to the Startup Grind event, but I’ll be at Apple’s Swift classes instead.

And, TechDay LA has almost arrived! It will be this Thursday. Despite the name, it’s an event for startups in many industries.



The REEF | 1933 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Date & Time:

September 14, 2017 | 10am-5pm

If you’re planning on going and a carpool sounds convenient, send us an email, and we’ll try to connect you.

Free Swift Programming Classes

Way back in the early 1990s, when Steve Jobs was at NeXT, the Objective C Language presented a brilliant, if out-of-the-mainstream programming language for innovative development work. It was adopted for the NextStep libraries, which would later become integral parts of Mac and iOS programming, after Jobs went back to Apple. Objective C kept the simplicity of “Vanilla” C, while enabling natural and native object oriented development, with a minimum of overhead, and some additional great ideas.

Now, more than a quarter century later, Apple has committed to a new language, which, once again opens new doors for programmers. The new language is called Swift, and anyone interested in programming for Apple hardware would be well served by learning more about it.

The local Apple Store at the Valencia Town Center is offering a free 5 week course in Swift. The textbook is also a free download. However, attendance will be limited.

RSVP by email to reserve a space.

The course will begin on Tuesday September 5th at 7:30pm. Additional details are provided below:

Networking Event at The MAIN

Hi, Open Coffee SCV friends!

Please join us on Thursday, May 18 at a Business Incubator networking event at The MAIN theatre. The goal of the event is to connect creative and tech startup entrepreneurs with established leaders in the business community. You are all invited.

I look forward to seeing you there!


A networking event. Appetizers & Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP by May 15, 2017.


  • Creative & Tech startup entrepreneurs.
  • Established business leaders
  • Open Coffee SCV participants are expressly invited.


Thursday May 18 at 6pm.


The Main, 24266 Main St., Newhall CA 91321
Here is the official invitation provided by The City:

Entrepreneur Networking event invitation

Business Design – Models of Social Impact – at CalArts Hive

There’s another interesting event coming up Saturday, at the CalArts Hive. When we meet next Tuesday, those of us who made it there can fill in everyone else.

RSVP is requested.

Here’s the info provided by CalArts:

Models of Impact: “Social Impact”
Be immersed in the landscape of innovative business models that are driving organizations and entrepreneurs forward. Through this intense 2 hour session, participants will be introduced to the latest tools and design practices leveraged by leading “business designers” – practitioners who work with clients to invent impact and revenue-driven business models. With an emphasis on game-based learning, participants will be thrown into a deep-dive that will give practitioners and enthusiasts of all levels of experience a great framework for approaching real-world problems using business design. Workshop will culminate in each participant or small team working to design and pitch their own unique business concept.

Instructor: Matthew Manos
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017; 10am-12noon
Location: CalArts campus, G202, Patty Disney Center for Life and Work (Generator Building)
Please Email to let us know you’re coming.

Entrepreneurship Panel and Reception at CalArts


CalArts is one of the most amazing places in the Santa Clarita Valley, a world famous center and hub of art and artists, hidden in plain sight. Yet, unless you are lucky enough to be a member of the CalArts community, it’s entirely likely that you’ve never had the chance to see the campus first hand.

Next Wednesday, there will be a great opportunity to do so.



CalArts is inviting you, and the local entrepreneurship, startup, and business development communities to come on campus for a panel discussion featuring some successful artist-entrepreneurs.

The event is free, although RSVP is requested.


  • David Braun, Founder, Open the Portal
  • Harmony Jiroudek, Director of Academic Relations, Kadenze, Inc.
  • Robbie Nock, Founder of Signpost and Museum Guide
  • Leslie Scott, Founder and Creative Director, BODYART Dance
  • Tina Tangalakis, Founder, Della LA

What to Expect:

The plan is to learn from the panel, participate in the Q & A, see the campus in person, and find out more about the CalArts HIVE.
Wine and cheese will be provided; it’s going to be a great evening!

What to Do:

Please RSVP.  When you arrive at the entrance, let the guard know you are there for the entrepreneurship event. Park in any normal parking space. Walk towards the building, and someone will be there to guide you. (By the way, you may wish to remember bring business cards.)

Details of When and Where:

Wednesday February 8, 2017 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

California Institute of the Arts
Room G201 - Generator Building
24700 McBean Parkway
Santa Clarita CA, 91355

For questions, contact or 661-222-2742.

Where Startups have meetings in Santa Clarita

Many of the participants at Open Coffee Santa Clarita are pursuing home-based or “garage” businesses. It makes sense for a small startup, because many of us are bootstrapping, which means making due with tiny budgets. However, occasionally, the necessity arises for a different kind of space, especially for meetings with outsiders.

  • For informal meetings or work in public places, local coffee shops are very popular. The owners are generally very happy for us to work at their locations as long as we buy their food and drinks, and are considerate of other patrons and their employees. Particularly popular among local entrepreneurs are Honu Coffee (where Open Coffee meets), The Corner Bakery, Peets, and Starbucks, which has several locations in the SCV. In fact, I’ve been to business meetings at all of these, at one time or another. It’s amazing how likely you are to run into a fellow entrepreneur at one of these locations.
  • The Santa Clarita Public Library has meeting rooms that may be used by the community. Once again the degree to which we are welcome depends on how considerate we are of the library, staff, and other patrons. Talk to the library in advance to find out the procedure, any required paperwork, and to make a reservation.
  • Co-working spaces provide more formal business environments. Compared to equivalent regular leased commercial space, they may be more expensive per square foot, but what you gain is tremendous flexibility. You only pay for the amount and kind of space you need, and can easily scale up or down whenever you need to. EngageSCV has a small shared space at a fantastic central location on Main St. in downtown Newhall. The Steamworks Center is planning a large project, but a space hasn’t yet been formalized. It will most likely be in the northwest part of Santa Clarita near the Industrial Park. If neighboring San Fernando Valley isn’t too far for you, you could check out OfficeSlice on Ventura Blvd. Pasadena is chock full of co-working spaces.
  • The City of Santa Clarita has a beautiful business incubator in downtown Newhall; it’s a great place to really get work done. Unfortunately, it is only large enough to host a small handful of businesses. If you’re interested, sign up with The City to be notified when a space opens up, and be prepared for a competitive application process.
  • The SBDC at the University Center at College of the Canyons has created a new free space for local startups to use, which they’re calling The Entrepreneurship Center.  It is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm, and on Friday from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm.  Email to reserve the space for a private meeting, at least a few days in advance.  An SBDC Parking Permit will be provided if you reserve the space.  You may want to avoid using this resource during the first few weeks of each academic semester, as the parking lot is quite busy.  While you’re at the SBDC, you may wish to sign up as an SBDC client as well ( This is also free, and includes invaluable support to startups, far beyond access to an occasional-use office space.

Tech Startup Networking Event at the Newhall Refinery

The City of Santa Clarita is organizing a Tech Startup Networking Event at the Newhall Refinery on Main St. this Thursday (20 October 2016 at 6pm).

It’s a great opportunity to meet members of our community whose schedules don’t always work for Tuesday morning coffee. The food & drink there is something to look forward to as well.

The event is one of the Innovate LA 2016 activities.

Those who are interested in attending are asked to please RSVP.

Meet Jeffrey Forrest, VP of Economic Development at COC

At tomorrow’s meeting (Tuesday 18 October 2016 at 8am at Honu Coffee on Lyons Ave.), we are looking forward to welcoming Jeffery Forrest, the new VP of Economic Development at College of the Canyons.


He wants to learn about us, who we are and what we are working on. He has experience with startups, accelerators and economic development and wants to offer his support and learn how he and COC can help us gain knowledge and access to the resources we need in order for our businesses to grow and be successful. Jeffrey is passionate, energetic and eager to help the startup community. Come ready to be solution-focused and share what resources and information can help you reach your next level.

Here’s an SCV News article from July 2016 when he was named VP.
Here’s the official webpage for the Economic Development Division at COC.

We’re looking forward to a great meeting!