Last year Erick Arndt, the Santa Clarita entrepreneur and founder of SCV Startup, went searching for a car wash. Well, not a literal car wash, but more of a metaphorical one for helping upstart businesses.
“The start up comes in. They’re looking all dirty, rusty and not looking so good. And as they go through, I’m going to have mentors and information. Y’know kind of buff them out and when they come out the front end, they’re more like a brand new car,” said Arndt.
Arndt created his own tech start up company Timeshare Juice.com a little over a year ago. However, to find resources for advancing his business he had to travel over the hill.
“I would go to LA and Santa Monica to meet the best and the brightest in the online space. I learned so much and met amazing people that have helped me get a long way,” Arndt said.
His positive experience inspired him to bring some of that knowledge back to Santa Clarita so professionals could connect, cross-pollinate and create new businesses.
Two months ago, to further that goal, he founded SCV Startup.
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Arndt say SCV Startup isn’t about meeting people and exchanging business cards. It’s an accelerator not a support group.
“An accelerator is a term that’s used in the industry to help you move your business forward with content driven mentorship,” said Arndt.
Arndt says he was inspired by entrepreneurs Dave Cohen and Brad Feld who literally wrote the book on creating start up accelerators. In their book, Do More Faster, Cohen and Feld detailed the success of their program in Boulder, Colorado.
“Over the last four years, it created 80 new companies that launched. And out of those 80, 454 jobs were created. Could you imagine if we could do that right here?,” said Arndt.
The goal of SCV Startup is to launch 12 new businesses over the next two years.
Current members are writing Apps for the iPhone and downloadable games for mobile devices. However, Arndt says tech startups don’t have to be about programming.
“It could be something as simple as I’m selling a product online. I need to have a website. I need a web presence, a Facebook page. I want to understand how to use Twitter and social media and I want to launch this product. Maybe it’s a jelly, or honey or whatever it might be, but you want to use technology to build that business,” says Arndt.
Returning to the car wash metaphor, Arndt says any start up having been shined up by SCV Startup would then be ready for investment by venture capitalists and angels. Arndt says he’s had candid conversations with both.
“They’ve wanted to invest right here. A lot of them are from here or live here right now. They just leave here every morning to invest in companies outside of Santa Clarita,” Arndt says.
By this point you may be asking how much joining SCV Startup is going pull from your wallet. The good news is it’s free.
That’s certainly cheaper than a car wash.
For more information on SCV Startup, click here.
For more information on the authors of Do More Faster, click here.
For more information on the TechStars Accelerator, click here.