Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet, a collaboration between UC Santa Barbara, the City of Goleta and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the tech entrepreneur community Wednesday evening with an open house at its new facilities in Old Town Goleta. Startups, including several recent graduates from the College of Engineering's Technology Management Program (TMP), mingled with veterans of the game, networked, and pitched their ideas to a room of business leaders and potential investors.
A project about two years in the making, the incubator was established to address the needs of startup businesses in the area by providing space, facilities and, in this case, mentorship to founders of young companies. The collaboration kicked off its first summer with a Summer Accelerator program, an intensive program for new entrepreneurs. The program currently has six teams, three of which — Salty Girl Seafood, Fluency Lighting Technologies and Shadowmaps — were winners at TMP's New Venture Competition finals. Team Shnack, which represented UC Santa Barbara at the 2014 University Mobile Challenge, is also a TMP-born venture. Two other new companies — Nextmover and Uptronics — rounded out the incubator's first summer cohort.