The Santa Clarita Valley chapter of Google’s Startup Grind is making a name for itself.
Barely four months old, the local networking and knowledge exchange venue for entrepreneurs is the sixth most active chapter in the U.S. and No. 12 most active globally in the Google Startup Grind network of 300 chapters.
“Most active” is based on the average event attendance for the previous three months of events, according to James McKinney, Chapter Director and Vice President, Strategic Growth for Status Not Quo in Valencia.
“We have Google Startup’s eyes on us (Santa Clarita Valley),” said McKinney, adding that this helps raise the profile of the local tech community and makes it a greater “part of the conversation” in the Silicon Valley and also makes the SCV wider known as a growing tech hub.
Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs. Each chapter holds monthly events that feature a successful founder innovator, educator or investor who shares their story and the lessons they learned in building their company. The events also provide networking opportunities for entrepreneurs.
The chapter’s next meeting is Jan. 24 at Status Not Quo Studio in Valencia. The featured speaker will be former NBA All-Star, investor and media mogul Baron Davis. Over a 13-year career, Davis played for the Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks.
Davis was one of the original investors for Vitaminwater and helped launch Thrive Market.
He is also the founder of several companies, including Sports and Lifestyle in Culture (SLIC), The Black Santa Company, Business Inside the Game (BIG) and No Label.
Davis also served as producer of several documentaries including “Crips and Bloods: Made In America,” “30 for 30: Sole Man,” and “The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce.”
The monthly events are from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Status Not Quo Studio, 26336 Citrus St., Valencia. Tickets are $15 in advance or $25 at the door. Attendance is open to anyone interested in listening to the speaker or taking part in the networking opportunities provided at the event.
“Startup Grind has really been invaluable,” said Santa Clarita resident Arin Williams, who has been attending the sessions. Williams is the founder of Rangle News, a newsgathering app under development that allows citizens to hook up with media companies and submit news stories, photos and other information for which they get paid.
“You’re meeting a community of people who want to help you,” Williams said about Startup Grind.
The entrepreneur said that because he went to Startup Grind he was able to meet E! Entertainment Television founder Larry Namer and later get a face-to-face follow-up meeting with him. Williams said that getting to talk with someone who had built a multi-billion-dollar business was invaluable.
“Networking is everything when you own a small business,” he said.
Gayle Proctor, senior manager, market development services of Deloitte & Touche LLP, one of the local chapter’s sponsors, said that involvement in Startup Grind has allowed company representatives to meet business owners they wouldn’t have otherwise met.
She said the company is launching Deloitte Private, which is focused on serving private clients of all sizes for audit and assurance, tax, consulting and risk and financial advisory services. Its involvement in Startup Grind fits well with the company’s activities in this sector of service.
Deloitte has renewed its sponsorship of Startup Grind for another six months.