PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, December 19, 2016

Mentorship Works and Santa Barbara Entrepreneur Announce Merger

Local non-profit, Mentorship Works, announced today that it will merge with Santa Barbara Entrepreneur effective December 5, 2016. The combined organizations will continue to operate under the name Santa Barbara Entrepreneur.

In addition to matching mentors with mentees, over the last three years Mentorship Works has organized quarterly networking events featuring successful owners of businesses from the Central Coast. Events have attracted and engaged a wide audience with topics such as “Why Mentorship Works!” featuring Kevin O’Connor, founder of Doubleclick, “The Art of the Pivot,” featuring Mike Sheldon, CEO of Curvature, and “Women Leaning In: A Discussion about Women in Business and Entrepreneurship” led by Dr. Bernice Ledbetter, Director of the Center for Women in Leadership at Pepperdine University. Mentorship Works brings to the organization a current roster of over 600 highly-engaged prospective mentors and mentees.

A cornerstone of Santa Barbara Entrepreneur, the bi-weekly Coffee & Connect Meetups, launched in January 2015. The organization outgrew its original home at Noospheric, and re-located to Impact Hub Santa Barbara in October of 2016. The dynamic early morning meetings begin with a brief introductory networking period and include a presentation from a local entrepreneur offering tactical advice on creating, growing, and institutionalizing startups. Speakers have included Ontraport’s Landon Ray, Desk Yogi founder, Jacqui Burge, and Jayla Siciliano, founder of the Mark Cuban, Shark Tank funded, Bon Affair. These regular meetups will continue and the meetup group has grown to over a thousand members.

The newly-constituted Santa Barbara Entrepreneur will continue to nourish Central Coast startups and entrepreneurs and drive entrepreneurial best practices with mentorship, coaching and networking. By combining, the group hopes to leverage the knowledge and membership from both organizations to better focus its efforts on driving growth and assisting Santa Barbara companies and ideas.

“Bringing these two dynamic groups together will allow us to do much more for startups and entrepreneurs who could use support and a little guidance,” says Santa Barbara Entrepreneur Chairman Summers McKay “We know many extraordinarily skilled people who have been through the challenges that go along with starting up a new venture in our community, and they are ready to help” McKay concluded.

Santa Barbara Entrepreneur will continue its mission to connect the numerous resources and platforms available to businesses in the area. Connecting resources from UC Santa Barbara and SBCC to the deep pool of experienced business leaders and motivated and ambitious startups, is a key objective of the organization. Santa Barbara Entrepreneur will work with local businesses and organizations to bring high-energy and high-value events, speakers and ideas to the local business environment.

About Santa Barbara Entrepreneur
Santa Barbara Entrepreneur is a non-profit 501(c) organization that began as a Meetup and was founded on January 8, 2015. The group currently boasts over 1,000 members. SBE’s stated goal is to be the unifying force for the multitude of participants within the Santa Barbara startup community, including entrepreneurs, government, UCSB and other schools, investors, mentors, service providers, and large companies. The organization emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and provides ongoing activities in order to foster a vibrant and sustainable community of entrepreneurs.

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