Your Questions

Q. Hello Susan, I have been receiving your emails ever since the Sustainable Ag Expo at Seaside. I am very interested in your services. How can an Agricultural Technology company like us be involved with you and the growers in the area? 

A. Your company looks fantastic for Project 17.

The first thing we are doing is organizing an association.  We are also in the discussion phase of creating a venture or angel fund for ag-tech companies. In addition, we have kicked off a group that will take an inventory of regional assets and resources.  And we are helping companies, colleges and jurisdiction apply for grant funds, as appropriate.

The association will be under the auspices of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California (Jim Bogart and Abby Taylor-Silva), and will allow companies like yours to come together as a group for purposes of networking, communications, standards setting, group marketing and other benefits of working together as a team.  

Secondly, the association under GSA will provide knowledge exchange between the ag-tech companies and the large producers and shippers. 

The fund will allow companies that need seed funding to be able to get into operation and deliver on contracts and all those other things emerging companies do with cash.  For companies like yours that might be more well established, funding can help take you to the next level in terms of growing your business. 

Also, if you do have a thorny issue within your company, we have consultants available to help you out with issues from marketing to intellectual property to business development, etc.

The region has long needed an asset and resource inventory.  So, an asset would be $4.5 billion-a-year revenues from sales of fresh produce is for the Salinas Valley.  What we would be looking for are things like the amount of YOUR company's revenues and other companies selling into the industry in the region.  This would add to that overall $4.5 billion to tell us the total value of the industry in the region.  

A resource is the Ag-Tech Association that we are building.  Or the Small Business Development Centers or ALBA or college and university programs for the workforce.

The contract we have with SBA allows us to build the bones or the infrastructure on which we will help others to build regional collaborations toward upward economic movement for the entire region.  In other words, I don't want to RUN the Ag-Tech Association;  I want GSA to do that.  But I can put it together.  I don't want to get federal grants for myself;  I want to help CSUMB and Hartnell and Cabrillo get them by partnering with them.

The goal is to make the region THEEE place where one MUST have a presence if you are developing and marketing technology solutions into the ag industry.  We envision companies being birthed here (economic gardening) as well as companies that started somewhere else MOVING here in order to have a presence (economic hunting.)

Copyright Barich Business Services 2012                Barich Business Services  831-462-1413  Project 17  is partially funded by a contract from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA-funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.