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In this Issue: | WET Member Highlight | In the News | Staff Highlight: Kelly Bearden | Events & Webinars | Grants & Opportunities | Did You Know?
The 2018 Central Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum was a Great Success!

On November 1, 2018, The Central Valley Venture Forum and Central Valley Stock Exchange joined together to participate in the 2018 Central Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum to continue their mission - To boldly shape the Valley’s entrepreneurial landscape.     

The Forum serves as one of the largest events for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Central Valley and it was an exciting day that consisted of panel discussions providing helpful tips for entrepreneurs looking to raise capital. From a “Shark Tank” style competition to a stock exchange, there was something for companies and organizations of all sizes! The Forum also shared beneficial advice for startup ventures and also consisted of presentations from industry leaders, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and more.

Keynote speakers Ashley Swearengin, CEO and President of the Central Valley Community Foundation and Michael Mondavi, founder of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate, delivered moving and insightful speeches. "Venture Capitalists” for the day were able to visit with local entrepreneurs and startup ventures. Armed with this information and Bulldog dollars, they invested in the companies of their choice. 

Congratulations to Mazen Animal Health, Inc. for winning the Entrepreneur Showcase Judges Award, MadJack Snow Sports for winning the Entrepreneur Showcase Innovation Award, and to Five Microns for winning the Stock Exchange Audience Award! A cash award was presented to each venture.
If you missed the annual Central Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum, click here to join our mailing list. 
  WET Member Highlight  

Sprinkl is a startup company based in Texas that develops innovative connected products focused on conserving water in both residential and commercial applications. The company’s four-man team has set out to make watering yards easier by fully automating the process of caring for your yard, and building tools that will work with any sprinkler system regardless of its age, make, or model. 

Sprinkl gives back to its local communities by helping to save water through its platform’s built-in conservation settings, water district portals, and by designing and assembling all of its devices in the USA.

Sprinkl Control is the first smart sprinkler hub with a built-in 16 zone controller that brings total control of your sprinkler system directly to your smartphone. The Sprinkl Conserve smart rain sensor integrates with local weather forecasts and uses predictive scheduling to prevent watering if rain is on the way and can take a look back at historical trends. It is the only smart sensor on the market that you can manage from your phone.

Sprinkl Conserve, the smart rain sensor, is the new way! Learn more about Sprinkl here.  

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  In the News

geothermal energy

small geo

OCED Partnering with USDA to Expand Renewable Energy Among Rural Businesses and Farmers Geothermal Energy Could Be Used to Make Desalinated Water Without the Carbon Cost  The Food Crisis is Coming: How Startups are Rising to the Challenge

The Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State (OCED) is utilizing a $75,000 investment from USDA to provide renewable energy development assistance to rural small ag producers & other small businesses in eligible areas of the SJV. 

Click here to read more.

Scientists at Florida Gulf Coast University have proposed a carbon-free way to desalinate water using geothermal energy.

Click here to read more.

In the next 20 years, our world faces a food crisis. We expect 9.2 billion people to be on the planet. We’re going to need to triple our current ag output and learn how to waste less. 

Click to read more.

 Useful Stats: Business R&D Intensity by State (2011 - 2016)  


For the second time this year, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has updated the data for the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS), a primary source of information on domestic and global business research and development expenditures.

Click here to read more.

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  Team Member Highlight: Kelly Bearden  

We are excited to highlight, Kelly Bearden. Bearden oversees the program at California State University, Bakersfield and is the leading source regarding outreach in connecting BlueTechValley with all cities and counties in the Kern County region. He works with industry professionals, energy centers, economic development groups and other interested parties who need (and want!) to know more about the BlueTechValley Innovation Cluster has to offer.


Bearden is a native of the San Joaquin Valley and was born and raised in Modesto, California. He graduated with a bachelors in finance from California State University, Chico and began working with BlueTechValley in April 2017.

“I love working with clients. I like the client successes and being able to assist a broad number of people,” Bearden said. “Being able to assist entrepreneurs has a lot of different benefits. Probably the greatest one is when one of their employees comes up to you and thanks them for their job,” Bearden said. “There is satisfaction in helping people.” 

Some of Kelly’s favorite hobbies include growing wine grapes in the Sierra foothills, though lately, he enjoys feeding wildlife such as birds, deer, and bear. He is also a proud San Jose Sharks fan!

He also serves as the Director of The Small Business Development Center at the California State University Bakersfield.

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   Upcoming Events and Webinars


Big Bang! Business Competition – “Defining the Problem and Solution” Workshop
November 15, 2018 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
1213 Gallagher Hall (Abbaszadeh Lecture Hall), UC Davis

Do you have an idea you want to bring to life? The annual Big Bang! Competition runs October through May and is YOUR chance to advance your entrepreneurial ideas. On Thursday, November 15, 2018, join the UC Davis Institute as they conduct a workshop aimed to help entrepreneurs develop their key elements in defining their business. Click here to RSVP.




Fresno State’s AgTech Day
November 16, 2018 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Join us at Fresno State where you will get to tour the University Farm Laboratory!  Transportation will be provided between three sites where registered attendees can see installed equipment! Site visits will be followed by presentations and opportunities to visit with over 30 vendors and to interact with industry representatives!  

Three Sites Include:

- The WaterBit Automated Irrigation Solutions uses loT technology to make it easy for farmers to remotely and precisely monitor and irrigate their fields. It is currently being used on the tomato field north of the Gibson Farm Market.

- Over a dozen McCrometer DuraMag™ Full Bore Batter Powered Mag Meter and the wireless Connect™ Telemetry System are used regularly around the Fresno State Farm. In particular, one is used to measure the amount of water transferred in between reservoirs near the olive orchard.  

- Fresno State's well number two will be one of the stops during the event. This site is using the REDtrac® system to provide all the information one needs to know on one screen in an office, tablet or mobile device.
Click here to read more! 



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Grants and Other Opportunities 

  Center for Produce Safety Announces its 2019 Request for Research

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) is a 501 (c)(3), U.S. tax-exempt, charitable organization focused on providing the produce industry and government with open access to the information needed to continually enhance the safety of produce. Click here to learn more.

FLOW's Rocket Fund

FLOW's Rocket Fund is a granting pool that helps academic and garage innovators turn their technologies into commercial realities through financial support and entrepreneurial education. It is an exclusive program of the Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech, which is dedicated to supporting the cutting-edge research and creative problem solving necessary to change the balance of the world’s sustainability. Learn more about how to apply here.

Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program 

The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. Learn more about how to apply here.

Grant Funding Opportunity (GFO-18-602) Demonstration-Scale Biofuels Production Facilities

Grant Funding Opportunity (GFO-18-602) Demonstration-Scale Biofuels Production Facilities. Deadline to Submit Full Application is November 28, 2018, by 5:00 p.m. Click here for more information.

Participate in Entrepreneurial Research – Stanford University

Why do some entrepreneurial endeavors succeed, and why do some families thrive? These questions are as old as humanity, but scholars have only recently begun to examine the dynamics between business and family outside of family firms. In this study, we explore how both immediate and “extended” family supports an entrepreneur’s ability to thrive. We are seeking entrepreneurs who are currently operating or have started their own organizations (including social enterprises) to participate in this survey. The findings will be presented at the Start-Up to Scale-Up Conference sponsored by the Academy of Management on December 17-19, 2018. Click here to fill out the survey.


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   Did you know?
  There are many valuable resources available for use at BlueTechValley, including a video library! Learn about grant writing, industry and company research and more by clicking here.
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