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In this Issue: WET Member Highlight | In the News | Team Member Highlight | Funding and Other Opportunities | BlueTechValley and Partner Events & Webinars | Other Events | BlueTechValley Classifieds | Did You Know?
Valley Ventures alumni has serendipitous CVIEF experience

One of our Valley Ventures alumnus has had a whirlwind year thanks to the 2018 Central Valley
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum. Spooky Action, a drone-technology company and member
of the spring 2018 cohort, presented at last year’s annual CVIEF.

While the company did not receive funding from the flurry of investors, Spooky Action’s
founder Rahul Tiwari, had been unknowingly chatting with an angel investor throughout the entire event. Tiwari described the encounter as “serendipitous”; the CVIEF connection set Tiwari
on a path to finding a lead investor for Spooky Action.

A component of the Valley Ventures accelerator program provided Spooky Action with the
to hone in on the finer points of how to field common questions from investors.
In addition to that, the combined experience of going through Valley Ventures and CVIEF has
allowed Spooky Action’s business development efforts to be expedited. The company is now
working with telecommunications experts in North Africa to discuss how best to implement
its drone technology. 

An unexpected development from participating in both programs was that a tech-based company became integrated into the agricultural technology sector. Tiwari spoke with Thomas Esqueda, Associate Vice President for Water and Sustainability at Fresno State,
about the potential for Spooky Action's 
drone technology to support agriculture.

This connection also spurred connections to other drone companies doing business in
the ag space 
that Tiwari could learn from. 

Tiwari registered Spooky Action for the Valley Ventures accelerator program after speaking
with Jim Canyon, another Valley Ventures alumnus. Canyon urged him to pursue Valley Ventures.
Tiwari quickly found 
that the Valley Ventures accelerator provided a means of expanding
his agricultural business 
knowledge, which he could then apply his drone expertise to. 

Tiwari was asked about the dual benefits of participating in Valley Ventures and CVIEF and how
opportunities helped prepare him to answer investor queries. “Part of that was content
which was…refined at Valley Ventures. The other part was the actual delivery and having the confidence and poise to do it properly…being on stage at CVIEF was definitely a
huge part of that.” 

He also noted that “talking to the other [Valley Ventures] cohort members was
ridiculously useful.”

If you want the opportunity for your venture to mimic the success of Spooky Action and many other
Valley Ventures graduates, apply to pitch and exhibit at this year’s CVIEF on October 23, 2019! All information here.

WET Member Highlight

 agribugs logo
Our July WET Center Member featured company is Agribugs! Agribugs is a fall 2018 Valley Ventures alumnus that supplies farmers with crop health examination services via drones. Darren Raj, founder
Agribugs, says the business idea stemmed from his combined love of robotics and
agriculture; these components lead to a mission to help farmers. 

The Valley Ventures program provided Agribugs personnel with a unique perspective on
the agricultural community and what types of innovations it would benefit from. 

Raj adds that “[Valley Ventures] has helped with understanding how to market my services
to farmers 
which is a difficult task within itself...I believe helping farmers can help leave
a lasting positive footprint 
which Agribugs would like to achieve.“

Currently, Agribugs is working on research collection in partnership 
with a prominent
irrigation company and agricultural focused university. 

You can learn more about Agribugs at their website.

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In the News

the business journal Student Research Competition Story
Municipalities are taking another
look at community
choice energy
Student researchers receive award for solutions
to sustainability issues

In the wake of Pacific Gas and Electric
Company's bankruptcy, Central 
communities are considering alternatives to investor-owned utility supply systems to meet
their energy needs. 

Community Choice Aggregations (CCAs)
have become a popular 
contender since
they offer more consumer control than
standard options. 

City of Hanford, California is set to
establish a community choice energy plan in 2020 
with the guidance of California Choice Energy Authority and it appears many communities may follow suit. 

Learn more 

In April, a team of undergraduate engineering students from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona enjoyed success
at the CSU Student Research Competition.

Gerardo A. Maldonado, Minna Mattis, Stuart Geyer, and Garrison Kanazawa developed a model of re-purposing reverse osmosis concentrate in order to store energy. 

This innovation comes from the need to
find cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly energy storage.

The faculty adviser to the group, Dr. Reza
Baghaei Lakeh, said that the project “...can
help reduce our impact on the environment."

Read more about the competition here.

CVBT kauffman american dream article
Fundraising Checklist
A million Californians don’t have clean drinking water Three reasons why entrepreneurship isn't just an American Dream The Fundraising Checklist: 13 proof points for Series A
A significant number of California residents do
not have access 
to clean
drinking water. The Central
Valley Business Times reports that many in the Central Valley do not have safe tap water. 

One Fresno County resident,
Julia Mendoza, has not had
clean drinking water for years.

Mendoza and other 
of her community are confident that as awareness of the water contaminants increases, 
they will soon have access
to clean water.

Click here to learn more
about Mendoza’s story.

The American Dream is an
often hazy and indefinable notion; however, entrepreneurship is typically 
the driving force behind
many interpretations. 

An article written by the
Vice President of the Kauffman Foundation, Victor Hwang, illustrated the global boom of startups and
how entrepreneurship 
is not solely an American ideal. 

Hwang stated that several nations now see entrepreneurship as a means 
of economic improvement.

 Click here to read the full article.
NFX, a seed venture in San Francisco, unveiled a
13-point checklist for
Series A ventures to follow
in order to get funding. 

The 13 steps center largely around gathering tangible data to predict success for the businesses. 

This checklist will help
Series A ventures establish
their business model and 
build momentum for
their pitches and projects.

Click here to learn how
to implement these thirteen points.

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Team Member Highlight 

Thomas Hall

Thomas Hall Headshot 
Executive Director of CleanStart
Our July team member highlight is Thomas Hall from CleanStart. He holds his bachelor’s degree in economics with a bachelor’s of
science in finance. Hall works to connect early-stage cleantech companies to one another for BlueTechValley.

When asked about his work, Hall said his biggest appreciation and challenge comes from assisting companies. “...connecting those passions with sustainable business models is daunting, yet
rewarding.” His favorite hobbies include supporting non-profits
and tango dancing!

Hall’s favorite quote was spoken by Bruce Wayne, the secret identity
of DC Comics hero, Batman. “It's not who I am underneath, but
what I do that defines me."

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Funding and Other Opportunities 
American-Made Challenges
Waves to Water Prize
Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Program (NLGCA)
Award Amount: $2.5 million
Deadline: September 11, 2019 (Stage 1 of 4)
Award Amount: $4.7 million
October 1, 2019
This opportunity comes from the Water
Power Technologies Office (WPTO). The
prize, totaling $2.5 million, will be awarded
to applicants who submit proposals
for desalination systems that benefit
coastal communities.

Winning proposals will demonstrate
the development of wave-powered
desalination systems that 
can make
ocean water drinkable for disaster
relief purposes.

Click here to learn more.
The United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) is sponsoring a grant
for collegiate agricultural 

Applicants for this grant must be a public
college or university offering a
baccalaureate or higher degree in the
study of agricultural sciences
and/or forestry.

Applications are due by 5 pm EST on
October 1, 2019.

here to learn more.
Walmart Local
Community Grants
Trade Pro
Award Amount: $5,000
Deadline: Dec 31, 2019
Coming Soon
Walmart is distributing a grant for non-profit organizations ranging in value from
$250 to $5,000.

Grants are awarded through an open
application process through December 31, 2019.

The application and eligibility requirements
can be found 

A great opportunity for contractors is coming to
the Fresno/Selma area. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is hosting a Trade Pro
Workshop. Contractors are encouraged to participate if they specialize in refrigeration,
lighting, ag equipment, boilers and/or HVAC. 

Learn more here!

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BlueTechValley & Partner Events and Webinars

 Financing Your Veteran Owned Business
August 7, 2019
CSU Bakersfield SBDC has conducted webinars since 2013. Since then, the SBDC has made
webinars free and available to watch. They are capping this success with their 100th webinar
on August 7, 2019. The webinar will be centered around how to finance your veteran owned business! Attendees will learn all about how they can better finance their business and resources available
to them. 

Register Here!

 SBDC Tahoe Pitch Camp
August 14, 2019 6 pm - 9 pm
The Sierra Business Council and Tahoe Silicon Mountain will be hosting a series of
workshops dedicated to teaching entrepreneurs how to deliver an effective pitch. Participants will
give pitch presentations at the workshop to demonstrate their new-found skills. The workshop
series is a precursor for the showcase competition where workshop participants are given
the chance to present their companies and ideas to a panel of expert judges.

Learn more about pitch camp here.
 Seeds of Our Future 2019
August 20, 2019
Seeds of Our Future AgTech Summit & Immersion Program invites global AgTech innovators on an intensive
four-day journey through Silicon Valley, Salinas, and the Napa Valley, where you’ll explore sustainable, scalable solutions for the projected population increase in the years to come.

California is home to the world’s most productive seats of both technology and
agriculture, and this program examines the ways in which we can bridge the two,
building a sustainable, connected, beautiful future. 

Register here.
Kern Capital Summit
August 21, 2019
Join the Kern Capital Summit where over a dozen seasoned lenders and other
small business investment programs share what financing options are available to small

Register here!
California Water Data Summit
Aug 22 – 23, 2019
The California Water Data Summit will feature leaders from California’s most
innovative public agencies, companies and academic institutions that are using data to better
manage water resources throughout the state. This UC Davis summit will present a roadmap for
modernizing the California water industry and serve as a touchpoint for water data work
from the Monday after and for years to come.

Register here.

  Grant Writing Workshops
BlueTechValley, in partnership with the Grant Farm, will be hosting a grant writing workshop series. 
These workshops will allow entrepreneurs to better understand the grant process.

Participants will learn 
critical skills to help them secure funding for their cleantech and ag efforts.

In this workshop you will learn:

·    A road map for writing successful proposals.

·    How to prepare for grant writing in advance.

·    What to know before you start writing.

·    What to look for in a grant notice.

·    Key ways to approach funders.

·    The top ten ingredients for a successful grant submission

·    Added extras to make your application stand out; and

·    Tricks of the trade

Locations and Dates:

Fresno State – August 21, 2019 | Register
California State University, Bakersfield – August 22, 2019 | Register 
Sierra Small Business Development Center, Truckee – September 3, 2019 | Register 
Humboldt State – September 18, 2019 | Register 

For More Information Click Here!

 CEO Crash Course Bootcamps
August and September
BlueTechValley and CleanStart are now accepting applications for two upcoming CEO Crash
Course events. This unique business development boot camp is being held at both Fresno State
and at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. These workshops will
concentrate on business fundamentals such as pitching, business legalities, marketing,
leadership, team building, and more!

By participating, your venture will receive individualized mentoring and publicity. A multitude of
BlueTechValley ventures credit the CEO Crash Course for providing them with the necessary
tools to succeed in business. No payment is required from ventures selected to participate
in the Fresno and Stockton events, as the California Energy Commission (CEC), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and Wells Fargo will sponsor their participation.

Registration for the Stockton workshop (August 16, 23 and September 6)
Registration for the Fresno workshop (September 23, 24, and 25)

For more information click here!

 Central Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (CVIEF)
October 23, 2019
Are you a startup looking to further develop your professional network and gain investments?

Participating in the 2019 Central Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum can help make it happen! At the Forum, you will have opportunities to network with investors, venture capitalists,
industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and more!

You can actively participate in the event in two unique ways. 
First by being part of the pitch
showcase competition and second by exhibiting at the stock exchange. 
A select group of
ventures will compete for the Judges Choice Award by pitching to a panel of judges. 
A group of promising startup ventures will also have the chance to vie for the attendees' Bulldog Investment
Dollars and will be recognized as the Audience Choice.
Apply to pitch and exhibit here!

Apply only to exhibit here!
Don't miss out on one of the most unique and interactive events in the Central Valley
taking place in 
Clovis, California on October 23, 2019!

To view a full list of events and webinars, click here!

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Other Events

Funding Fair
August 15, 2019 – 8 am – 5 pm
The California Financing Coordinating Committee (CFCC) is hosting a Funding Fair! This
will be a free opportunity to learn about financing options for businesses and institutions.

The Funding Fair will take place on August 15 in Palm Desert, California. This event will
also be an opportunity to network with California finance experts. Registration is completely
free for all attendees.

Learn more here
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BlueTechValley Classifieds 

 btv classifieds 4
Fresno State Fall 2019 Career & Internship Fair 
Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 1 - 4 pm at the Save Mart Center 
Register by contacting Stephen Davis at

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Did You Know? 

Fun changes are in store for this year's Central Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum? Keep an eye on the official CVIEF website to make sure you don't miss out!
Follow us on Twitter (@BTVCluster) or contact us at!

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