Annual Report 2014

Dear Fellow SBEC Stakeholders,

First, I want to express our sincere appreciation for your continued commitment to the SBEC. We want you to know that we are keeping our eyes looking forward and focused on our long-term sustainability.

Second, our Chairman, Chris Braun, has provided his own effective brand of leadership. Luckily we still have two of our three original founders, Mike Grimshaw and Fran Fulton, who are still actively involved in the SBEC at the Board level. With this threesome our governance is in good hands.

Third, 2015 is going to be an awesome year for the SBEC! We have modified our mission. We have right-sized our Board of Directors as well as our Mentor Team. We relocated our headquarters to beautiful Old Towne Torrance. We have cleaned up our debt obligations, and now enjoy a positive cash flow. Our theme for 2015 is “Innovation Matters!”

Fourth, we have re-launched our basic incubator program to a vibrant Hybrid Incubator/Accelerator program. Instead of investing in expensive overhead, we now run a lean operation where we deliver our services on a virtual basis. We have expanded our existing mentoring program into two-fold mentor program involving Lead Mentors and Specialist Mentors.

Fifth, we have developed new partnerships with CA Academy of Math & Science, CSUDH, College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP), and Korean Business Development Center (KBDC).

It is my sincere privilege to take on the role of Executive Director. I am a veteran in organizational leadership after serving in various leadership positions and making a difference at every post. From serving as President for my Business Fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, in college, to a Branch Manager in banking, to a Chapter President of a professional trade association; to a high school basketball Head Coach; to serving as a Sales Manager in private industry, to a College Professor who teaches leadership to now leading the SBEC.

Despite our challenges, our future at the SBEC is very bright. We are now thinking more like a lean and sustainable organization. Our quest to service our newly defined Beachhead Markets of existing entrepreneurs to help them grow their existing businesses, or fail them fast. As a result, our new HIA Incubator/Accelerator Cohort program is more sustainable.

During 2015 a new major initiative for the SBEC is our focus on education and innovation. We are planning a major event– tied to education, “Innovation Matters” Entrepreneur Expo and SBEC “Pitch Tank” competition—that will help the SBEC better serve the young entrepreneurs of the South Bay. Our new formula is simple: STEM + Entrepreneurship = Generation Z! A portion of the proceeds will directly benefit young entrepreneurs of the South Bay. Our plans to extend our presence throughout the South Bay in 2015 by educating and engaging our youth in entrepreneurship will be invigorating.

Our vision, to be the pre-eminent entrepreneurial organization in the South Bay is achievable. With the SBEC leadership transition, we begin a new era of entrepreneurship in the South Bay with an optimistic and positive outlook.

Gary L. Polk, Sr,
Executive Director
South Bay Entrepreneurial Center


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