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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 5:13 pm | Fair 62º


Craig Allen: Clean Business Investment Summit at UCSB Doesn’t Disappoint

CBIS IV, the Clean Business Investment Summit took place Thursday at the Corwin Pavilion Center at UCSB, and offered the most impressive slate of presenters yet. From a company that uses whole trees in construction, to a transparent solar cell maker, to a student entrepreneur using crickets as a source of protein, the new ideas were compelling, innovative and exciting. Commensurate with the quality of our presenters, the number and size of our investors was the best ever as well.

Each year, CBIS brings together entrepreneurs looking to build companies, investors looking for opportunities to invest in the most innovative new businesses, and service providers offering specialized services to entrepreneurs and investors.

This year’s theme, "Making the Impossible Possible: Resilience & The Spirit of Entrepreneurship," underscored the emerging business concepts presented.

As the largest venture capital forum held in coastal California, CBIS brings together high impact sustainable, socially responsible enterprises to present their companies to investors looking for viable, ethical clean business opportunities.

The industry sectors represented include clean tech, renewable energy, agriculture, technology, food and beverage, health and wellness, lifestyle products, remediation, water and much more. Participating companies are carefully screened, vetted and mentored. They are provided with a platform to present to leading investors through dynamic presentations and industry-focused roundtable engagements with experts, investors, media and more. More than 575 startup and growth companies have been introduced to venture investors and related services experts, with more than $125 million invested through the summit.

Jerry Knotts of the California Coast Venture Forum has been the driving force behind CBIS for the past 19 years and continues to spearhead a dedicated team of professionals, including Alissa Sears of Christie Communications, who works tirelessly to ensure that every aspect of this event exceeds all expectations. Our Executive Committee members, volunteers, and especially Gillian Christie and everyone at Christie Communications come together each year, giving their time, energy and expertise to make CBIS the success that it is.

This year the event featured 15 entrepreneurs presenting with two additional student entrepreneur teams.  he all-day event marked the sixth annual occurrence for CBIS in its current format and the 19th year overall for the event. Each year I am more impressed than the last, with the quality of the presenters, investors, service providers and the overall level of quality of the event. To date we have been able to package the event into a single day of activities, but as the event grows in popularity, I could easily see it expanding to become a multiple-day summit (although Jerry will certainly have the final say on that issue!).

Originally, CBIS was intended to be a central California summit, offering both entrepreneurs and investors a forum to meet, connect, exchange information, collaborate, mentor and ultimately build successful businesses. Today, the event has expanded in scope, and is attended by entrepreneurs and investors literally from all over the world. While many of the presenters come from California, we are seeing an increasing number of entrepreneurs coming from outside of our region. Investors from around the globe, recognizing the power of the innovative ideas gathered together at this event, are traveling great distances to gain access to these exciting investment opportunities.

Each year we capture the event digitally and will provide access to the video feed from the event via the CCVF.org website. For those interested in attending the event, as a presenter, investor or service provider, it is best to start the process early to secure a slot. We have been selling out each year, and I am certain 2015 will be even more in demand than all previous years.

For entrepreneurs looking for information on CBIS, or for help with navigating the funding process, the CCVF website is a great place to start. You can connect with Jerry Knotts, find guidelines and examples of approved presentation formats, gather information about the process of submitting materials for next year’s CBIS event and much more.

The CBIS event is not only a fantastic opportunity for all who attend, but is also significant for its ability to place Santa Barbara on the map as a hub for entrepreneurship. UCSB’s materials sciences department, solar expertise and other highly respected faculty and degree programs lay the foundation for many new emerging business ideas that are drawing investor capital to our community.

The future is indeed very bright for CBIS, UCSB and Santa Barbara, and I for one look forward to next year’s CBIS with optimistic anticipation and enthusiasm.

Craig Allen, CFA, CFP, CIMA, is president of Allen Wealth Management and founder of Dump That Debt. He has been managing assets for foundations, corporations and high-net worth individuals for more than 20 years and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA charter holder), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) certification. He blogs at Finance With Craig Allen and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.898.1400. Click here to read previous columns or follow him on Twitter: @MPAMCraig. The opinions expressed are his own.

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