Local resources are valuable: They’re an excellent way to get in touch with people who know the area, network and get a good sense of opportunities in the area. But as time — and budget — aren’t limitless, business leaders can’t check all of them out in order to find what they need. So where should people start looking?
To help local organizations grow, eight members of Forbes San Francisco Business Council, below, discuss a free or local resource that they’ve found to be incredibly valuable for business owners and operators in San Francisco. Here’s what they recommend:
For LGBTQ entrepreneurs, StartOut is an invaluable resource that has really helped propel my company. StartOut hosts regular in-person workshops on a wide range of topics, from marketing to fundraising, to IP strategy. They now offer virtual AMAs with industry experts, and they host an annual “Demo Day” to showcase promising companies. The membership fee is reasonable and well worth it! – Dedra Chamberlin, Cirrus Identity, Inc.
The quality and breadth of San Francisco-based meetups onMeetup.com is extremely impressive. We’ve been regular attendees of the SF Hardware Startup Meetup and the San Francisco Internet of Things Meetup, and both are filled with great content and great people to meet. – Zach Supalla, Particle
4. VC Taskforce
This isn’t an absolutely free resource but pretty close. VC Taskforceis a great nonprofit that helps startup companies develop their pitches for raising seed and early-stage venture capital. – Bonnie Crater, Full Circle Insights, Inc.
5. San Francisco Business Times
There are events organized by publications like San Francisco Business Times, which I found to be great networking and learning opportunities for business owners in the city. – Will Chen, P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle And You, Inc
6. The Streets: Enhanced Visibility
The San Francisco streets are one of our best resources. When people walk around in our hoodies and T-shirts, our brand gets noticed. – Marten Mickos, HackerOne
7. Small Business Association
The SBA’s local branch here in the San Francisco Bay Area offers a myriad of small business discussions, conferences, tips and expert advice through Small Business Development Center and SCORE offices. These offerings are free to the public, and small business owners can benefit greatly by tapping into SBA resources. – Evan Singer, SmartBiz Loans
8. Natural Resources For Unwinding And Destressing
San Francisco’s abundance of natural resources to unplug, recharge and refocus has been an incredibly valuable asset to maintaining balance. A bike ride to Ocean Beach, a walk in Golden Gate Park or a walk along the Embarcadero can bring much-needed clarity to the frenetic pace of start-up life. – Alexi Robichaux, BetterUp