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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company may be Butte County’s best-known entrepreneurial success story, but keep your eyes on Build.com, ChicoBag, Auctiva, Mooney Farms, and KleanKanteen. These are a few of the area’s emerging companies, and they prove you don’t have to be located in a major urban center to be a successful entrepreneur.

Are You an Entrepreneur?

In the broadest sense, an entrepreneur is any individual who assumes the risk of business ownership (see Business Start-up). But a certain class of entrepreneur operates on a different plane. These fast-growth companies have the following characteristics, and unique needs to go with them:

  • Innovative product or service
  • National or international market
  • Built for growth, future acquisition or initial public offering (IPO)

As Sierra Nevada shows, your company doesn’t have to be tech-based to fit the entrepreneurial model. It’s all about the product, market, and growth. Sierra Nevada started out brewing five-gallon batches of beer on homemade equipment and today is the second largest craft brewery in the US.

Where to Find Other Entrepreneurs



Team California

>> Golden Capital Network
Golden Capital Network is a Chico-based nonprofit networking, training and consulting group that fosters growth entrepreneurship and early stage investing through programs around the country.
>> Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance
Startup resources, mentoring, funding, networking for development-stage technology companies.
>> TechCoire
Provides information, investment, and networking opportunities to Sacramento-area technology entrepreneurs and executives.
>> Connectory
Business-to-business networking.
>> UC Davis Innovation Access
Connecting research to the marketplace

Where to Find Angel or Venture Capital

Angel Investors and Venture Capital firms invest in early stage companies for a share of the profits as the company grows. Often, though not always, they take an equity stake in the company. These companies are willing to take an educated risk in exchange for an anticipated high rate of return.

See Financing for a complete description of financing options, including angel and venture capital resources.

Other Resources

>> 3CORE
Butte County Business Incubator Program provides mentoring for existing companies with up to 5 employees
>> Small Business Development Center
Entrepreneurship training for existing businesses and start-ups
>> Center For Entrepreneurship, CSU, Chico
Entrepreneurship training and outreach
>> MANEX: The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence
Strategic planning, marketing strategies, distribution and channel strategies, in/outsourcing