Intellectual Property Rights from Tom Lebens

Tom Lebens is our resident legal expert when it comes to tech and the business world. Recently he provided us with a much needed update on Intellectual Property Rights for any current or aspiring business owner.

Intellectual property is the core source of value and competitive advantage for many businesses as we navigate our knowledge economy. Much has changed in, for example, the patent law since Tom last spoke with SOFTEC, both in the legal landscape, with the adoption of the American Invents Act and the first to file patent system, the creation of the provisional patent application, changes in how software patents are viewed by the courts, and changes in enforcement options for small and medium-sized businesses.

At the same time intellectual property remains the constraint that drives creativity in many instances. At the same time, the process and cost of preparing intellectual property documents are changing with the introduction of new technologies that assist (and sometimes replace) attorneys, agents, and technical writers. Tom will share how these technologies are being deployed in his office and his thoughts as to what this means for the future.

Tom is a veteran presenter at TechBrew, and also has a long history of participating with Softec.

His slidedeck for his presentation can be found here:
What is Intellectual Property — Small Business IP Strategy 2017-11-13

Startup Weekend 2017

Thank You to CPE for

Running a GREAT Event!!

This was my 7th Startup Weekend and since I have written about the entire process in prior years, this year I want to focus on how the event is evolving over time. Internationally 12% of the teams at a Startup Weekend will go on beyond the event in the business formation process. I can tell you without question that the Cal Poly event run by the Cal Poly Entrepreneur Club is way past that average. Our community has an advantage of a ecosystem that helps the ideas move through to the business community.  The services from Judy Mahan’s organizations, at the SLO Hot House (business incubator), are perfect for helping Startup Weekend Groups launch their business.

Great Progress

One thing that is really encouraging is the evolution of the gender mix. The percentage of women giving pitches and participating in teams have grown noticeably over the years. It was cool to look at the line of people waiting to pitch and seeing an equal split between men and women. The technology industry needs a smart, motivated, and diverse labor pool.  Based on this event we are moving in the right direction.

The concepts have gotten much better over the years. The winners of this year’s competition were all serious ideas that hold the potential to be startups in our community. In the earliest events there were some concepts that were fun for the weekend but not really serious. There were still a few that will never see the light of day but like any creative process you must allow for this type of fall out. We will not know for a few months how many go forward but I would wager that it will be way more than 12%!

The Business Community Should be MORE Engaged

People ask me why I participate in these events and its because it creates competitive advantage for me. For $65 I get to talk with smart people for 54 hours as we explore business topics of interest to me. I get to hear smart ideas from brilliant minds and meet people that are self-motivated to solve those challenges. I get outside, independent, creative ideas and they feed me! It does take time but as I told my wife I have to be somewhere, and this is more fun than most of the alternatives.  I am shocked that business participation is so low. Out of the 100+ involved in the event I was one of three that were over 30. Since the average age of a successful entrepreneur that launches a high growth business is 39 you have to wonder why this event was not full of experienced business people. All this happens for $1.20 an hour – WHAT A DEAL!!! Here is what Time Magazine says about this:

Start-ups in some industries, such as biotech and business software, gain an edge from the experience that comes with a founder’s age. According to research by Vivek Wadhwa, an academic and tech entrepreneur, and the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of successful start-up founders in these and other high-growth industries was 40. And high-growth start-ups are almost twice as likely to be launched by people over 55 as by people 20 to 34.

Source: http://business.time.com/2013/03/14/ask-the-expert-the-best-age-for-a-start-up-founder/

CPE Organizers Help Startups

Stepping On Out!!

A Word about Cal Poly

I am a big fan of the CPE and CIE at Cal Poly. Their support hosting this event is a huge contribution to the local business community. What our business community must realize is that this is not just for University students. Startup Weekend is open to anyone in the community that has the entrepreneurial spirit, an idea to change the world, and the drive to make it happen.  Learn more about the great people in CPE Leadership https://cpentrepreneurs.com/officer-bios/

See You Next Year!

About the Author:

Bob Dumouchel | Senior Data Scientist bob@smsrd.com

  Systems & Marketing Solutions Inc. www.smsdesignlab.com

Digital Sales Agency

Softec Past President – Board Member for over 20 years

Amanda Radakovich at October’s Women in Tech Breakfast

We had a great time getting to know Amanda Radakovich at this month’s WIT breakfast.

Amanda Radakovich is the Director of Customer Success at Dozuki, a software company based in San Luis Obispo that caters to manufacturers around the globe. As a part of a small leadership team within the company, Amanda has been responsible for building the customer success programs and scaling the support team as the company continues to grow. 

Amanda shared her insights on the software as a service (SAS) world—from communicating technical problems to determining how to best serve different client bases. She shared her story and her love of horses. Catch up on anything you missed, or relive the action by listening to her insight interview below: 

Looking for information on upcoming events? Have a speaker you’d like to nominate? Want to support local women in tech? Follow us on Facebook! 

Lorelei Sibet at September’s WIT Breakfast

First off—a quick apology for the lack of previous post from our summer WIT Breakfasts—we had some truly inspirational speakers. While we haven’t been able to keep up posting here, you can relive the adventure by heading over to our Facebook page. There you will find recaps from our wonderful guest speakers: Shannon Pileggi from Cal Poly’s Statistics Department, Jen Rushing from Central Coast New Tech High, and Erica Thatcher from SLO Library.

We’re back in the swing of things here, and should be posting all the rest of our recaps here on the blog. Which brings me to this month’s WIT breakfast recap!


We had a great time getting to know Lorelei Sibet at this month’s WIT breakfast.

Lorelei Sibet has more than 25 years experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. In addition to her agency, One Siren Productions, Lorelei is involved in several businesses, products, and community interests.

One of those businesses is SLO MakerSpace — a 24/7 community tool and craft shop. In the last year she’s expanded Ceramics, Woodturning, Summer Camp, Blacksmithing, Leathercrafting, and the MiniMakers Specialty Program in partnership with Inspire Charter Schools. MiniMakers has 50 homeschool children attending SLO MakerSpace 10-hours a week during the school year for a state curriculum driven and immersive project-based learning specialty program. Lorelei is now focused on expanding SLO MakerSpace’s resources and support for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Lorelei also runs the SLO County Women Entrepreneurs Meetup Group and  Facebook Group for women entrepreneurs and business owners meet, network, share resources, and promote to the community to help grow their businesses. 

After 24 years in the Washington, DC area, two years ago Lorelei moved to San Luis Obispo with her husband and business partner, Dharmesh Patel, to specifically support SLO MakerSpace and grow their other new businesses and products.

Hear all the action and follow along at home by checking out link below for Lorelei’s insights on being starting a new venture, supporting women entrepreneurs, what it means to be a maker, pie factories, and all the delicious details of the SLO MakerSpace: 

Follow us on Facebook for updates on upcoming events, hear from other local women in tech, or nominate a speaker.

Kristen Olsen at May’s Women in Tech Breakfast

We had a great time getting to know Kristen Olsen at this month’s WIT breakfast.

Kristen Olsen (@kdolsen) moved to San Luis Obispo nearly 20 years ago to pursue her dream of improving people’s lives through software development. She gets that opportunity every day as a Software Development Manager for Amazon, leading a team that enables people all over the world to independently publish their books for distribution on Kindle and print.

She studied Computer Science at Cal Poly and her career has been a tour of many of the large technology companies that people love – including Intel, HP, Apple, and Adobe (then Macromedia). Locally she started working for LEVEL Studios helping to create websites for large companies and then worked remotely as an Apple employee helping to write the services that Developers use to make applications available on iOS and Mac devices. After working remotely for years she wanted to come into a local office again which lead her to Amazon in San Luis Obispo.
Kristen lives in North County with her amazing husband Joe who stays home to take care of the kids and two young boys who are always at the ready with hugs. In her free time she loves to spend time with her husband and sons playing video & board games, watching eSports, being a part of a church community, and making crafts.

Weren’t able to join us in person? No problem. Join us digitally by checking out link below for Kristen’s insights on being a woman in tech, supporting a stay-at-home dad,  eSports, video games—and how, for Kristen,  technology is an act of making:

Share your own insights on our Facebook page.  Follow us  for updates on upcoming events, hear from other local women in tech, or nominate a speaker.

Sarah Risley at April’s Women in Tech Breakfast

We had a great time getting to know Sarah Risley at this month’s WIT breakfast.

Sarah Risley (@SarahRisley) is the Nuclear Training Accreditation Supervisor at Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Diablo Canyon Power Plant. In 2010, driven by her passion for recruitment and retention of women in technology, she founded the Diablo Canyon Chapter of U.S. Women in Nuclear (U.S. WIN). U.S. WIN is the premier network of more than 8,000 members that work in, and support nuclear and radiation-related fields, with a keen focus on public outreach and professional development. She continues on the board today, and also represents members from the central and pacific regions on the national level by her service on the U.S. WIN Steering Committee, and is the Executive Sponsor for the national Professional Development Committee. Sarah holds a Master of Business Administration from Cal Poly and Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communication from the University of Texas, Austin. Sarah, her husband Chris, and their two young children reside in San Luis Obispo’s south county.

For those you who missed the breakfast—don’t worry! We recorded the interview.

Check out the link below for Sarah’s insights on being a working mother,  movies—from Nightmare Before Christmas to Some Like it Hot—and women in tech: 

Be sure to stop by our Facebook page to hear about upcoming events, drop a comment, or request a future speaker.

Software Developer

Our Company
There are countless software companies on the West Coast, but Comevo – based in San Luis Obispo – is one of a kind. Agile, innovative and responsive to our clients’ changing needs, our approach is simple. We collaborate. We communicate. And we create software – online orientation software for higher education institutions throughout North America – that is elegant, engaging and effective.

Our People
What makes us truly special? It is the character of each person – the individual skills, talents and personalities – that constitutes the essence of our company.

To continue providing our clients with software and service that are absolutely first class, we keep a constant lookout for innovative, industrious individuals who want to be part of strong, diverse, productive team.

Our Promise
There are no benchwarmers at Comevo: everyone gets to play in every game. Our size – and our positive, professional and rewarding corporate culture – affords each employee the opportunity to make a significant impact on the company’s success. Your voice will be heard. Your contributions will count. And your efforts will be rewarded.

Position Description
You get to create. You get to have fun. You get to earn money. Ultimately, you get to put your development skills to work in a variety of applications and services.

We’re a software company, so naturally our software developers play a vital role in our organization. Your experience, work ethic and ability to work both independently and within a team will ensure your success, and will contribute significantly to the continued growth of our business.

Primary Responsibilities
* Maintain – Core web application
* Create – Architecture and implementation of new services
* Develop – Front-end web development
* Implement – Internal support applications
* Support – Facilitate client set-ups
* Service – Address client issues as they arise

Qualifications & Skills
* Education – Bachelor of Science degree in a software related study.
* General – At least 3-5 years of industry experience in a software related field.
* Hands-On Experience – C#, ASP.NET, MS SQL Server, CSS, HTML and AWS a plus.
* Problem Solver – Ability to think strategically and develop creative solutions to challenges.
* Communicator – Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
* Professional – Team player with strong work ethic and outstanding organizational skills.

Details
Salary: $90,000 – $120,000 DOE
Hours: Fulltime

Contact Comevo
www.comevo.com, hr@comevo.com, (800) 748-0975

Comevo, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

IT Applications Support

IT Applications Support

We are a local food manufacturer with a long history of providing great products and being a top place to work in SLO county! We expect professionalism, experience, a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and the ability to work independently and/or within a team to provide top notch support and service to our staff. This position provides support to the administrative offices, as well as to plant personnel regarding how to use ERP software applications to ship orders, enter production, create PO’s, receive in product, supply chain planning, and general use of ERP system and other applications.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
~Act as the primary resource in the plant to assist users with the use of the ERP system. Learn the details of how the system works and is the on-site “expert” to assist users in all areas of the plant (manufacturing, planning, purchasing, A/P, A/R, Customer Service, Inventory, Shipping, Receiving, RF, etc.).
~Responsible for documenting procedures and proper use of the ERP system in all areas.
~Responsible for trouble-shooting ERP system issues and solving data/user-related problems.
~Responsible for testing ERP system updates and modifications as needed.
~Responsible for training new users on the use of the ERP system.
~Responsible for training users, documentation, and trouble-shooting other application software issues.
~Act as main point of contact between local Plant and IT Department at corporate headquarters.
~Coordinate with corporate headquarters on any system issues or functional needs.
~Review IT support requests and determine if they can be fulfilled locally or need to be escalated to corporate headquarters.
~Assist users with functions of all corporate software – answers questions, explains functionality, requests changes when needed.
~Remains abreast of changes in system software and hardware requirements.
~Enter commands and observe system functions to verify correct system operation. Instruct user in use of equipment, software, and manuals.
~Answer user’s inquiries in person and via telephone concerning systems operation. Diagnose system and operator problems. Recommends or performs minor remedial actions to correct problems based on knowledge of system operation.
~Attend technical conferences and seminars to keep abreast of new software and hardware product developments.
~Write documentation to instruct users in use of software and equipment.
~Train users to use various programs and provides technical assistance.
~Other duties may be assigned as needed.

TECHNOLOGIES SUPPORTED:
~PeopleSoft ERP system
~Microsoft Office suite (various versions)
~Adobe Acrobat
~Nortel multi-line phone system
~Oracle database
QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS:

•Education – Minimum 2 years college education in IT or related field, and/or 2-3 years experience in a similar position.
•Must be a proven problem solver, with the ability to think strategically and quickly develop creative solutions to challenges.
•Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, able to clearly and routinely communicate with a variety of staff levels.
•Must be a professional, team player with strong work ethic and outstanding organizational skills.
•Experience in or ability to learn quickly desired on the technologies listed above is a BIG PLUS, especially with ERP systems!

This is a non-exempt, hourly full-time position. This position has no supervisory responsibilities. Pay is competitive, depending on experience, plus we have a very generous benefits package.

To apply send your resume to  hr1@spicehunter.com

SMV Tech Brew – April 2017

Last night the SMV Tech Brew at the Moxie Cafe was a standing room only event with every chair filled. The crowd came together to hear Brian Beaton PhD, and Bruce Burton from Cal Poly’s California Cyber Training Complex talk about the upcoming California Cyber Innovation Challenge in June. Included in the audiences were students from Orcutt Academy that are considering building a team for the competition.  With over 40 people in the audience we were at capacity.

SMV Tech Brew – Jeff Barnes

Last night about 25 people came together for a presentation from Jeff Barnes. The presentation started with a trip down memory lane talking about the evolution of CafeFX in Santa Maria. This was capped off with the demo roll that included many of the feature films that CafeFX during its 18 years in Santa Maria.

As always Jeff was a good storyteller and he made the presentation fun to listen to. The second half of the presentation was on Lytro camera technology and it is a real game changer. The data depth was amazing and the file sizes involved are just crazy but so are the abilities to edit after shooting. While Jeff went well over my head several times the parts I understood were amazing and the others probably was too. Jeff intended to get to the application for VR for this technology but we ran out of time. We are currently discussing with Jeff a possible second Tech Brew so we can finish our look at this subject.

On a personal note my son Ryan attended with his son Zeplen so here is a picture of three generations at a Softec meeting. For those that have been with Softec for a long time you might remember that my mother used to do guest check-in during the late 90’s so this makes it 4 generations of Softec in our family.