A standing room only crowd of almost 100 visitors gathered in support of Temecula’s latest venture – the Temecula Valley Entrepreneur’s Exchange (TVEE) on Saturday, Nov. 3. Mayor Chuck Washington was on hand to speak at the ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a tour of the facility and meetings with the businesses already established offices in the former City Hall structure.
Transforming the building into a new business incubator has engaged some city council members in vigorous debates with local candidates who have preferred to use the facility as a police station.
Mayor Chuck Washington had this to say: “I believe the incubator is the best use of the space.”
The city’s seal hangs behind the reception desk with office space and meeting rooms in either wing and ping-pong tables at the ready for some offline break time.
Offices boast modern furnishings with bullpen-style white desks, chairs and a coffeehouse atmosphere, mounted flat screen televisions, Kuerig coffee stations and whiteboards to capture brainstorm sessions at the whim of the workers.
“When I walked in, I didn’t expect to see all of this. It was almost startling how beautiful it is,” said Anne Bowman, Temecula resident and coordinator of Southwest California Pageants.
“We’ve chosen our three main start-ups as businesses with the same platform, yet unique spins on ideas,” said Cheryl Kitzerow, Temecula Economic Business Analyst.
This unique view is already working with the businesses under the TVEE umbrella, said TVEE business owner Brian Noland, CEO of Anywhere Science, LLC who continues to grow his concept.
“It’s exciting how our companies are similar, yet different enough so that we can brainstorm how to build our ideas,” Noland said.
Noland took the opportunity to chat with business hopeful, Cecilia Abaide of Betterize.it—an Android app that claims a fun new way to a better you, one habit at a time.
“This is an amazing opportunity. With Silicone Valley so crowded, Temecula is a perfect place for companies to land.,” Abaide said.
NZN Technologies owner Richard Zinn described his take on the TVEE offices.
“They needed to create a vibe where people want to be here, work here and that’s exactly what the city has done,” Zinn said.
With three founders and three employees, Zinn recently made the transition to TVEE from San Jose. “There is an ambiance here where young people want to come to work, stay late and be part of cool new businesses.”
After a three-year commute to San Francisco area and New York, Zinn is glad to have his business in Temecula to stay. “All the pieces exist here to create a mini Silicon Valley, and I’m happy to be part of that,” he said.
Along with the dot-com reminiscent office space are the mentorship programs for each business member.
“We’re happy to be on hand to see how we can help new businesses get the word out in a way that’s smart,” Charles Musselwhite said.
Along with wife Linda of Musselwhite Marketing, Charles came to evaluate speaking opportunities at TVEE. The Musselwhite’s 17-year-old son, Quinton, also has the entrepreneurial bug — already designing and selling T-shirts worldwide.
“It’s a fantastic space for young people like me to not just go to work but perhaps start a business while being in school without the high cost of overhead.”
For more information, visit: www.TVE2.org or call 951-506-5180.
TVEE is located at 43200 Business Park Drive, Temecula.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.