PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce took 30 Central Coast leaders for a fun, yet educational experience in Silicon Valley. The group toured three different tech businesses — Facebook, LinkedIn, and BootUp Ventures.
Attendees were treated to an insider’s look into how these companies operate on a daily basis. Facebook and LinkedIn are websites that most people use every day making it a great opportunity for Central Coast residents to get a chance to see behind the scenes.
“The trip to Silicon Valley with Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce was an unexpected thrill,” said Lisa Colwell, DAOU Vineyards Estate ambassador. “They provided an exceptionally organized, interesting, exhilarating day from start to finish. We were fortunate enough to gain access to the nine-acre rooftop park during our tour at Facebook, have a lovely lunch and tour on the campus of LinkedIn, and experience an interactive group session with the Founder/CEO of BootUp Ventures.”
At Facebook, members of their staff provided a tour of their headquarters campus located at 1 Hacker Way which was designed in collaboration with Disney imaginers to create a “main street” feel with office buildings framing a linear tree-lined plaza where employees were found juggling, working in outdoor lounges, and queuing at one of the numerous free dining options for a mid-morning snack. Then the group walked across the street to the MPK 20 campus which is a Frank Gehry designed 1 million square foot single-story building with a rooftop park. Due to the building’s size, maps are embedded into the floor to help employees and visitors navigate the space.
LinkedIn provided lunch at their Brick & Mortar café so the group could experience dining among the employees. This was followed by a tour of the on-site gym, lounge areas, snack rooms, and coffee bars thereby giving the group the ability to see the possibilities of what a workplace can become.
Loreli Cappel of the Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County noted, “It’s great for us to get out of our small region and see things that may be transferable to our businesses.”
LinkedIn exhibited how they have recently staffed an entire department whose mission is to develop a quality work environment.
Founder Mukul Agarwal of BootUp Ventures, which is a business incubator, provided a tour of the space and facilitated a round-table discussion where he asked the question, “What is it that your area can offer businesses that would make enough economic sense to entice them to move to Paso Robles?” This question led to a lively discussion that was the highlight of the trip for many.
All in all, this attendees said this was an amazing opportunity to cultivate new connections, nurture existing ones, and end the day feeling inspired.
Joanna Wemple of the County Office of Education summed up her experience by saying, “Absolutely fabulous! Time well spent.”
The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce is planning to take another trip to Silicon Valley in 2019 so make sure to stay connected by going to their website, and following them on social media.
The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Department has been actively expanding its efforts to provide investors and residents with the tools they need to thrive in Paso Robles. Some of these efforts include the creation of the Business and Entrepreneurial Success Team (BEST), preparation of business quick start guides, and a new business start-up guide. A relocation guide and new economic development website will be available this fall.