The Central Coast is full of entrepreneurs with a lot of creative and innovative business idea, but the trick is getting those ideas through the necessary steps it takes to bring them to fruition. 

Pacific Southwest Region US Fish and Wildlife

Green energy—and the definition of that would depend on who you talk to—is a growing part of the Central Coast economy. Solar energy in particular has really taken off in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties.

According to Atascadero-based Solarponics, San Luis Obispo County has more solar generation per-capita than any other county in the nation. And in terms of major solar fields, the Central Coast's inland region has just about any other location beat.

Ty Safreno, Trust Automation

The specialized manufacturing sector of the San Luis Obispo County economy accounts for 2.27 percent of the jobs in the area, but according to number from the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC), those jobs come with an average pay-scale higher then most other industries — $65,855.

While relatively small, the sector is growing. The latest numbers show it grew seven percent from 2008 to 2014.


Ty Safreno, CEO and co-owner of Trust Automation, Inc., is the co-chair of EVC's Specialized Manufacturing Council.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

The Colleges and Universities that dot the Central Coast do far more than create an educated populace, they also account for a major portion of the area’s economy.

A recent study took a look at one university in particular—Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo—and found when you tabulate all of the various economic interactions that institution, its students, faculty and staff have with the surrounding area, the sum of those accounts for 12 percent of the entire county’s economic output.


Flickr member gt albert

Some business experts see troubling time ahead for the nation's smaller regional airports, including those along the Central Coast.

A number of local airports are struggling to keep direct service to major hubs in California and beyond, including Santa Barbara (SBA), Bakersfield (BFL) and Monterey Regional (MRY).

In the midst of this, the San Luis Obispo (SBP) Airport is working against the trend, trying to add direct service to both Denver (DEN) and Seattle (SEA).

The upcoming 4th Annual TechPitch event is put on by the SLO HotHouse in partnership with Cal Poly and the greater San Luis Obispo community.

Mike Manchak, President and CEO for the Economic Vitality Corporation and Chelsea Brown, Media Coordinator with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, discuss the details with KCBX News Director Randol White.


Flickr member Damian Gadal

This week's topics:

  • Proposed camping facilities for Port San Luis and Avila Beach
  • Montecito's Miramar hotel in line for an upgrade
  • Amazon SLO continues to expand 

This week's topics:

  • Fourth annual TechPitch event for the Cal Poly Small Business Development Center for Innovation and the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Softec, and the Economic Vitality Corporation.
  • Clean Business Investment Summit showcasing socially responsible entrepreneurs at UCSB.
  • Central Coast Restaurateur Ian McPhee negotiating to take over Sebastian's General Store across from Hearst Castle.
Community Environmental Council

The Economic Vitality Corporatioin's (EVC) Mike Manchak is our guest this week on the Business Wrap-up.

Topics include:

  • Procore Technologies gets $15 million infusion of capital.
  • Solarize SLO (free workshops time/locations) working to expand solar energy in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara Counties.
  • San Luis Obispo-based FzioMed looking for FDA approval.
  • Latest unemployment numbers

This week for the business wrap-up, we speak with the Economic Vitality Corporation's CEO/President Michael Manchak about the following topics:

  • SMS Masterminds goes public - raises more than $12 million
  • 805connect coming to SLO, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties