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11 San Diego Businesses Compete in Virtual CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s Union Bank Startup Pitch Competition

Watch the Pitch Videos on the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center YouTube chanel at bit.ly/CAJCYouTube. Judges will select winners for business grants. First place gets $7,500. Second place gets $5,000. Third place gets $2,500.

11 Startups. Five-minute pitches. Three grant prizes. One judging panel. And the audience (watching from their screens).

The cohort of local startup companies, ranging from cocktail kits to online nursing test prep to concussion-monitoring technology, will compete in the virtual CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s Union Bank Startup Pitch Competition for grant prizes of $7,500 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place.

In addition to the Union Bank cash grants awarded by the judges (one of which is JCNI board member Paul Robinson), CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center cohort members will have a chance to compete for the “Audience Choice Award.”

These entrepreneurs have recorded five-minute pitch videos to convince a distinguished panel of judges why they should receive a business grant, explaining their business plan and what they’ve learned while in the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center business accelerator program. The judge panel includes:

  • Oralia Alvarez, Director of Business Development,  Founders First Capital Partners, LLC
  • Fred Grier, Reporter, San Diego Business Journal
  • Gil Kennedy, Vice President, Branch Manager, Union Bank
  • Chida Rebecca, Entrepreneur & Publisher, Black & Magazine
  • Paul Robinson, Founder & CEO, Ensunet Technology Group and Board Member, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

From June 28 through July 8,  the public can participate by “liking” their favorite pitch video on CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s YouTube channel, bit.ly/CAJCYouTube. The winner will receive the distinction of “Audience Choice” awardee and a prize basket, including an iPad.

Since the program’s inception, 25 local startups from various industries including technology, education, food, retail, health and beauty, have completed the six-month program, which seamlessly transitioned to a virtual program starting in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This accelerator program is helping young entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality by giving them the tools to build a successful business,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “The diversity of ideas and participants supported by CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s program will help grow our local economy by allowing those businesses to get off to a fast start and put more San Diegans back to work.”

CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center is a strategic public-private partnership between the City of San Diego, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and CONNECT w/ San Diego Venture Group. The business accelerator program and Business Resource Center opened in May 2019 in a renovated 4,300-square-foot space at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center in Southeastern San Diego.

All are invited to access free support through the Business Resource Center. Contact Selena Ellis-Vizcarra at sellisvizcarra@jacobscenter.org.

This program is funded in whole or part with Community Development Block Grant program funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of San Diego, and private funding from partners, such as MUFG Union Bank N.A. and bkm OfficeWorks.

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Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation Seeks Community Board Member

>>> CLICK HERE TO APPLY. <<<

Applicants Must Live, Work in or Demonstrate Engagement with the Southeastern San Diego Community

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation has announced a call for applications for a community board member. Open to individuals who live, work or otherwise demonstrate engagement with the Southeastern San Diego community, this position is an opportunity to give back through advocacy, leading a committee or project, supporting community events and more. Applications are due July 31.

Community board members are part of the board of directors who serve side-by-side with Jacobs family members. Jacobs Center’s board members support and encourage the organization’s vision – to be part of a caring community where: people are responsible to each other, all cultures are embraced, sustaining resources are in place for a vibrant economy and residents create the future they envision.

“We are looking forward to welcoming another board member onto the Jacobs Center board. Having community board members has greatly enhanced our understanding of Southeastern San Diego neighborhoods and residents’ needs and goals,” said Valerie Jacobs Hapke, chairman of the Jacobs Center board. “We are seeking a volunteer who’s invested in this community and supports Jacobs Center’s mission to build communities and lift lives.”

The new board member will take the place of outgoing board member and current vice chair, Laila Aziz, who is the program director at Pillars of the Community. Aziz is a longtime community and policy advocate, who has worked to change legislation that disproportionally impacts youth and communities of color. Her contributions to the board and community include coordinating the Southeastern San Diego COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, distributing emergency grants to local nonprofit organizations serving Diamond District residents.

Continuing community board members include:

  • Paul Robinson, a Southeastern San Diego native and information technology entrepreneur, whose focus is on education to careers and local economy initiatives that offer accessible pathways to success for the community.
  • Juan Carlos Hernandez, a 30-year veteran of the banking industry who gives back in many ways through local board service, including as MANA de San Diego’s treasurer.

To be considered, applicants must be involved or have been involved in a Jacobs Center project, activity, committee or have a recommendation from someone involved. Ideal candidates will have expertise in community engagement, real estate development, finance, law, fundraising, economic development and/or government relations.

About Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
Founded in 1995, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is focused on building communities and lifting lives. As a creative catalyst and incubator, the Jacobs Center works with the community to revitalize Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. This means transforming nearly 60 acres into sustainable developments that provide residents with greater access to resources and amenities that improve their quality of life. Additionally, the Jacobs Center works with community organizations and partners to increase residents’ economic opportunities, leadership skills and educational success.

Learn more at www.jacobscenter.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation: Health & Safety Resources

Community Resources

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Page
  • For the latest updates regarding the coronavirus in San Diego County, please visit coronavirus-sd.com
  • California’s daily COVID-19 updates are available on the Department of Public Health website
  • City of San Diego Coronavirus Information & Updates and Business Relief & Support
  • San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 Updates
  • City of San Diego District 4 Councilmember Monica Montgomery’s website
  • District 4 Emergency Operations Resource Center
  • 2-1-1 San Diego’s COVID-19 Resources
  • San Diego Youth Services offers resources for youth who have experienced or are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation or human trafficking
  • Voice & Viewpoint – the newspaper is FREE to the community during this vital time
  • NAACP San Diego chapter has a COVID-19 information page accessible here
  • KIPP Adelante Charter School’s latest updates (located next to the Jacobs Center)
  • Internet for All Now – The California Emerging Technology Fund can provide assistance determining if your household qualifies for an affordable home internet offer; call toll-free 1-844841-INFO (4636), or visit http://www.internetforallnow.org/get_affordable_internet_today.
  • Everyone On – To see low cost internet offers for which you may qualify based on zip code and household circumstances call 1-855-EVRY1ON (3879166), text CONNECT to 30364, or visit https://www.everyoneon.org.
  • Human-I-T – A non-profit organization available to help those who are not connected to or unable to afford internet services. Fill out an internet request form at https://www.human-i-t.org/requestinternet or text 1-562-372-6925 for assistance accessing internet services.  Assistance is also available to help with affordable device access.
  • Computers 2 Kids – C2K is a program that donates computers to families in need at a reduced cost. Each computer received includes one free year of technical support and is loaded with Microsoft Windows and Office Suite software. Apply online at https://www.c2sdk.org/; only one application permitted per household. Call 1-858-200-9788 with questions.

Health Resources

  • Fresh Food Bank, Tuesdays at 4 p.m. Pick-up at the Jacobs Center, hosted by I Am My Brothers Keeper, Urban Alchemy 360 and San Diego Urban Sustainability. Sign up here.
  • Stay Home SD, a grocery assistance program for seniors 65+. Visit website or call 619-800-3252.
  • San Diego Hunger Coalition’s food assistance programs and resources
  • The Alzheimer’s Association’s dementia and Alzheimer’s caregiving tips
  • The American Heart Association has resources to help maintain a healthy lifestyle while at home

Nonprofit Resources

  • San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative (COI) is requesting applications for Health and Racial Equity mini-grants (applications are due May 15)
  • What’s in the CARE Act for Nonprofits? from the National Council of Nonprofits
  • Article: “How Nonprofits Can Utilize the new Federal Laws Dealing with COVID-19” from Nonprofit Quarterly

Business & Financial Resources

Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation Updates

  • The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation cares about the safety and wants to maintain a safe workplace and environment for its customers, visitors and community. We would like to make the community aware of the following updates in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) beginning Monday, March 16:
  • Jacobs Center staff will be working remotely to the extent possible as a precautionary measure. The information line for the center will remain open and someone will be answering inquiries that come through the general phone number: (619-527-6161)
  • The Southeastern San Diego COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund funded over 35 community based nonprofits to provide support to the community at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the page for a list of organizations that were funded, including links to get assistance or show support for their efforts.
  • The Arts Park @ Chollas Creek and the Writerz Blok program is closed until further notice.
  • We are currently not taking new reservations for the Community Room and Market Creek Amphitheater on the Jacobs Center Campus. For existing reservations or inquiries, please contact Alvenesia Sims at asims@jacobscenter.org or 619-527-6161 ext. 189.
  • Most events scheduled between now and the beginning of April through Kitchens for Good (at Celebration Hall and other venues at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center) have been postponed or cancelled. For information about specific events or any of their other programs, please contact info@kitchensforgood.org so that your question can be directed to appropriate staff.
  • For any other organizations located in the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center building, please reach out to them directly for updates.

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CONNECT ALL @ The Jacobs Center: Temporary Closure, Program Moved Virtual

Monday, March 16 to Tuesday, March 31

CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center, in partnership with the City of San Diego, has decided to temporarily close the business accelerator beginning Monday, March 16 through the end of the month.

All scheduled workshops, office hours and cohort member collaboration will be virtual.

Similarly, our Business Resource Center’s physical location will be closed, but we are happy to help virtually. Contact Selena Ellis-Vizcarra at sellisvizcarra@jacobscenter.org.

Applications for the next cohort are still open through Monday, March. 30. Please contact info@connectallsd.org with any questions.

Apply now! 

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California Humanities Appoints Vice President of Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation as New Board Chair

California Humanities, the statewide public humanities grantmaker and programming nonprofit, announces Bennett Peji as its new Board Chair, effective February 6, 2020.

Peji, a board member of California Humanities for over four years, is Vice President at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego. He directs the community affairs work as well as the business accelerator, branding, marketing, and public relations. Peji is an international brand consultant, designer, and frequent speaker on inclusive, community-centered design. He co-founded Connect All @ the Jacobs Center, the first city-funded, low-to-moderate income, and diversity-focused business entrepreneurship center and accelerator in San Diego.

In addition to his California Humanities board service, Peji also serves on the boards of Tijuana Innovadora and the UDA Foundation. Appointed by the Mayor, he served as a Commissioner of Arts & Culture for the City of San Diego from 2003 to 2012. He also served as President of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Asian Business Association.

“We’re grateful to Bennett Peji for his years of service and we’re pleased to announce the continuation of his support in this new role,” said California Humanities President and CEO Julie Fry. “After many years working within the San Diego community, supporting entrepreneurs and neighborhood development, we know he will bring an innovative mindset, strong relationships, and his charismatic leadership qualities to this statewide position.”

“I believe strongly in civic participation at the neighborhood and city level, based on deep research, community engagement, and collaboration,” said Bennett Peji, “As the new Chair of the California Humanities Board of Directors, I will use this perspective to support California Humanities as it continues to engage communities through high-quality public humanities experiences across the state.”

For more information on members of the California Humanities Board, visit calhum.org/about-us/board-of-directors/.

ABOUT CALIFORNIA HUMANITIES

California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities — focused on ideas, conversation and learning — as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit calhum.org, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Jacobs Presents: Preview of Common Ground Theatre’s “Little Rock”

On Saturday, Feb. 29 at 4 p.m., Jacobs Presents’ FREE Black History Month Celebrations will culminate with a preview of Common Ground Theatre’s “Little Rock.”

Directed by Yolanda Franklin, “Little Rock” tells the true story of the nine black students who integrated into the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School after the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education. The play highlights how these brave students suffered and what they ultimately achieved.

Based in Southeastern San Diego since 1963, Common Ground Theatre’s mission is “to produce classics and new works by and about people of African descent that entertain, educate and connect with audiences of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.”

Don’t miss the final Jacobs Presents: Black History Month event at Celebration Hall!

Please RSVP here.

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Jacobs Center Salutes San Diego Actors at Craig Noel Awards

On Monday, Feb. 10, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle celebrated San Diego’s own version of the Tony Awards, the 18th Annual Craig Noel Awards for Theatrical Excellence. Hosted at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center, 29 awards were presented for 2019’s top achievements from professional San Diego County theaters.

Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the diverse winners:

Cashae Monya received the coveted “Actor of the Year” award for four performances at three theaters in 2019: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at Diversionary Theatre; “A Jewel in the Crown City” at Lamb’s Players Theatre; and “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Intimate Apparel,” both at New Village Arts Theatre.

Tamara McMillian was honored in the category of Lead Performance in a Play for “Intimate Apparel” at New Village Arts Theatre. She dedicated the award to the memory of her late brother.

Kevane La’Marr Coleman (third from the left) was among the team of actors who won the Outstanding Ensemble category for their combined performances in Cygnet Theatre’s “Angels in America,” Parts 1 & 2.

(All photos courtesy of Ion Moe).

Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is proud to support San Diego’s arts, culture and theatre initiatives. Congratulations to all the winners!

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Jacobs Center’s Facilities Concierge Alvenesia Sims Completes Certified Property Manager Certificate

Congratulations to Jacobs Center’s Facilities Concierge Alvenesia Sims who recently completed a Certified Property Manager (CPM) certificate from IREM® and received the “Community Jewel Award” at the 27th Annual Kuumba Fest Black 2 Excellence Celebration.

Alvenesia joined Jacobs Center as an in-house security guard in 2013 and has been an integral part of the team ever since. Jacobs Center is grateful for Alvenesia’s dedication to Jacobs Center’s work and the betterment of Southeastern San Diego.

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Jacobs Presents: African-American Women in Film

On Feb. 25, enjoy a FREE screening of Netflix’s “Never Heard” & “Together,” as part of Jacobs Presents: Black History Month Celebrations!

To commemorate African-American women in film, we’ll be screening scenes from Netflix’s “Never Heard” by local filmmaker Tamera Hill and the film short “Together” at Jacobs Center’s Celebration Hall. After the screening, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A, moderated by “Black &” Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chida Rebecca.

Never Heard” tells the story of a father who is incarcerated for a crime he swears he did not commit and his son who is lured into Los Angeles’ merciless drug world and forced between God and gang life.

A family must make a critical decision that will change their lives forever in the film short, “Together,” featuring Efé, winner of the 2019 D.C. Black Film Festival Actress of the Year award.

RSVP here.

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