Category: Lifestyle

Self-care September as an entrepreneur

September marks the start of National Self-Care Awareness Month. While this is a reminder to reflect on the importance of self-care, mental health is important all year long. As an entrepreneur, it is easy to forget to prioritize oneself when in the midst of prioritizing a business.

Meeting one’s goals as an entrepreneur takes a lot of time and effort. Entrepreneurs often deal with unusual working hours, stressful decision-making, financial uncertainty, risk of failure and more. Prioritizing self-care is an integral part of creating a work-life balance, avoiding burnout and staying on track to sustained success.

Even during the busiest of times, entrepreneurs should carve out time to take care of themselves. Refocusing energy on oneself and revisiting the activities that provide joy can help create new energy, ideas, and productivity. 

Here is what the CIE community enjoys to prioritize self-care and avoid burnout: 

“Self-care is when I take 20-minute walks throughout my day,” Lynsey Fowler, SBDC Administrative Graphic Design Coordinator. 

“After work, I will do some kind of activity because I’ve been sitting still all day. I’ll go climbing, surfing or hiking,” Sydney Harrison, CIE Marketing and Communications Coordinator. 

“Making sure to take time for yourself and not get swept up in the hustle and bustle of doing your job. As entrepreneurs, we are very passionate about what we are working on. But at the end of the day, it’s still work, so it is important to do things that reenergize you and bring you joy,” Mccall Brinskele, founder and CEO of Mense.  

“Self-care means doing things that make me joyful throughout the day. That could be eating ice cream, dancing or talking to my parents and my brother,” Sarah Hirst, CIE Graphic Design Intern. 

“Being outdoors, being in nature,” Cory Karpin, CIE Interim Executive Director. 

“Clearing my social calendar and making sure that I have time to myself, at least an hour a day whether that’s scrolling on social media, listening to music or taking the long route to work from my car and just being outside,” Stephanie Zombek, CIE Marketing and Communications Manager. 

“Take a day off, plan it and make space for it. I try to get eight hours of sleep and go on runs if I feel antsy,” Avi Peltz, founder and CEO of TensorMaker. 

“I try and get some meditations in throughout the day. It definitely clears the level of thoughts that are circulating in my mind,” Ryan Meffert, founder and CEO of Double Helix Design.  

“Usually if I am working on projects or school work, I always make sure to take a break. I like to eat a lot of snacks while I’m working. Sometimes I like to go out and watch the sunset and spend time at the beach,” Abby Yue, CIE Videography Intern. 

“As a student, I like to prevent burnout by practicing meditation and breath work at home – that’s what I like to do to stay centered,” Libbie Stone, SBDC Videography Intern. 

“I try and get into this concept of anti-rivalry – not try and compare myself to others constantly. I need to show up for myself and achieve the things I set for myself. As soon as I compare myself to others, that is when the danger happens of burning out.” Kevin Meffert, Life Coach.  

“It is good practice to set reasonable hours to work. We usually have to work more than most people, but you should still set your work hours and when you are not available to be contacted,” Taylor Jenisch, founder and CEO of Burning Boat Productions. 

“Self-care means getting good rest, exercising and eating healthy food so that you can have energy to go about your day,” Samantha Moberly, co-founder and CEO of Social Spark.

Comments are off for this post

The CIE’s Favorite Books

National Read a Book Day is a time to celebrate our love for books and stories. In a world where 81% of us wish we had more time to read, this day offers a perfect opportunity to tackle our ‘to-read’ lists. Reading isn’t just an escape; it’s a wellspring of ideas and inspiration for entrepreneurs. 

Over the past year, over 74% of Americans have enjoyed at least one book, despite their busy lives. Electronic platforms make reading on the go easier, with nearly 20% of books read digitally. Whether you prefer physical books or digital screens, pick up the book at the top of your stack and embark on a literary adventure! 

This National Read a Book Day, let’s celebrate the deep connection between reading and entrepreneurship. Dive into a book that sparks your imagination and fuels your entrepreneurial spirit. 

Keep reading below to see what books the CIE community has been enjoying.

CIE Marketing & Communications Manager, Stephanie Zombek: A Gentle Reminder by Bianca Sparacino. 

Associate Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Tom Katona: Silence by Shusaku Endo. 

Director of Finance and Operations, Damon Watkins: Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov

CIE Videographer Intern, Abby Yue: Beartown by Fredrick Backman

CIE Marketing and Communication Coordinator, Sydney Harrison: Swell by Liz Clark.

CIE Graphic Design Intern, Sarah Hirst: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Innovation Programs Coordinator, Oliver Haas: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

CIE PR and Digital Marketing Intern, Schuyler Eley: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Co-founder and CEO of Horizen Tech, Owen Works: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. 

Co-founder of Té Piña, Benjamin Arts: Cut the Bullshit: The Truth About Sales and Marketing by Linus Ocasio

Co-founder and Chief Results Officer of Intersect, Jacob Hubert: $100M Leads: How to Get Strangers to Want to Buy Your Stuff by Alex Hormozi.

SBDC Assistant Director, Liz Fisher, and Co-founder of 2022 Summer Accelerator startup Ryde, Emily Gavrilenko: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Digital Media Coordinator at San Diego Community Power, Alyson Smith: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.

Comments are off for this post

The CIE’s Favorite Podcasts

A graphic that says "What has the CIE community been listening to?" with a collage of podcast covers in the background.

Podcasts have gained significant popularity in recent years. Just nine percent of Americans over 12 years old listened to podcasts in 2008, compared to 41% of the same demographic in 2021, according to Pew Research. Podcast popularity is now growing faster than ever, with listenership increasing by four percent between 2020 and 2021.

We asked the CIE community on our Instagram to share some of their favorite podcasts — check out what shows your local entrepreneurs and innovators have been listening to:

Entertainment | Entrepreneurship | Lifestyle, Health & Well-Being | News & Current Events | Science & Technology | True Crime


A graphic that says "Entertainment: Arts, Sports & Popular Culture" with a collage of podcast covers in the back.

Chicks in the Office discusses recent news in popular culture. From celebrity scandals, relationships and break ups to TV show recaps, the show keeps you up to date on everything pop culture. 

Distractible is a comedy show in which Internet personality Markiplier and two longtime friends talk about interesting stories from their everyday lives.

Guilty Pleasures is hosted by three comedians who take turns sharing their guilty pleasure movies and television shows each week.

The Late Breaking F1 Podcast keeps listeners up to date on the latest happenings in Formula 1 Racing.

Stay Hot is a sports commentary podcast that covers the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.

Welcome to Night Vale keeps listeners updated on the latest news in Night Vale, a fictional town chock-full of conspiracy theories — many of which may just turn out to be true.


A graphic that says "Entrepreneurship" with a collage of podcast covers in the back.

How I Built This is a series of interviews with some of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs about how they built their brands.

Jumpers Jump discusses popular culture and lifestyle from the perspective of three young entrepreneurs. The hosts also include personal anecdotes about their experiences navigating the entrepreneurial world.

StartUp Podcast shares the process of starting a business, from pitching, to attracting investors, to launching and scaling. The first fourteen episodes document the startup process behind Gimlet Media, the media company that produces StartUp Podcast.


A graphic that says "Lifestyle, Health and Well-Being" with a collage of podcast covers in the back.

Anything Goes is, true to its name, a podcast where anything goes. Podcast host and Internet personality Emma Chamberlain speaks whatever is on her mind — fashion trends, relationships, philosophy, pet peeves or mental health.

Armchair Expert is an exploration of the human experience. The podcast features a series of conversations with guests of all walks of life — celebrities, academics and professionals of all kinds — and a common goal of uncovering human truths.

Financial Feminist teaches listeners how to make money, save money and increase their savings. With themes of feminism at its core, the show is intended to help women grow confident in the male-dominated world of finances.

Maintenance Phase teaches listeners how to achieve a well-balanced diet by debunking myths and misinformation about nutrition, health fads and wellness scams.

My Brother, My Brother and Me is a podcast hosted by three brothers. Each week, they give listeners life advice, despite the fact that they have no real qualifications to do so.

The Psychology of Your 20’s explains the psychology behind the common experiences of people in their twenties.

We Can Do Hard Things is hosted by Glennon Doyle, the author of Untamed, a book which rose to popularity at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast opens an honest dialogue about life’s difficulties in an effort to make the hard seem a little easier.


A graphic that says "News and Current Events" with a collage of podcast covers in the back.

The Daily gives listeners an in-depth look at headline news stories, featuring the reporting of New York Times journalists and the voices of real people affected by current events. 

Global News Podcast is a daily podcast that covers BBC’s biggest news stories.

This American Life is an award-winning podcast which tells national news stories through narrative journalism, or journalism with an entertainment-style plot. 

Today Explained episodes are uploaded at the end of each day and recap the day’s biggest news events for listeners.

Up First provides listeners with an overview of the three biggest news stories of the day, accompanied by analysis from NPR News, all in 10 minutes or less.


A graphic that says "Science and Technology" with a collage of podcast covers in the back.

Accidental Tech Podcast is hosted by three self-proclaimed nerds who discuss technology and programming in each episode.

Ologies with Alie Ward is a podcast in which Ward, a humorist and science correspondent, interviews scientists and academics with silly questions about their fields of study.

Science Vs investigates what is fact, what is fiction and what lies somewhere in-between. From veganism and vaping to aliens and asteroids, Science Vs fact-checks fads and trends, replacing listeners’ opinions with hard scientific facts.

Technically Human is a podcast hosted by the CIE’s own Deb Donig, a Cal Poly English professor and CIE faculty fellow. Technically Human is an exploration of ethics and technology and a think tank into how modern technology could be used to better reflect human values.


A graphic that says "True Crime" with a collage of podcast covers in the back.

Crime Junkie features a new true crime story each week about a solved and unsolved murder, missing persons case or wanted fugitives with the use of clear and conversational storytelling.

Dateline NBC shares compelling true crime stories from NBC’s renowned Dateline television show.

National Parks After Dark is hosted by two outdoor enthusiasts who share a morbid fascination with what can go wrong in national parks. The podcast explores the dark histories and tragedies that happen within national parks, as well as inspiring stories of survival and perseverance.

True Spies shares stories of the world’s greatest espionage and detective operations. 

Very Presidential explores the dark secrets, scandals and conspiracies behind some of America’s most powerful politicians.

Comments are off for this post

The CIE’s favorite things to do during a summer in SLO

Aerial shot of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas.

It’s the middle of summer, and many Cal Poly students have said goodbye to San Luis Obispo and returned home for the break. With Cal Poly and Cuesta College students making up nearly one-third of San Luis Obispo residents according to SLO City’s community profile, it isn’t uncommon to hear that “SLO is dead” during the summers — but we’re here to tell you that isn’t necessarily the case. Sure, there are less people in SLO, but there are still plenty of things to do. Here are just a few summer activities that CIE staff and students enjoy during our time off:


I like to go up to the coast and take photos. In Morro Bay, you can get up right near the sand and take photos of nature.

– Sheri Burlock, CIE Administrative Specialist 


Networking in SLO in the summer is kind of unmatched because no one has school to do.

– Dylan DeFazio, Lead Engineer at 2022 Summer Accelerator Startup Grip Safe


Surfing at Pismo Beach.

– Emily Gavrilenko, co-founder of 2022 Summer Accelerator Startup Ryde Carpool


For me, it’s got to be going to Blues games. Nothing says ‘summer’ like baseball & beer.

– Alyssa Espinola, CIE Marketing and Communications Coordinator


Downtown SLO’s Concerts in the Plaza.

Liz Fisher, SBDC Program Manager and Madison Krum, SBDC Project Coordinator


Kayaking in Morro Bay.

– Lyndsey Park, CIE Graphic Design Intern


There’s paddle boarding in Morro Bay. I also like to hike Cuesta Ridge.

– Tyler Revak, CIE Videography Intern


I like to hang out in Avila. I’ll usually bring a book to read on the beach, then get a burger at Avila Market.

– Alyson Smith, CIE Public Relations and Digital Marketing Intern


I’d have to say hiking The P.

– Shaun Tanaka, CEO of 2022 Summer Accelerator Startup Grip Safe


Milestone’s Trivia Night.

– Will Tregenza, co-founder of 2022 Summer Accelerator Startup Quickie


My co-founders and I like to go over to one another’s houses, play Settlers of Catan, make dinner together and eat brownies. We’ve done that four or five times this summer.

– Josh Wong, co-founder of 2022 Summer Accelerator Startup Ryde Carpool


Live music at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. in Paso Robles. And the California Mid-State Fair — I’m going this weekend!

– Stephanie Zombek, CIE Marketing and Communications Manager

Comments are off for this post

National Book Lovers Day: Book Recommendations from the CIE

August 9 is National Book Lovers Day, so we wanted to share some of our favorite books with you. We asked our CIE community which of their recent reads they found most inspiring. Here’s what they had to say:

CIE Marketing & Communications Manager, Stephanie Zombek: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Assistant Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Tom Katona: A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink 

Assistant Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Tom Katona: Silence by Shusaku Endo

CIE Executive Director, John Townsend: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Co-founder of Summer Accelerator company OdinXR, Ali Mohammad: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

CEO and co-founder of Summer Accelerator company OdinXR,Tessa Luzuriaga: Candide by Voltaire

CIE Administrative Specialist, Sheri Burlock: The Happiest Advantage: How A Positive Brain Feels Success in Work and Life

Co-founder of Summer Accelerator company For Mom, Camila Monchini: The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay

Co-founder of Summer Accelerator company For Mom, Christina Grigorian: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Co-founder of Summer Accelerator company Slolar, Yash Desai: Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company by Andew S. Grove

CIE community member, Danny Gonzalez: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz 

CIE community member, Danny Gonzalez: The Clutterbug Books by Cassandra Aarssen

For more book recommendations, check out The Books and Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should Know About.

Comments are off for this post

Favorite Places in SLO County: Summer 2021

We asked the CIE community to tell us their favorite places here in San Luis Obispo County. Here’s what they had to say:

Hiking Hot Spots

Poly Canyon Trail. Photo by Emily Olstad

Hike Poly Canyon to Architecture Graveyard, a collection of deserted architecture structures built by Cal Poly architecture, engineering and design students.

Prefumo Canyon. Photo by Willa Westneat

The Prefumo Canyon trail leads to a scenic overlook perfect to watch the sunset.

Pismo Preserve. Photo by Stephanie Zombek

Pismo Preserve connects to a number of hiking and biking trails, great for hikers of all levels.

More Outdoor Attractions

Cal Poly Leaning Pine Arboretum. Photo by Alyson Smith

The Leaning Pine Arboretum is a scenic garden on the Cal Poly campus composed of a class projects, lab exercises and senior projects from over a span of 50 years.

Pismo Beach. Photo by Emily Olstad

Located only about 15 minutes from the Cal Poly campus, Pismo Beach is a classic beach town with plenty of outdoor and indoor attractions.

Morro Rock. Photo by Stephanie Zombek

Morro Rock is an iconic Morro Bay landmark formed about 23 million years ago by volcanic plugs.

SLOcal Lunch Spots

Firestone Grill. Photo by Willa Westneat

The Firestone Tri-Tip challenge is when you hike 3 of the major peaks in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly “P,” Madonna Peak and Bishop Peak) all in one day, then go to Firestone Grill to reward yourself with their famous tri-tip sandwich. 

High Street Market & Deli. Photo by Willa Westneat

Founded in 1927, High Street Deli is a historic San Luis Obispo landmark that was once frequented by railroad workers and their families. 

Sandwich from Old San Luis BBQ. Photo by Old San Luis BBQ

Old San Luis BBQ Company prides themselves on their unique red oak barbecue, hand-trimmed tri-tip and locally farmed, organic vegetables.

Can’t Forget Coffee Shops

Nautical Bean. Photo by Willa Westneat

Nautical Bean has great coffee, great breakfast burritos and a great study atmosphere.

Kreuzberg California. Photo by Willa Westneat

Founded in 2010, Kreuzberg California was inspired by the café scene in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin, Germany.

Linnaea’s Cafe. Photo by Willa Westneat

It’s been almost 40 years since it was founded, and Linnaea’s is still going strong.

Scout Coffee. Photo by Scout Coffee

Scout Coffee has two San Luis Obispo locations and will be adding a third right on the Cal Poly campus in fall of 2021.

BlackHorse Espresso & Bakery. Photo by Willa Westneat

BlackHorse Espresso and Bakery is a small business supporting other small businesses, proudly serving coffee from local Paso Robles coffee roasting company Spearhead.

Kin Coffee. Photo by Emily Olstad

Kin Coffee Bar serves coffee, matcha, superfoods and baked goods and works hard to create a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the San Luis Obispo community.

And of course… 

Cal Poly Red Brick Dorms. Photo by Emily Olstad


Comments are off for this post

The Books and Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should Know About

Person holding up phone in front of their laptop, looking through business podcasts.

Part of cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset is about constantly learning, evolving and challenging yourself. Some of the best ways to advance your skills and learn something new every day is by reading books and listening to podcasts. To find out what books and podcasts (or any other sources of information) every entrepreneur needs to know about, we turned to some of our very own entrepreneurs at the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Here are their recommendations.

Have favorites of your own to share with the #SLOcal entrepreneurial community? Let us know by tagging us in your recommendations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.


Sidney Collin | CEO and founder of De Oro Devices, an Incubator company

Podcast: The Next Big Idea with Rufus Griscom

Book: The Big Picture by Sean Carroll

Honorable Mention: “Kobe Bryant: Mamba Mentality and The Mind of a Champion” episode of The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes 


Alexandra Joelson | First-year business administration major | CEO and founder of Intego Sports, a Hatchery company

Podcast: How I Built This with Guy Raz

Book: The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma and Rise and Grind by Daymond John


Spencer Harrison | CEO and co-founder of NeoCharge, an Incubator company  

Podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show with Tim Ferriss

Book: The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker


Jose Huitron | The CIE  Director of Student Innovation Programs | Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business Lecturer

Podcast: How I Built This with Guy Raz (again!)

Book: A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink

Honorable Mention: The 20 Minute VC Garry Tan on YouTube


Davy Kozuch | Third-year engineering major | CEO and founder of Polycast, a Hatchery company 

Podcast: Snacks Daily with Jack Kramer and Nick Martell

Book: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Honorable Mention: Polycast with Davy Kozuch 


Sierra Scolaro | The CIE Student Innovation Programs Coordinator | CEO and founder of Wayve, an Incubator company

Podcast: The Pitch with Josh Muccio

Book: Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott 

Honorable Mention: “50 Entrepreneurs Share Priceless Advice


Candice Conti | The CIE Marketing and Communications Director 

Podcast: The Daily by New York Times with Michael Barbaro

Book: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill


Haley Pavone | CEO and founder of Pashion Footwear, a graduated Incubator company 

Podcast: How I Built This with Guy Raz (third time’s the charm!)

Book: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

Comments are off for this post

7 Tips for Working from Home | COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses

woman working on her desktop computer

Working from home can bring challenges, especially when you’re used to working at a designated office space. Not to mention, being forced to work at home at a moment’s notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic can make it trickier. 

To help our community of entrepreneurs, coworkers, small business owners and everyone in between, the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has some helpful tips for those working from home and several resources to help small businesses persevere.

If you utilize these tips, inspire others by posting a picture of your home workspace or how you’re taking advantage of lunch breaks and tagging us on Instagram @ciecalpoly. 

Work-from-home Tips

Set a morning routine

Whether your ideal morning looks like a run through the neighborhood followed by breakfast, or catching up on news while you sip your coffee, make sure you have an enjoyable morning routine to motivate you for the day. With less of the hustle and bustle of getting to work, take a moment for yourself in the morning instead of hopping on the computer right away. 

Designate your workspace

Having a designated workspace is the best way to stay focused and motivated while you work. As enticing as it may sound to switch up your arrangement, like moving your laptop to the couch, it can cause less productivity and much more distraction. Plus, it’s best to keep work as separate from home as possible. Let the couch be your spot for the post-work Netflix binge. 

Business as usual

Work hours are work hours. Working from home doesn’t mean you get to take extra time off, but it also doesn’t mean you should work 12 hours a day. Remember that you can always wrap things up on a project tomorrow and that sometimes you need a fresh take on things the next morning.

Take breaks

A normal workday calls for breaks. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean work is easier, so allow yourself time to destress, call a friend, grab some food or get some fresh air. It’ll be better for your productivity, mind and body. Don’t forget to look away from your screen every once in a while to stay sane and stay healthy.


Communication is key in any setting, especially when working from home. Never feel like your weekly webcam meetings are where the office communication has to stop. At a time like this, there is no such a thing as over-communicating about plans or problems. Email and call your coworkers often, and maybe suggest your team uses communication tools like Slack (if they don’t already). Everyone is in this together.

Stay connected

While work-oriented communication is important, so are your usual office conversations. Remember to stay connected with your coworkers about all of the things you usually talk about, like must-see movies, funny stories or how your 10-year-old is begging for an iPhone. The people who make your workday fun might not be a desk over, but they’re just a call or text away.

Take advantage of being home

If working from home isn’t your thing, remember to stay positive and find the perks of your situation. Now that you’re home all day, you can make your breaks more fun by taking the dog for a walk or doing some baking. Not to mention you can put dinner in the oven earlier than 7 p.m. for once and blast music as loud as you want. Despite the challenges of working from home, find a way to make it more enjoyable every day.


COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses

Comments are off for this post

The 5 Best Coffee Meeting Spots in SLO

Every entrepreneur knows the value of a coffee meeting for casual networking and building relationships. Just as valuable is the decision you make about where to have your coffee meetings. Luckily, many of San Luis Obispo’s local coffee shops offer an entrepreneurial and community-based spirit of their own. Here are the five best places to grab a latte and chat with fellow entrepreneurs, clients, investors and more. 

Scout Coffee Co. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Scout Coffee (@scoutcoffee) on

As Scout’s owners Jon and Sara Peterson explain it, “Our goal has always been to create inspiring spaces, with great people and amazing products, in a way that truly adds value to the community around us.” The focus that Scout has on community, which includes their fellow entrepreneurs like you, is evident upon arrival to either of the shop’s two locations. The baristas at Scout are upbeat and helpful, making any customer feel welcomed. As for location, while their downtown spot is in the hustle and bustle of the SLOcal life, Scout’s Foothill Boulevard location offers storefront parking, natural light, more space and more seating for your coffee meetings. With indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a vibrant atmosphere, Scout is perfect for meeting clients you know would appreciate a simple, fresh ambiance. The only downside is the lack of outlets in Scout’s locations, making it difficult if you need extended access to technology.


Kreuzberg California 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Yelp SLO (@yelpslo) on

Kreuzberg, a coffee shop and lounge inspired by the German neighborhood of the same name, bases itself “in the creativity-boosting and community building power of coffee, food, beer, wine, cocktails, strong wifi, lots of outlets, cozy seats, and an inspiring atmosphere to enjoy it in,” according to the shop’s website. Basically, Kreuzberg has it all. What makes this downtown San Luis Obispo shop perfect for coffee meetings is that it is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., giving you freedom of scheduling time and the ability to turn your coffee meeting into cocktail hour. Plus, there’s lounge chairs, an upstairs area, bar seating, small and large tables, and two secluded sidecar-style seating areas, allowing you to accommodate for any seating preferences. The only real cautionary tip about Kreuzberg is that it is eclectic and darker in lighting, so it may not cater well to meetings where you’re looking for a modern, bright atmosphere.


Libertine Coffee Bar 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Libertine Coffee Bar (@libertinecoffeebar) on

Libertine Brewing Company is no longer just for beer, now they have expanded into the type of brew you need for your morning meeting: coffee. Located right next to its downtown restaurant, Libertine Coffee Bar offers local coffee and food, as well as whole leaf tea. As described on its website, Libertine Coffee Bar has “Warm vibes and street side relaxing in downtown SLO,” making it a great choice for a mellow coffee meeting. The shop is simple and bright, but it does have a limited amount of seating to take note of in case you’re looking to meet with multiple people. However, the intimate seating of the shop can allow you to have a conversation without several other voices looming in the background.


Lucy’s Coffee Co. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Morning Coffee Grind (@morningcoffeegrind) on

The owner of Lucy’s Coffee Co. says that her shop is “a place that contributes to making the world better through community and yummy coffee,” extending the reach of San Luis Obispo’s entrepreneurial community all the way out to Laurel Lane. Lucy’s is the only coffee shop on our list without a downtown spot, giving you uniqueness of location. It also offers close parking, an open atmosphere and an old-fashioned aesthetic. Additionally, Lucy’s offers an array of drinks as well as food items, a benefit when your coffee meeting turns into lunch. While these qualities make it a nice place to escape the noise of downtown and network, you might want to opt for another shop if you are looking to meet with people who are already going to be in the downtown area of San Luis Obispo. 


BlackHorse Espresso and Bakery


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BlackHorse Espresso And Bakery (@blackhorseslo) on

With four locations, BlackHorse takes first place for leeway of location. As the coffee shop’s website says, “If you are lucky enough to be in San Luis Obispo, there’s a BlackHorse near you.” This rings true, but if you’re looking for the best of BlackHorse for your networking meetings, the Los Osos Valley Road locations may serve you best. This specific shop has greater sitting room than others, making it a more relaxed and casual spot to grab a cup of coffee and talk business. Not to mention, the coffee shop states that it was “born out of an idea that coffee and community go together” on its website. BlackHorse is what you would expect out of any simple and down-to-earth coffee shop that has the sole purpose of giving people a space to enjoy good coffee and a great community. Be cautious of timing, though, as this location closes at 3:00 p.m., two to three hours earlier than all of the other BlackHorse spots.

Comments are off for this post

20 Things to Do in SLO for $20 or under

By Dylan Grant

A rough idea is the foundation of even the most successful businesses. Transforming innovative concepts into a reality often forces startups to run with minimal resources. SLO entrepreneurs know how to make things work on a budget. We’ve provided a list of 20 things you can do in SLO for $20 or under this summer. Pull from the activities below and make high-priced memories on a bootstrap income.

SLO County Farmers Market

Support our local farmers and enjoy fresh fruits, veggies and artisan goods at the market of your choice this summer. Munch on corn-on-the-cob while taking in the sound of vendor chatter and eclectic instrumentals. To pinpoint your favorite merchants and place your orders at farmers markets around SLO County, download the Arkitu app courtesy of our CIE incubator company.

Beer at the Pier

Monday evenings just got a little more fun. From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Baywood Park comes alive with live music, food and drink, a dancing lawn, fire pit and more. With bands and artists ranging from Roots Reggae to Afro Latin Groove to the keyboardist for U2, Beer at the Pier is for everyone. Grab your family, your friends and your lawn chairs for an evening of fun, free of charge.

Tour Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa

Come explore one of SLO’s most renowned landmarks! The Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa offers free, docent-led tours Monday through Saturday at 1:15 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Founded in 1772, this Spanish mission is located right in the heart of downtown SLO.

Morro Bay Skateboard Museum

Take a trip from the early 1930s to the present day. The Morro Bay Skateboard Museum’s collection of over 200 skateboards showcases every era in the sport’s history. Stop in and explore the evolution of skateboarding.

Sunset Drive-In

Warm summer nights in San Luis Obispo might be best spent tuned into a double feature at the iconic Sunset Drive-In. New films play seven nights a week at this charming outdoor theatre for a ticket price of $9. If you’re an early riser, swing by on Sunday mornings for a swap meet of goods and vintage knick-knacks.

Art After Dark

Wander through downtown SLO on the first Friday of every month to ponder the work of local artists. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. and wrapping up at 9:00 p.m., Art After Dark is a wonderful way to experience SLO culture and community.

Central Coast Kayak Rental

Hit the glassy waters of Shell Beach with the help of Central Coast Kayaks. Spend $20 for an hour of beautiful rock formation and aquatic exploration. Rentals open at 9:00 a.m. so bundle up for a tranquil paddling experience.

Full Day Surfboard Rentals

Spend the day catching waves on the shores of Pismo Beach for $20. Full-day surf and boogie board rentals are available at Pismo Beach Surf Shop. Enjoy chasing waves and swimming out to sea on a budget. Slip into a wetsuit to combat the Central Coast chill for an extra $10.

Morro Bay Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Test your balance with an hour of paddle boarding around Morro Bay’s four miles of smooth waters. If kayaking or surfing isn’t for you, stand up for $20 an hour paddleboarding.

The Central Coast Aquarium in Avila

Home to dozens of species, the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach offers visitors a hands-on approach to marine appreciation. Take a few hours to meet a giant Pacific octopus along with sea stars, rock crabs, smooth hound sharks and a gumboot chiton. General admission is $8.

Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero

Walk up to a flamboyance of flamingos this summer at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero. Hundreds of species call this zoo home. Come give a warm hello to animals ranging from a Malayan tiger to the colorful Gila monster for the price of $7.

Moonstone Hunting

Get in touch with your inner treasure seeker on the shores of Moonstone Beach in Cambria. Hunt for rocks and enjoy the sight of harbor seals sunbathing on the coast. Venture downtown for an array of antique stores finds and grab a lunch to remember in The Cafe’s succulent garden.

Morro Bay Harbor Cruise

Bring your sea legs for a cruise around Morro Bay Harbor. Otters, sea lions and schools of jellyfish welcome you to climb aboard a Sub Sea Tour this summer for $20. Narrated tours last 45 minutes and offer below deck views of the harbor.

Piedras Blancas Light Station

Drive north for a self-led tour of the Piedras Blancas Light Station, a historic park and wildlife sanctuary. The light station is open to all hikers from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on July 25 and August 29. Click the link for more information on hiking guidelines and directions.

Avila Ridge Hike

Grab a sandwich from your favorite local deli and fill up your hydroflasks. Once you climb to the top of Avila Ridge, this steep hikes ocean views will keep you enjoying the sights for hours. Indulge in a picnic this summer at the top of one of SLO’s natural wonders.

The Pad Climbing Gym

Join SLO’s climbing community with a $ 15-day pass to the Pad Climbing Gym. Enjoy a work out at your own pace at this indoor rock climbing center. Plan your visit during staff hours from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

Hop on the phone and book yourself a private mineral hot tub under the stars in Avila. Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa provides a therapeutic outdoor experience for $15 a person Monday through Thursday. Rates rise to $20 a person over the weekend.

Avila Valley Barn

Fresh produce and delicious baked goods are waiting for you at Avila Valley Barn. Slurp up some homemade ice cream before catching a hayride this summer. This homestead offers fun for all ages with charming goodies and a petting zoo.

Chase a Waterfall

Take a trip to Big Falls Trailhead in Arroyo Grande for a serene waterfall vista. Close to four miles in and out, this brief hike yields a serious reward. Enjoy the natural sights but watch out for poison oak on your stroll towards roaring waters.

Oceano Beach Bonfires

No late night snack can beat an oozing marshmallow stuffed between graham crackers. Break out some kindling for a summer bonfire on the shores of the Oceano Dunes. Driving your car onto the sand costs $5, but entry is free for those willing to carry their wood onto the beach from the street. Beach hours are limited to 11 p.m. in Pismo and Grover.

Enjoy the entrepreneurial lifestyle on the Central Coast this summer without breaking the bank! Lack of funds can’t hold our innovators back from embracing the SLO entrepreneur lifestyle.


Comments are off for this post
1 2