City College is helping students make their business dreams a reality.
Ricardo Haynes and Cindy Gutierrez are two City College students that posses a passion for business.
The Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation put the two student’s passion to the test. It allowed Haynes and Gutierrez a chance to develop something more than ideas.
Gutierrez, creator of Fertile Grounds and Haynes, creator of CraigFetch, developed local businesses from the ground up.
Melissa Moreno, director of the Scheinfeld Center describes the program as, “a rapid development of a product or service in a single semester.”
The program is open to any City College student and involves a weekly meeting on Fridays.
Students in the program pitch business ideas and once it is established the program develops through the planning stage to the execution of a practical and profitable operation.
For Cindy Gutierrez’s business, passion stems from a place close to home.
“I remembered my grandfather putting his used coffee grounds in the soil around his tomato plants years ago, and how his plants flourished with this natural fertilizer,” said Gutierrez. “Throughout the years, I encountered many other people doing the same thing with very positive results.”
Gutierrez decided to develop the idea with the support of City College’s Enterprise program.
This development created her business, Fertile Grounds.
Gutierrez and her fellow business members are in it for the long haul. They expect Fertile Grounds to grow into a substantial business before selling to a large fertilizer manufacturer.
“We plan to build Fertile Grounds into a household brand name that people know and seek out,” said Gutierrez.
For now the short-term goal is to get Fertile Grounds into as many retail stores as possible in the Santa Barbara County.
“It has been very demanding but it has changed my life,” said Gutierrez.
Innovation starts early for Ricardo Haynes as he surfs some morning waves in the glistening dark blue water at Leadbetter Beach.
Hayne’s morning is an unconventional idea of how a businessman should begin his busy day.
The founder of CraigFetch, a local business dedicated to helping students move their furniture, Haynes is constantly thinking of new business ventures to help the Santa Barbara community.
With the on-going support and guidance from the City College Enterprise program, Haynes and his business partners have been able to successfully execute their product development.
CraigFetch offers services such as Craigslist item retrieval, retail store retrieval and assistance with small scale moving.
The company charges a simple set cost of $40 per hour for one mover, or $80 per hour for two movers.
The business is about keeping the concept simple, involving one truck, two guys and a steady clientele, said Haynes.
“It’s important to remember these people are letting us into their home,” he said. “I think that’s what really sets us apart from other moving companies.”
Along with business, Haynes passion lies in the environment. He dreams of one day advancing his business ventures and establishing a company to help local business and restaurants rid their facilities of waste.
For now his love for the environment is pushing for the progression of bio-diesel trucks for CraigFetch’s transportation and deliveries.
According to Haynes, CraigFetch has been a catalyst for other possible business ideas he hopes to one day accomplish.