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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Scheinfeld Center hosts annual global manufacturing summit

Aidan Anderson
Attendees of the Global Manufacturing for Startups Summit listen to speakers Julie Samson and Django Dexter discuss international manufacturing strategies Friday, Oct. 27, at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort.

The Global Manufacturing for Startups Summit was hosted Friday by the Scheinfeld Center, aiming to help new startups navigate entering the manufacturing world.

The event was hosted at the Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara, and was attended by seasoned business executives, students and budding entrepreneurs alike. Julie Samson, director of the Scheinfeld Center, opened the event with a short presentation and led the initial discussion alongside international manufacturing executive and senior director of MMI Holdings, Django Dexter.

“Django is a specialist in business development, product engineering and strategic market development,” Samson said. “He’s very active in startup support, entrepreneurial services and collegiate mentorship in Santa Barbara.”

The pair addressed the crowd of 50 or so attendees, made up of businessmen and women clad in expensive suits and listening intently, alongside nervous students frantically scribbling notes on their notepads so as not to miss a word.

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Dexter began by addressing his qualifications and experience in the international manufacturing world, specifically overseas.

“My career has been at many levels globally, so I’ve been a startup entrepreneur before, launching companies from ground zero,” Dexter said. “I’ve also taken products to Asia, and had them manufactured. I’ve worked for US Manufacturers. I’ve actually worked for Asian manufacturers. I’ve basically touched every sort of combination of relationship that you come across.”

He discussed the company he launched with his partner, Gaviota Global Industries, which aimed to consult the local startup community here in Santa Barbara. Many startups have exceptional ideas for products or services and may even have prototypes and funding, however navigating the world of manufacturing can be extremely difficult, Dexter said.

“We can help startup entrepreneurs find ways to find manufacturers that are reputable, that suit the needs of the product and of the client and match them together,” he explained.

Samson proceeded to pose questions regarding the different types of manufacturers, how to contact them, and how overseas manufacturing differs from domestic manufacturing. Dexter provided a wealth of knowledge on each subject, pausing occasionally to field a question from an inquisitive audience member.

“I remember being an entrepreneur, and that being an insurmountable hurdle,” Dexter said. He continued, addressing Samson, “There are great startup resources in town, your class is one of them.”

Samson responded by discussing how important it is for entrepreneurs to work with their peers and community, to foster symbiotic relationships between companies.

“This entrepreneurial ecosystem that we have in our region is really amazing and so integral,” she said.  

The Scheinfeld Center strives to provide opportunities like this one for all students interested in entering the world of entrepreneurship and business, as well as to provide a nurturing community for them to share ideas and strategies.

More information about the program and events can be found at its website, or over the phone at 965-0581 ext. 3643.

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