Impact Hub Unveils Bold Expansion Plan

About 50 Sustainable Change Alliance members and guests June 12 heard Impact Hub Santa Barbara officials unveil their bold expansion plan.

The plan includes up to six new collaborative, shared working- space facilities to complement the three existing Impact Hub sites in Santa Barbara. Impact Hub opened two years ago downtown and added a Funk Zone location and a site on Chapala Street.

The Sustainable Change Alliance meeting was held at the Chapala Center. Formed in 2015, the group promotes impact investing opportunities in financially successful ventures having positive and sustainable impact.

Co-founder Diana Pereira told the group that Impact Hub officials are looking at possible new sites in Goleta, upper State Street, North Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo  and Ventura County.

She explained that Impact Hub is a global network of collaborative work-space sites in many countries and states. By joining one, members can access them all.

Pereira said the attraction of shared work-space facilities has been mushrooming for more than the past decade. While it has some competitors, Impact Hub offers much more than they do, she said, which is a key reason for expansion.

“Others just offer space,” she said. “Impact Hub is a community … It’s all about the people.”

In keeping with the local environmental movement, Impact Hub members receive information on composting and recycling, which is one of the reasons its achieved a Green Business Certification.

Pereira noted that every industry in Santa Barbara is represented at Impact Hub.  She said the key components of it are flexibility, high demand, design with engagement, connectivity, community and interactivity.

While hosting a variety of outside community events, Impact Hub engages its members in many get-togethers over food and other attractions. It fills a need for social interaction, Pereira said.

“You might meet somebody who will move your company further,” she said. She said many Impact Hub members meet people who they hire or hire them.

Dan Ferrick, co-founder and director, told the audience that Impact Hub has attracted an array of companies ranging from start-ups to established firms. On top of that, he said, city and county officials are holding or planning to have office hours there.

Mayor Cathy Murillo held her first Impact Hub office hours June 1 and to hold more monthly.

Ferrick also said some large firms such as Carpinteria-based software company Procore and even Amazon have been involved with Impact Hub Santa Barbara.

Referring to the last recession, which helped spur the need for shared working spaces such as Impact Hub, Ferrick said, “We’re positioned for the next downturn.”

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