Helping Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Thrive in San Luis Obispo County

What We Do

The Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center (SBDC) promotes the development of technology-focused ventures by providing high quality business assistance to start-ups and established companies.

Our team of 35+ business consultants helps entrepreneurs launch companies, create and retain jobs, and attract capital investment.

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Our Vision

To catalyze an innovative and entrepreneurial culture at Cal Poly and within the San Luis Obispo community.

Our Success Stories


Located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, serving businesses throughout the county.

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Our Mission

To help create jobs and grow our regional economy by providing entrepreneurs and small businesses with high quality education, consulting, support for innovation, and all of the tools necessary to build successful, sustainable, and scalable businesses.

How We Do It

With a specific focus on high growth and technology business opportunities, the SBDC helps develop businesses by utilizing:


No cost professional business consulting from industry experts in marketing, finance & access to capital, IP, and more.

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Office Hours

Each month we bring in local business professionals who specialize in all aspects of business from accounting to marketing.

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Intensive schedule of bootcamps, workshops, & events designed to strengthen business and entrepreneurial skills.

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CIE HotHouse

The physical space in downtown SLO where talented entrepreneurs can cowork or incubate, & access SBDC programming.

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Our Awesome Staff

Judy Mahn

Judy Mahan

Senior Economic Development Director

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Judy runs the CIE Incubator and SBDC programs. She holds a J.D. from the University of Paris X Law School and an LLM in International Tax Law at Golden Gate University.

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Damon Watkins

Director of Finance and Operations

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With over 20 years of financial and management experience, Damon oversees the financial, accounting and daily operations of the CIE. Damon was born in England and raised in South Africa and moved to the USA 20 years ago.

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Liz Fisher

Assistant director

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Liz is in charge of operations, coordinates center staff, consultants and assists with budget oversight and grant reporting.

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Madison Krum


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Madison is responsible for managing several SBDC programs including Open Office Hours, all SBDC workshops/events, and email marketing.

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Niki Williams

Project coordinator

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Niki is responsible for marketing, events and administrative tasks regarding the SBDC Outreach Centers and tech vertical programs.

Lynsey Fowler

Admin & Graphic Design Coordinator

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Lynsey is responsible for SBDC new client onboarding, graphic design and social media management.


Many San Luis Obispo businesses trust the Cal Poly CIE SBDC.

What Our Clients Say

allthenticate logo
Truly an awesome resource.

 “I have been meeting with our lead consultant on a weekly basis, which has been very useful to discuss our challenges and be pointed to the right direction. Because the SBDC consultants have disparate areas of expertise, I was able to get help on different topics such as fundraising, bookkeeping, building financial projections and marketing.” 

–Rita Mounir, Co-Founder and COO of Allthenticate

digital market media logo
A great experience.

 “I have had the opportunity to work with great mentors, whom have been exceptional at providing the advice and guidance we needed to continue growing through the Covid pandemic. Thank you!” 

–Tom Carolan, CEO of Digital Market Media

earthtones logo
Timely and Professional Guidance.

 “As the business challenges escalated in 2020, our partnership with SBDC afforded us local help, skilled insight, and on-demand assistance. Our successes throughout the year were because we had timely and professional guidance to navigate our disaster assistance, maintain employees and customers, and plan for new horizons with e-commerce and digital services.” 

–Mary Uebersax, CEO of Earthtones

Our Success Stories

Interested in becoming a client?

Apply to get personal one-on-one assistance from our expert consultants. Also be sure to attend a workshop or special event, which are always open to the community.
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